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Inscribed in Clay: Provenance Study of the Amarna Letters and Other Ancient Near Eastern Texts

Mary F. Ownby


This review discusses the important results of the petrographic analysis of the Amarna tablets presented by Yuval Goren, Israel Finkelstein, and Nadav Na’aman. Particular attention is given to summarizing some of their key findings, which highlight the potential for scientific analysis of clay objects to provide relevant and otherwise unattainable information on the specifics of human history.  This book is a key resource for any individual studying the political relationships between Egypt and the Near East, the historical events of the Late Bronze Age, or the geopolitical layout of the empires and city-states in this region, and offers a promising new approach toceramic petrography in general.

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