หลังจากที่มีชื่อปรากฏในพระคัมภีร์ปฐมกาล และพงษ์กษัตริย์ แล้วไม่มีใครได้ยินชื่อนี้อีกเลย
จนเมื่อเร็วๆ นี้มีนักโบราณคดีชาวฝรัางเศษขุดพบ เมืองป้อมโบราณของฮิตไทต์ที่กษัตริย์ พระราชวงศ์
และข้าบริพารอาศัยอยู่ ในเนินเขาแถบประเทศตุรกี พร้อมมีแผ่นจารึกของอาลักษณ์เขียนบันทึก
The Death and Burial of Sarah
…9That he may give me the cave of Machpelah, which he has, which is in the end of his field; for as much money as it is worth he shall give it me for a possession of a burial plot among you. 10And Ephron dwelled among the children of Heth: and Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham in the audience of the children of Heth, even of all that went in at the gate of his city, saying, 11No, my lord, hear me: the field give I you, and the cave that is therein, I give it you; in the presence of the sons of my people give I it you: bury your dead.
2 Kings 7:6: “For the Lord had made the host of the Syrians to hear a noise of chariots, and a noise of horses, even the noise of a great host: and they said one to another, Lo, the king of Israel hath hired against us the kings of the Hittites, and the kings of the Egyptians, to come upon us.”
The Hittites (also Hethites) and children of Heth are a people or peoples mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. They are listed in Book of Genesis as second of the twelve Canaanite nations, descended from one Heth (children of Heth”) They are mentioned several times as living in or near Canaan since the time of Abraham (estimated to be between 2000 BC and 1500 BC) to the time of Ezra after the return from the Babylonian exile (around 450 BC). Heth is said in Genesis to be a son of Canaan, son of Ham, son of Noah. Credit: Wikipedia
The Traditional Account
The Battle of Kadesh begins with the army of Ramesses II advancing upon the city of Kadesh. Ramesses II himself was with the lead element of the corps, known as Amun. While crossing the River Orontes (Arnath) to begin the approach to the city from the south, two Bedouin tribesmen, secretly in the employ of the Hittite king, led what appears to have been a gullible Ramesses the Great into believing that the Hittite army was many miles away to the north. Ramesses II, believing he had stolen a strategic advantage, having arrived on the battle grounds early, ordered the army of Amun onward without delay.
However, after making camp to the northwest of Kadesh, Ramesses II was rather unnerved to discover from captured enemy scouts that the Hittite army had already arrived. Located behind the Kadesh tell, they were even now ready for battle. Hearing this news, Ramesses II sent his vizier to the army (really, more of a division) of Re some miles back to hurry them forward. However, they were ambushed by 2,500 Hittite chariots as they crossed the plain of Kadesh and so were overcome. This force then wheeled north and attacked Ramesses II’s encampment, overrunning them as well. Though many of Amun’s troops panicked and abandoned Ramesses to his fate, the Pharaoh donned his armor and from his chariot, almost single handedly held off the Hittite chariotry inflicting heavy losses on them. However, Ramesses II may really have been saved by the vision of booty within his camp, which seems to have occupied the enemy troops.
Overseeing the battle and observing the fate of his original chariot attack, the Hittite king ordered a further 1,000 chariots into the battle arena. However, just as these additional warriors reached the battle front, Ramesses II was saved by the arrival of the Ne’arin. This was a second body of troops that Ramesses II had detached from the main campaign and ordered to approach Kadesh from the north. With the aid of these troops, Ramesses II was able to fend off the Hittite attack and win the battle, leaving many of the enemy dead on the battle field and the survivors faced with the humiliation of having to swim back across the Orontes River to escape the wrath of the Pharaoh.
Some accounts of the battle have the two warring parties facing off once again the next day, but the ultimate results of the contest was a truce, after which the Egyptians and Hittites withdrew to their respective homelands (Ramesses II, having crushed his enemies).
The above is basically the Egyptian account of the Battle of Kadesh, and it probably does provide a framework for the overall action, though over the years, hardly any detail has escaped the attention of analysts. Though the battle may indeed be the earliest military action recorded in detail, there are many specifics that are either missing or are subject to considerable debate. In fact, Ramesses II certainly presented the battle with an obvious prejudice, particularly towards his own actions and deeds, but indeed, even the main three sources that we have of the battle, consisting of a poem, bulletin and reliefs, even disagree on some of the facts, and the scattered information derived from Hittite sources only confuse the matter additionally.
Prelude to the Battle of Kadesh
The Battle of Kadesh fought by Ramesses II was a long time in the making, and not the first to be fought between the Hattities and Egyptians over this small, but strategically located vassal state. Ramesses II had probably accompanied his father, Seti I on one similar campaign prior to his ascending the throne of Egypt. However, though Seti I may have taken Kadesh, by the time of Ramesses II’s reign, it was back in the hands of the Hattities.
From the onset of Ramesses II’s reign, it is apparent that he intended to renew the struggle for domination in southern Syria, and so almost immediately he began preparing for the coming hostilities. He added a fourth field army to his military establishment, and expanded the eastern Delta city of Pi-Ramasses, his new capital, to act as a staging point for operations in the Levant.
In his fourth year, during the spring of 1301 BC, Ramesses led his army into southern Syria for the first time as king, reaching as far as Simyra and succeeding in returning the Amurru kingdom to the Egyptian fold.
Map of the General Region
It soon became evident to the Hittite king, Muwatallish, that in order to protect his holdings in Syria, he would have to confront the Egyptians in a major military campaign. The venue of this coming battle was never in doubt by either party. They would meet beneath the walls of Kadesh in order to settle once and for all the future of their respective empires in Syria.
In fact, it is likely that the Hittites and the Egyptians agreed on the site, as well as the time of battle in advance. Certainly, there is an inference of this considering that the two sides arrived on the scene of Kadesh at about the same time during the month of May, 1300 BC. It should be noted however that this was not an ideal battleground for the Egyptians. The Hittites were operating in a region that was under their control where their supply lines were short. They probably staged their campaign out of Carchemish, not far from Kadesh at all. Furthermore, the city of Kadesh, currently under their command, was large enough to accommodate the Hittite army should matters go awry. It provided a good defensive position, surrounded by both a mote and the Orontes River itself.
Ramesses II would also have to contend with one of the largest armies ever assembled by the kingdom of Hatti. Though no substantiating sources have ever been unearthed, Ramesses speaks of the Hittites having eighteen allied and vassal states providing some 3,700 chariots and 37,000 infantry. We know that these included Aleppo, Khatti, Naharin, Arzawa, Dardany, Keshkesh, Masa, Pidassa, Arwen (?), Karkisha, Luke, Carchemish, Ugarit, Dedy, Nuhashshe, Mushanet, Kadesh as well as the country of Kizwadna (Kizzuwadna), whom he commissioned to:
“…send one hundred horses equipped (with chariots) and a thousand foot soldiers to the army of the Sun, who will provide for them.”
A Set of two clay tablets from the Hittite Empire.
The normal Hittite script was in the form of picture writing or hieroglyphs. However for the purposes of international trade and correspondence, the Hittites used the cuneiform script of Assyria. Strong trading links were forged between the Hittites and Assyria.
A library was found containing 10,000 clay tablets – court records, receipts, contracts, official documents etc. Some contained poetry and one was a Hittite copy of a peace treaty with Egypt, with the Hittites dictating the terms of Egyptian surrender.