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The Siege of Dapur (c. 1269 BC) occurred as part of Pharaoh Ramesses II's sixth Syrian military campaign to suppress and conquer Amurru in his tenth regnal year. He described his campaign on the wall of his mortuary temple, the Ramesseum in Thebes, Egypt.


During the reign of Ramesses II, the Hittites and Egyptians had a common interest in expanding their empires by conquering the city states in the lands of Amurru and Canaan. In the years prior to the Siege this resulted in a clash between these two Bronze Age superpowers known as the Battle of Kadesh in Year 5 of Ramesses II. In Year 8 of his reign, he first captured Dapur, erecting a statue of himself there, as well as other cities in the region. However, these victories were short-lived as, within a year, they had returned to the Hittite fold.


The inscriptions say that Dapur was "in the land of Hatti".[1] Although Dapur has often been identified with Tabor in Canaan, Egyptologist Kenneth Kitchen argues that this identification is incorrect and that the Dapur in question was in Syria,[2] north of Kadesh.

Depictions of the Siege[]

Egyptian reliefs depict Dapur as a heavily fortified settlement with both inner and outer walls and situated on a rocky hill, which was usual for Bronze Age settlements in Syria and abroad. Contemporary illustrations of the siege - as depicted on the Ramesseum walls - show the use of ladders and chariots with soldiers climbing scale ladders supported by archers. Six of the sons of Ramesses, still wearing their side locks, also appear on those depictions of the siege. All with the title "King's Son of his body, his beloved". Those include:

  1. Khaemwaset
  2. Montu
  3. Meryamun
  4. Amenemwia
  5. Seti
  6. Setepenre


Despite laying a successful siege to Dapur and capturing it a second time, just like two years earlier, this campaign also led to short-term successes only, as the Egyptians could not hold control over these distant territories due to the presence of the Hittites. Ultimately, both the Egyptians and Hittites came to the realization that they could not defeat each other and the economic costs of a continuous war would be too high and as a result a peace treaty was signed between the two empires.


  1. Kitchen 1998, p. 83.
  2. Kitchen 1998, p. 56.


  • Kitchen, K.A., 1998: Ramesside Inscriptions. Wiley-Blackwell.