Ruhama Bonfil

The palace of Alalakh, in modern Atchana, on Syria’s northern border, bears striking similarities to the royal dwelling at Hazor, although the Hazor building is twice its size. The core of the Alalakh palace (highlighted in darker green), like that at Hazor, includes an outer courtyard, a raised porch with pillars flanking the steps and a small room at each end, and a spacious central throne room, surrounded by paired side rooms. The Alalakh core was probably built by King Niqmepa or his father, Idrimi, in the 15th century B.C.E. Several additions to the palace, in light green on the plan, date to the reign of Niqmepa’s son, Ilimilimma.

At Alalakh, British archaeologist Woolley discovered an archive of more than 500 cuneiform tablets, dating from the 18th-17th century and the 15th century B.C.E. The bulk of the tablets were discovered in a small room east of the palace entrance (marked X). Several more tablets were discovered in a northern side room (marked X).