New PDF release: Ancient Egypt and the Near East: An Illustrated History

By Marshall Cavendish Corporation

ISBN-10: 0761479341

ISBN-13: 9780761479345

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Extra resources for Ancient Egypt and the Near East: An Illustrated History

Example text

In 1275 BCE, Ramses fought the Hittites at the Battle of Kadesh in an attempt to regain that territory. Scenes from the battle as portrayed on temple walls give the impression that the Egyptians were victorious, but the result was inconclusive. Ramses continued his campaign against the Hittites for the next 15 years, eventually concluding a treaty with them. The peace was ratified by a marriage between Ramses and a Hittite princess. At home, Ramses proved to be an energetic builder of temples and monuments.

Major temples, such as those at Karnak and Luxor, would be enlarged by adding new halls or courts to the existing ones, all forming a straight line from the sanctum to the pylon (the temple gate). The cost of the upkeep of the temples was considerable. Substantial resources were needed to pay for the requisite religious sacrifices, to feed the temple employees (who included civil servants and workmen as well as priests), and to maintain the sanctuary itself. The pharaoh supplied these resources in the form of arable land, grassland, and cattle.

Some of the letters describe how a former vassal of Egypt, Abdi-Ashirta of Amurru, formed an alliance with the Chabiru and later with the Hittites. On the other hand, King Rib-Addi of Byblos remained loyal to the pharaoh and repeatedly wrote to the Egyptian king urging him to send troops quickly to prevent AbdiAshirta and other kings from joining forces against Egypt. The suffixes of the verbs used by these writers greatly resemble those of the much later Hebrew of the Bible, so the Amarna Letters provide a valuable link in tracing the development of this language.

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Ancient Egypt and the Near East: An Illustrated History by Marshall Cavendish Corporation


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