Skip to comments.13Th Century Tablet Could Lead To Lost Archives Of Ramses II
Posted on 09/28/2003 9:31:05 AM PDT by blam
Last Update: Saturday, September 27, 2003. 4:26pm (AEST)
13th Century tablet could lead to lost archives of Ramses II
The discovery of a stone tablet detailing diplomatic ties between the ancient Egyptians and Hittites in the 13th Century BC could be the key to the lost archives of Ramses II, according to archaeologists.
Discovered at Qantir 120 kilometres north-east of Cairo, the tablet dates back to the time of the ancient Egyptian pharaoh, Ramses II (1298-1235 BC) and confirms his capital, Pi-Ramses, was in the Nile Delta.
"Its the first time that such a written record has been found in the capital of Ramses II, which confirms the location of Pi-Ramses," Mohammad Abdul Aksud, director of antiquities in the Delta region told AFP.
Although small and badly preserved, the tablet takes the form of an 11-line letter sent by the central Anatolian Hittite court to that of Ramses II, Mr Aksud said, which "could lead us to the lost archives of Ramses II".
It was found by a team of German archaeologists, lead by Egyptologist Edgar Pusch, secretary-general of Egypt's Supreme Council for Antiquities, Zahi Hawass told AFP.
It dates from shortly after the Egyptian and Hittite empires made peace in 1278 after years of war, Mr Hawass added.
The tablet is written in cuneiform script, invented in about 3,300 BC by the Sumerians and used throughout the Middle East until the first century AD.
Quoting Pusch, Hawass told AFP it was comparable to another tablet written in cuneiform found in Turkey and others found at Tell Al-Amarna, in southern Egypt.
Tell Al-Amarna was capital during the time of Akhenaton (1372-1354 BC), remembered in history for having switched his kingdom to monotheism with the worship of the one sun god, Aton.
The tablets found there show the earliest diplomatic correspondence ever discovered.
The Qantir tablet may be followed by the discovery of a temple in the same region, where Ramses II built his capital.
Ramses II married a Hittite princess to shore up peace with the central Anatolian empire, so he could concentrate on the threat posed in Mesopotamia, where the Assyrian empire was bent on conquest.
You'll find a lot of interesting 'stuff' at 'Gods, Graves, Glyphs' too.
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Thanks for the belated ping to an interesting article. I missed it at the time. Reminds me, I should follow Egyptology news better.
Ancient peaceInitial reading of the signs has led to several suggestions for the possible contents of the letter. Edgar Pusch, field director of the mission, said that the title "Lord of the Lands" was legible but the word "land" was repeated, while the plural of the sign MES (denoting Pharaoh) was also shown, which means that the title could be "the Lord of the Two Lands". A part of Ramses II's name is also written on the tablet while, from lines two to seven, phrases from the Hittite-Egyptian peace treaty appear.
9 - 15 October 2003
Just updating the GGG info, not sending a general distribution.
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The only online images I could find of this supposedly electrifying find was in a PDF file, on page 11: