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/png|300px|thumbnail|left|Map Depicting the Major Kingdoms in the Fourteenth Century BC Near East and Eastern Mediterranean. Cyprus Is Shown as the Location of Alashiya]]
The Late Bronze Age Near East (c. 1500-1200 BC) is known for the remarkably sophisticated geopolitical system that its most powerful kingdoms established. Stretching from Greece to Persia and from Anatolia to Egypt, it was the first truly “global system,” where the leaders engaged in alliances, long-distance trade, and occasionally fought each other, although they more often used proxies. A collection of cuneiform tablets dated to the fourteenth century BC discovered in the Egyptian village of Amarna in AD 1887, now known as the “Amarna letters,” details how the kings of Egypt, Hatti, Babylon, Mittani, and Alashiya corresponded with each other as “brothers,” or kings above all the other kings. In the century plus since the letters were first discovered much has been learned about the kingdoms and their relations to one another and to the lesser kingdoms in the Levant, although Alashiya continues to be enigmatic.