The Arzawa letters in recent perspective

J. David Hawkins

The Amarna Letters are almost all composed in the Akkadian language, but a few are written in other languages. Among these, two tablets forming an exchange of letters between the Egyptian king Nimuwariya (Amenhotep III) and the King of Arzawa were in a language unknown at the date of discovery, but subsequently designated 'Arzawan'.

With the excavation of the royal library and archives of Hattusa, and the decipherment and reading of the Hittite Texts, it became apparent that 'Arzawan' was actually Hittite and that Arzawa was the Hittite designation of Western Anatolia. Today this diplomatic exchange can be viewed much more clearly in the context of the history of Arzawa and the political relations of the Hittites with the West.

The Arzawa letters in recent perspective

To reference this article we suggest:

Hawkins, J.D. 2009. The Arzawa letters in recent perspective. BMSAES 14: 73–83. http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/online_journals/bmsaes/issue_14/hawkins.aspx

Contact the author
egyptian@britishmuseum.org