A K K O
A short history in antiquity. Part 2.
The second millennium BC.
According to Egyptian texts was Acco a independent city state in 2nd millennium BC.
The settlement is named already on Egyptian statues of the 19th and 18th century BC.
In the Execration Texts of the 18th century BC a prince is named: Tura-‘Ammu (T3’mw).
Canaanite ‘Aka was conquered by Thutmosis III in 1479 BC, Seti and Ramesses II. The ancient city was located at Tell el-Fukhkhar, east of the site of Medieval and Turkish Acco.
Archaeological excavations confirm that it was founded in the Middle Bronze period II A, corroborating the evidence of the Execration Texts. From that time on Acco remained an important coastal city throughout its long history, until
port was built. Haifa
The ships of
(c.150) sailed on all the important harbours, also Akka, which was a centre of
commerce. It is a flourishing fortified city from the Middle Bronze II period. Ugarit
Egyptian garrisons were located in the 14th century BC on the
ridge at the
beginning of the road to Akka. Carmel
During the so-called El Amarna (c.1375 BC) period Zurata/šutatna from Akka appears in the correspondence of Rib-Addi of Gubla to the pharaoh. His father is named šaratum. The daughter Giluhiba is married to Amenophis III of
Letter kn 85 El Amarna: Rib-Addi to the king no.13
- 19 … And may he give
- 20 400 people, 30 pai[r] horses
- 21 as were given to Zu[r]a[t]a
- 22 that they may protect the city for thee.
Letter kn 88 El Amarna: Rib-Addi to the king no.14.
- 46 The messenger of the king of Akka
- 47 is more heeded than [my] messenger,
- 48 be]cau[se a horse was given to him
- 49……. Two horses
- 50 ……… under hi[m
- 51 [But] I come not forth
The last sentences are unclear.
Letter kn 111 El Amarna: Rib-Addi to the king no.27
- 21 …. B[e]hold the Mi-lim people
- 22 [have en]tered Ak[ka],
- 23 [be]cau[se] not ....
The reason has faded away, but it is clear that Akka was invaded by the Mi-lim people, who were hostile to the pharaoh and his vassal šutatna.
King Burnaburiash III of Karduniash (
Babylon) writes a letter around
1360 BC to pharaoh Amenhotep IV and remembers him of the treaty of friendship
that his father Kurialzu made before with . He wants the villains from
Akka be punished, because they robbed and killed his merchants in the Egypt land of Kinachi
( Canaan) at the place Hinnatuna at the wadi
Melek and/or at Nergla in the area of Zebulon.
E.F.Morris made an investigation into obsequiousness in the Amarna letters with the title “Bowing and scraping in the Ancient World” (JNES vol.65,3, 2006). He investigated 27 towns how humble and submissive those kings or princes were towards their boss, the pharaoh. Tunip with a score of 1.6 is less submissive and
Ashkelon the most submissive with the
score of 5.0. Akka stands on the fourth place in subservience with the score of
4.45. How closer to Egypte, how more humble the towns were.
In the 12th century BC the region of
shows a marked differentiation from the neighbouring areas and a strong inner
consistency as regards language, religious beliefs, artistic expression and
political and administrative organisation. Phoenicia
The southernmost boundary of Phoenicia has been fixed at Ras Naqura, which is in fact a natural limit, but the towns of Akzib (now Al Zib) and Acre (Akka), which were Canaanite according to the Old Testament, at that time were part of Tyrian or Sidonian territory (Judges 1: 31). In this early Iron Age the town is however reduced to a much smaller settlement.
The archives of
Ugarit has a tablet (KTU 2.38) in
which the king of Tyre informes the king of , that a ship of
his with captain Shukku got in trouble near Akka (c.1250 BC). Ugarit
The leading Phoenician cities after 1200 BC were Arwad, Gebal,
, Soer and Akka. Akka was however not as
strong as the other cities, and alternated for some time between Sidon and
Israelite control, after the latter entered the area about the 12th
century BC. Phoenicia
The town is allotted to the tribe of Asher (Josh.19.30), but that tribe did not drive out the inhabitants of Akka (Judg.1.30). Somewhat later the region stood under control of David. His son Salomon ceded however again 20 towns to Hiram of Tyre.