© Marie-Lan Nguyen

The Amarna tablets, a cache of diplomatic and miscellaneous letters discovered in a royal building in Amarna, offer a glimpse of the geopolitical world of the Eastern Mediterranean in the 14th century. In a letter to the Egyptian king, Rib-Hadda, the ruler of Byblos, expresses concern about marauding nomads called the Hapiru, which some have suggested are the Hebrews of the Bible. This theory is not supported by historical evidence.