The First Dual-Language Publication in History?
Posted by The Website Editors on 15th Feb 2014
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The Egyptian–Hittite peace treaty is the the earliest known surviving peace treaty. The treaty was signed to end a long war between the Hittite Empire and the Egyptians, who had fought for over two centuries to gain mastery over the lands of the eastern Mediterranean. The conflict culminated with an attempted Egyptian invasion in 1274 BC that was stopped by the Hittites at the city of Kadesh on the Orontes River in what is now Syria. The Battle of Kadesh resulted in both sides suffering heavy casualties, but neither was able to prevail decisively in either the battle or the war. The conflict continued inconclusively for about fifteen more years before the treaty was signed.
The treaty itself did not bring about a peace; in fact, "an atmosphere of enmity between Hatti and Egypt lasted many years" until the eventual treaty of alliance was signed.
The Egyptian Kadesh inscriptions were displayed on large temple inscriptions since antiquity; they were first translated by Champollion, but it was not until 1858 that they were identified with the Hittites mentioned in the Bible. In 1906, Hugo Winckler's excavations in Anatolia identified cuneiform tablets which corresponded with the Egyptian text.
Translation of the texts revealed that this engraving was originally translated from silver tablets given to each side, which have since been lost.