Many place names mentioned in the letters found at Amarna are understood and positioned (Arwad, Assur, Biruta, Damascus, Gubla, Mitanni, Qatna, Sidon, ....). However, the correspondence of Rib-Hadda, king of Byblos, which controled the main ports of the Mediterranean (but its dominance has crumbled during the writing of its numerous letters) show names of towns not today located. Wearing Sumur appears as an important city, venue of an Egyptian garrison.
Today, specialists have positioned Sumur at the Tell Kazel, relying in particular on a description of Strabo who located to this area a the small town of Simyra. I think the famous geographer had rather evoked Samra, ie the small village near the ancient Ugarit. The excavations of Tell Kazel showed a beginning of occupation towards the end of the Bronze Age, from the thirteenth century BC. Which normally should rather be the date of the end of the occupation.
In this blog, I make another geographical proposition to the classical Limyra in southern Anatolia, whose Lycian name was Zemure and is likely the Zumarri of the Hittites. This hypothesis is strengthened by others positioning of ports south of Anatolia, on the way to Byblos, mentioned in the letters of Amarna and other archives. Here are the main spellings (names of the Amarna letters, names of other archives and finally the Greco-Roman name) :
Each of these places is the subject of an article of this blog, setting out the arguments of reconciliation (click on the city names to read them). These locations give more meaning to the letters of Byblos : Sigata and Ampi were the first towns taken by the King of Amurru, and after then it was Wahliya and Ullassa. These changes have isolated the city of Sumur.
Here are two other arguments:
- In EA114, Rib-Hadda mentions having exceptionally shipped his ship by Cyprus, which helped compensate for the loss of these ports. The transition from Cyprus does not make sense with a positioning of Sumur at the Tell Kazel, but is O.K. with the assumption of this blog.
- The letter EA 38 of the King of Cyprus shows that the Pharaoh suspected some residents of the island of Alasiya with men of Lukka (Luwian) among the insurgents. The country of Lukka, who became Lycia, has developed in southern Anatolia and may be one of the suppliers of men to Abdi Ashirta and Aziru his son. It is likely that the Pharaoh was referring to the loss of its ports of southern Anatolia.
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My notes of veracity :
Egypt had colonized southern Anatolia in the early New Kingdom: 2.5 / 5