The city of Kadesh was located on the Orontes River in western Syria. It controlled the northern part of the Bika Road linking the coast to Anti-Lebanon.
It is mentioned for the first time in Egyptian sources when Tuthmose III defeated a Syrian insurrection under the leadership of the prince of Kadesh at Megiddo in Palestine. It remained an Egyptian outpost until it came under Hittite rule (c. 1340 BCE, during reign of Akhenaten). King Shutatarra of Kadesh was one of the foreign rulers mentioned in the Amarna letters.