The Amarna Letters refer to roughly 400 clay tablets written in Akkadian that record correspondence between Kings and leaders of the Near East in the mid 14th century BC. The tablets carried messages between the leaders by couriers. Making the tablets involved a great deal of technological infrastructure including kilns to fire the tablets, and translators to write the messages in Akkadian. The tablets were carried to the receiver, translated and read, and sometimes then a response was needed.
Eric and I have been trying to look at the social network of these leaders using SNA. A few sample diagrams below show how interconnected the Near East was in the Late Bronze Age.
This .gif shows the interrelationships between the kings in the Bronxe Age through their letter exchanges.
This image shows the Eigenvector Centrality scores based on all the Amarna letters of the Vassal states that show ties. When you see the fewest nodes, those have the highest scores, and then incrementally you see groups who have less than their scores until everyone is shown.