On the ancient ties between Egypt and Mitanni

“The ties between Egypt and Mitanni had been significant as well as tumultuous. Their alliance was one of the strongest recorded at that time.

For instance, in the Amarna archive a letter is present, where it describes King Tushratta of Mitanni (ca. 1372-1324 B.C.E.) attempting to reestablish his alliance with Egypt through communication with Pharaoh Akhenaten, (1353-1335 B.C.E.).

Mitanni can only be etymologically defined as “one house” or “from one house” or “consolidated house”, which can only be found in Armenian mitun “մի տուն’ “one house.”

In regards to marriages, Thutmosis IV married a daughter of the king of Mitanni and Amenhotep III married Tiy, and Amenhotep IV married Nefertiti.

Queen Tiy, according to William Petrie [Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie 1853 – 1942), an English Egyptologist and a pioneer of systematic methodology in archaeology] was of Armenian origin and she brought the Aten religion to Egypt from her native land Mitanni and taught it to her son. [217]

This change in religion also changed Armenian names from the god Amun – Amen to the god Aten as in Akhenaten. An interesting point that is to be made here relates to both the terms Amen and Akn.

Only within the Armenian language does the term ‘Amen’ used in most frequency and not in religious sense, but as a determiner and pronoun.

In Armenian Amen ‘ամեն’ means “all” and “all encompassing”, thus its usage precedes an adjective and indicates something being or someone reaching its apex, zenith or pinnacle.

Some examples include amen-a-metz ‘ամենամեծ’ “biggest,” amen angam ‘ամեն անքամ’ “every time,” amena-hin ‘ամենահին’ “oldest”, amenayn ‘ամենայն’ “all,” etc.

Thus, the term itself is of Indo-European (Aryan) in general and Armenian, specifically, and any connection to biblical or religious context had to have been influenced from Armenian to Egyptian and then to semitic languages including Hebrew.

When it comes to Akn ‘ակն’, there is only one etymological description and it can found in Armenian to mean “eye” (e.g., Arm. Akntart ‘ակնթարթ’ “blink of an eye”). Thus, the Eye is Akn as in the sun itself, the all-seeing-eye and the sun of the monotheism in Egypt.

There is also evidence of commerce and trade between the two kingdoms including the trade of bark for chariot material. For instance, the intact chariots that were found in Thebes, indicated the wood only had to come from Armenia, and the chariot arrived to Egypt as a tribute from Mitanni (Azzaroli, 1985).

Dittmann (1934) pointed out that inscription found in Thebes attested to chariot ar- riving from Mitanni, it is now housed in the Archeological Museum of Florence. Interestingly, the Armenian highlanders introduced the chariot and the chariot warfare to Greeks as well (Drews, 1994).”

By Vahan Setyan

Notes:

*Monotheism was both in Armenian Highlands and Egypt much before it saw an eventual absorption into Hebrew mythology.

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