The History of Egypt Podcast


157: The Road to Kadesh

Keeping up with the Kadeshians. In the past, historians thought the Egyptian government was passive (or even "pacifist") in the days of Akhenaten, Tutankhamun, and Ay. However, newer research has proved this wrong. We now have a fragmentary, but fascinating picture of warfare and diplomacy, taking place through Canaan and Syria. The town of Kadesh, on the Orontes River, is prominent. Once a vassal to pharaoh, the city suffered an attack by Hittite forces. It then changed sides, paying tribute to Suppiluliuma, King of the Land of Hatti. In the later years of Tutankhamun, or the early reign of Ay, the Egyptians responded to Kadesh's treachery...

Episode details:

  • Date: c.1334 BCE (debated).
  • Kings: Tutankhamun and Ay (debated).
  • Battle scene of Tutankhamun: learn more in a free lecture by W. Raymond Johnson (YouTube). Battle reliefs discussion begins at 51:29.
  • Episode logo: A statue, presumed to be Ay, in the Staatliche Museum, Berlin. Image upscaled, cropped, and edited.
  • Music: "War Song," by Bettina Joy de Guzman Used with permission.
  • Music: "King Tut's Song," by Jeffrey Goodman Used with permission.
  • Sistrum sound effect by Hathor Systrum Used with permission.
  • Additional music interludes by Luke Chaos
  • For references and images related to this and other episodes, visit
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