Ugarit (Ras Shamra)
From the Cities of the Biblical World series - a series presenting the results of recent major archaeological developments at major Biblical sites for the general reader, the student and the tourist. By chance, fifty years ago, a farmer found a cemetery on the coast of Syria. It led to a series of discoveries, and in particular of an unknown language which has radically changed our understanding of the Israelites' settlement in Canaan. In Ugarit, Adrian Curtis describes the discovery of a royal palace near the sea, two temples and numerous buildings and artefacts. But the most important discovery was of a collection of baked clay tablets and other collections of texts in a variety of languages, including a local, unknown language which may be the first known alphabet. This was deciphered with amazing speed and one repeated phrase confirmed that the site was the ancient city of Ugarit. When the children of Israel arrived in Canaan, they borrowed and adapted ideas from Canaanite culture. The Ugaritic texts were written at this time, and they may prove vital to our understanding of early Hebrew thought and language.
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List of Illustrations
The Early History of Ugarit
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abode Akkadian Alan Millard Amenophis Ammistamru Amurru Anat ancient Near East appears Aqhat Archives Athirat Athtar Aziru Baal Baal's belief bronze building bull Canaanite century Chuzeville column contained courtyard cult cultic Dagan Daniel dead death deity depicting Baal described discovered discovery divine dynasty Egypt Egyptian El's epithet evidence excavations fact fertility funerary goddess gods gold Hebrew Hittite Hurrian Ibiranu included inscriptions Israel Israelite Kathir-and-Hasis Keret kings of Ugarit kingship Kotharat Louvre/M mentioned Mesopotamia Mitanni myths Niqmaddu Niqmepa Northern Palace noted noteworthy Old Testament perhaps period Photo Plate pottery priest probably Psalm Ras Shamra reference reign relevance Resheph ritual Royal Palace rpum sacrifices sanctuary seems Semitic Shalim Shapash statuette stele stone story of Aqhat suggested Syria tablet Temple of Baal thought throne tomb Tuthmosis Ugaritic and Hebrew Ugaritic language Ugaritic literature Ugaritic texts underworld various vault Virolleaud waters wherein words Yahweh Yassib