Multiple names of local rulers are attested in the Amarna letters, most of which can be analyzed as being linguistically West Semitic, Hurrian, or Indo-Aryan. These names have been variously discussed, but no systematic analysis of their geographical distribution has ever been performed. This paper aims to fill this gap. The first section provides the actual analysis of the data. The names are first analyzed in the light of their geographical distribution (using geographic information system [GIS] and clustering algorithms). Then I present a theoretical model of naming practices based on cross-cultural evidence. Finally, this model is applied to the names of the local rulers in order to assess their socio-historical significance.
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