Frank Yurco

Armistice Day. This wall from the temple of Amun in Karnak contains a portion of the peace treaty between Ramesses II and the Hittite king Hattusilis III. The treaty, concluded in 1259 B.C.E., brought to an end nearly two decades of hostilities between the two empires.

Ramesses continually boasted, on pylons, statues and temple walls, of his “victory” over the Hittites at the battle of Kadesh (1275 B.C.E.), in northern Syria, but the battle was actually an inconclusive draw. Author Peter Feinman writes that the true story of the battle of Kadesh, understood in light of Hittite as well as Egyptian records, teaches us that to take official Egyptian accounts, especially those of Ramesses, at face value would be as ludicrous as trusting Pravda to have told the truth about life in the Soviet Union before the advent of glasnost.