The campaign of Seti I in Northern Palestine
The campaign of Seti I
in Northern Palestine
Campaign of Seti I in Northern PalestineSeti I Mer-ne-Ptah
The Beth Shan Stela
Year 1, 3rd month of the third season, day 10.Seti I conducted his first Canaan campaign in the first year of his reign. The battles were fought only in the northern part of the country and the southern part was not lost even during the decline of Egyptian power prior to the accession of the 19th dynasty. Seti conquered Hatzor and Beth Anath, followed the Phoenician coast up north of Gebal and continued into the Mountains of Lebanon. One of his reliefs depicts him felling Lebanese cedars.
The excavations at Beth Shan (Beit Shean) uncovered two victory stelae, which proves that even on his first campaign he passed through Beth Shan, setting up order in this region. The rebels, the kings of Hamath and Pahel, tried to capture the town Beth-Shan, the Egyptian stronghold in this region. They besieged Rehob, a town south of Beth-Shan, which was opposed to their activities.
Seti sent three divisions (Amen, Re and Suteh) to relieve Beth-Shan, capture the rebellious Hamath and Yanoam, which lay south of the Lake of Tiberias on the road to Hatzor and dominated the passage of the River Jordan. This action considerably strengthened the Egyptian hold over Canaan.
The second stela had been used as a doorstep during the Byzantine Period and had been thought to be illegible for a long time. It describes the attack by the Apiru from Mount Yarmath (Yarmuta) - the town of Yarmoth-Ramath north of Beth Shan, near the crusader castle of Belvoir - on Egyptian held territory, and the Pharaoh's reaction:
His Majesty ordered some of his soldiers and of his many chariots to go to the mountain of Djahi. After two days they returned unharmed from the mountain of Ya... (Yarmath) with offerings, prisoners and booty...From the reliefs of Seti I we learn that he fought against the Hittites. He even reached Kadesh and erected a victory stela there. But the war against the Hittites was concluded only seventy years later after the Battle of Kadesh.
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