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The Correlation Between Material Evidence and Written Documents in the Light of Gezer in the Amarna Period.

Yoonee Ah 1

1한국침례신학대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The object of this research is to examine the correlation between material evidence and ancient documents in the light of Gezer in the Amarna period. Some gaps appear between ancient documents and archaeological materials in reconstructing the ancient history. While some unearthed archaeological evidences are correctly identified with written texts, all the written records are not confirmed in the archaeological material evidence. In particular, the city state of Gezer was recorded as one of the key roles in the Amarna Period but the archaeological data can not support its significant role as recorded in the correspondence of the Amarna Letters. So this research tries to compare the archaeological date of Gezer with the written date of Amarna letters as well as the other seven city states mentioned in the twelve letters sent from Gezer. The Amarna Letters sent from the rulers of Gezer are EA 267-271 (Milkilu), EA 292-294 (Adda-danu or Ba'lu-šipți), EA 297-300 (Yapahu), and EA 378 (Yapahu). The Letters from other rulers mentioned the rulers of Gezer are EA 249-50 (Ba'lu-UR.SAG of Gitipadalla), EA 253-54 (Lab'ayu of Shechem), EA 273 (NIN-UR.MAḪ. MEŠ of Ṣapuma), EA 287, EA 289-290 (Abdi-heba of Jerusalem), and EA 369 (one letter from Pharaoh to the ruler of Gezer). The other seven city states are Gitipadalla (EA 249-50), Shechem (EA 253-54), Sapuma (EA 274), Jerusalem (EA 287, 289-300), Ginti-carmel (EA 249), Ashkelon (EA 287), and Lachish (EA 287). Among the researched eight city-states including Gezer, only two city-states, Lachish and Shechem, reveal ample material evidence. The rest of them give meager evidence or nothing. Archaeology might not yet find material remains, or archaeology might incorrectly interpret material remains.  conflicts within the Canaanite city-states seem to be not as severe as those drawn in the Amarna Archives because only the city of Shechem exposes the debris of destruction by fire in the Amarna period. In conclusion, Reconstruction of ancient history should not focus on one side. Archaeology recognizes that archaeological data would not be objective, while scholars respect that archaeological data is useful. It is necessary to carry out a valid interpretation of documents and archaeological data, as well as ancient documents and archaeological excavation materials.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.