Erich Lessing/Art Resource, NY

On a wall of his mortuary temple at Thebes, called the Ramesseum, the Egyptian pharaoh Ramesses II (1279–1213 B.C.) carved scenes showing the Battle of Kadesh—a clash between the Egyptians and the Hittites fought in 1274 B.C. near the Orontes River in modern Syria. Thirteen years later, Ramesses signed a peace treaty with the Hittite king Hattusili III (1267–1237 B.C.), putting an end to the protracted war between the two Late Bronze Age superpowers.