Peace Treaty of Kadesh

12670483_251824678492955_5271391749839273612_nEgypt and the Hittites had been warring over the area around Kadesh for years.  The last major battle was in 1274 BCE and Pharaoh Ramesses II and Hittite emperor Muwatallis fought to a draw.  Both sides sustained heavy losses, but neither side could claim total victory.  However, both sides did claim victory in their various propaganda.

There were skirmishes south by the Hittites against the Egyptians over the next fifteen years, but neither side gained a distinct advantage.  These were finally decided by a treaty signed by both Ramesses II and Hattusili III, the new king of the Hittites.  Historians place the signing of the treaty around 1259 BCE.  This was the first known peace treaty in the Near East and the first written peace treaty to survive.  

This treaty outlined peaceful relations between the two superpowers.  Ramesses II’s acceptance along with the terms were inscribed on a silver tablet.  In Egypt, the treaty was written in hieroglyphics on the walls of the temples.  In Hatti, the treaty was written in cuneiform and preserved in the royal archives.

A copy of the treaty was found in the village of Hattusas in the early 1900s.  Two of these are displayed Museum of the Ancient Orient in Istanbul.  The third is on display at the Berlin State Museum.  A copy of the treaty hangs in the halls of the UN.

ER
Sources available on request