Baw and Arinama and Mw-Sdt

Ramses II in describing the events preceding and following the battle of Kadesh told that when he with the division of Amon was already northwest of Kadesh, the division of Re that followed him crossed Msdt of the river Nrt. After these two divisions were “treacherously” attacked, he succeeded to fight his way back to the divisions of Ptah and Sutekh that idled “on the south of the city Aranami” (their officers were farther to the south in a place called Baw (Poem of Pentaur 11:17, 18; Breasted, Ancient Records of Egypt III Sec. 310).

In the section dealing with the position of Kadesh of the battle, it is shown that Kadesh was Carchemish; in the section dealing with the river (P)rnt it is shown that it was Prat, or Euphrates, and not Orontes.

Baw is today’s el-Bab on the road from Aleppo to Carchemish, Aranami or Aranima is Arima of today on the same road, north of el-Bab. Mw-Sdt is water (mw) of Sadjur, the confluent of the Euphrates that must be crossed on the same road before Carchemish is reached.

Ramses II referred to the “forest of Baw” . It is therefore of interest to read in the report of the excavations at Carchemish about the road from Aleppo to the site of the excavations:

The feature of the country which most strikes the newcomer is its treelessness. To the north and east the mountain regions still preserve something of their ancient forests ... But the land as a whole is bare and shadeless ... This was not always the case. An English traveller of the seventeenth century could lose himself in the interminable forests between Aleppo and Bab, where not a tree grows now.... There is no doubt that a vast amount of deforestation has taken place, and it is probable that in Hittite times the Carchemish country was a well-wooded one. (Wooley, Carchemish, Pt. 2, pp. 33-34).

Wooley wrote it with no intent to argue the site of the battle of Kadesh, or the identifications made here. These identifications further support the thesis of Kadesh of the battle being Carchemish. Various unsuccessful attempts have been made to locate Baw and Aranami or Aranima.