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) , image =Ugarit Corbel.jpg , image_size=300 , alt = , caption = Entrance to the
Royal Palace of Ugarit The Royal Palace of Ugarit was the royal residence of the rulers of the ancient kingdom of Ugarit on the Mediterranean Sea, Mediterranean coast of Syria. The palace was excavated with the rest of the city from the 1930s by French people, French arc ...
, map_type = Near East#Syria , map_alt = , map_size = 300 , relief=yes , location =
Latakia Governorate Latakia Governorate, also transliterated as Ladhakia Governorate, ( ar, مُحافظة اللاذقية / ALA-LC: ''Muḥāfaẓat al-Lādhiqīyah'') is one of the 14 Governorates of Syria, governorates of Syria. It is situated in western Syria, b ...

Latakia Governorate
, Syria , region =
Fertile Crescent The Fertile Crescent is a crescent-shaped region in the Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233 The international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an establishe ...

Fertile Crescent
, coordinates = , type = settlement , part_of = , length = , width = , area = , height = , builder = , material = , built = c. 6000 BC , abandoned = c. 1185 BC , epochs =
Neolithic The Neolithic period is the final division of the Stone Age The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is t ...
Late Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the Three-age sys ...
, cultures =
Canaan A 1692 map of Canaan, by Philip Lea Canaan (; Northwest Semitic Northwest Semitic, known as Syro-Palestinian in dialect geography, is a division of the Semitic languages comprising the indigenous languages of the Levant. It would have ...

Canaan
ite , dependency_of = , occupants = , event =
Bronze Age Collapse The Late Bronze Age collapse was a transition period in a large area covering much of Southeast Europe, West Asia and North Africa North Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly ac ...
, excavations = 1928–present , archaeologists = Claude F. A. Schaeffer , condition = ruins , ownership = Public , public_access = Yes , website = , notes = Ugarit (; uga, 𐎜𐎂𐎗𐎚, ''ʼUgart''; ar, أُوغَارِيت ''Ūġārīt'' or ''Ūǧārīt''; he, אוּגָרִית ''Ugarit'') was an ancient port city in northern
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or ar, سُورِيَة, ''Sūriyā''), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلسُّورِيَّةُ, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-S ...

Syria
, in the outskirts of modern
Latakia Latakia ( ar, ٱللَّاذْقِيَّة \ ٱللَّاذِقِيَّة, '; Syrian Syrians ( ar, سُورِيُّون, ''Sūriyyūn''), also known as the Syrian people ( ar, الشَّعْب السُّورِيّ, : eş''-Şa‘b es-Sūrī'' ...
, discovered by accident in 1928 together with the
Ugaritic texts The Ugaritic texts are a corpus of ancient cuneiform Cuneiform is a Logogram, logo-Syllabary, syllabic writing system, script that was used to write several languages of the Ancient Near East. The script was in active use from the early Bro ...
. Its ruins are often called Ras Shamra, literally "Cape Fennel"). Se

after the headland where they lie. Ugarit had close connections to the
Hittite Empire The Hittites () were an Anatolian people who played an important role in establishing first a kingdom in Kussara before 1750 BC, then the Kanesh or Nesha kingdom (c. 1750–1650 BC), and next an empire centered on Hattusa Hattusa (also ...

Hittite Empire
, sent tribute to
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

Egypt
at times, and maintained trade and diplomatic connections with
Cyprus Cyprus ; tr, Kıbrıs (), officially called the Republic of Cyprus,, , lit: Republic of Cyprus is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or poli ...

Cyprus
(then called
Alashiya Alashiya, also spelled Alasiya, also known as the Kingdom of Alashiya, was a Sovereign state, state which existed in the Middle and Late Bronze Ages, and was situated somewhere in the Eastern Mediterranean. It was a major source of goods, especial ...
), documented in the archives recovered from the site and corroborated by Mycenaean and Cypriot pottery found there. The polity was at its height from c. 1450 BC until its destruction in c. 1200 BC; this destruction was possibly caused by the mysterious
Sea Peoples The Sea Peoples are a purported seafaring confederation A confederation (also known as a confederacy or league) is a union of sovereign groups or states united for purposes of common action. Usually created by a treaty, confederations of ...
or internal struggle. The kingdom would be one of the many dismantled during the
Bronze Age Collapse The Late Bronze Age collapse was a transition period in a large area covering much of Southeast Europe, West Asia and North Africa North Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly ac ...
.


History

Ras Shamra lies on the Mediterranean coast, some north of
Latakia Latakia ( ar, ٱللَّاذْقِيَّة \ ٱللَّاذِقِيَّة, '; Syrian Syrians ( ar, سُورِيُّون, ''Sūriyyūn''), also known as the Syrian people ( ar, الشَّعْب السُّورِيّ, : eş''-Şa‘b es-Sūrī'' ...
, near modern
Burj al-Qasab Burj al-Qasab ( ar, برج القصب) is a town in northwestern Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا, ''Sūriyā''), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلسُّورِي ...
.


Origins and the second millennium

Neolithic The Neolithic period is the final division of the Stone Age The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is t ...
Ugarit was important enough to be fortified with a wall early on, perhaps by 6000 BC, though the site is thought to have been inhabited earlier. Ugarit was important perhaps because it was both a port and at the entrance of the inland trade route to the
Euphrates The Euphrates () is the longest and one of the most historically important rivers of Western Asia. Tigris–Euphrates river system, Together with the Tigris, it is one of the two defining rivers of Mesopotamia (the "Land Between the Rivers"). O ...
and
Tigris The Tigris () is the easternmost of the two great rivers that define Mesopotamia, the other being the Euphrates. The river flows south from the mountains of the Armenian Highlands through the Syrian Desert, Syrian and Arabian Deserts, and empti ...

Tigris
lands. The city reached its heyday between 1800 and 1200 BC, when it ruled a trade-based coastal kingdom, trading with Egypt, Cyprus, the Aegean, Syria, the Hittites, and much of the eastern Mediterranean. The first written evidence mentioning the city comes from the nearby city of
Ebla Ebla (Sumer Sumer ()The name is from '; ''kig̃ir'', written and ,approximately "land of the civilized kings" or "native land". means "native, local", ifrom ''The Pennsylvania Sumerian Dictionary''). Literally, "land of the native ...

Ebla
, c. 1800 BC. Ugarit passed into the sphere of influence of Egypt, which deeply influenced its art. Evidence of the earliest Ugaritic contact with Egypt (and the first exact dating of Ugaritic civilization) comes from a
carnelian Carnelian (also spelled cornelian) is a brownish-red mineral In geology and mineralogy, a mineral or mineral species is, broadly speaking, a solid chemical compound with a fairly well-defined chemical composition and a specific crystal stru ...

carnelian
bead identified with the Middle Kingdom
pharaoh Pharaoh ( , ; cop, , Pǝrro) is the common title now used for the monarch A monarch is a head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the conte ...

pharaoh
Senusret I Senusret I (Middle Egyptian The Egyptian language (Egyptian: ''r n km.t'', , Coptic language, Coptic: ) is an Afroasiatic languages, Afro-Asiatic language which was spoken in ancient Egypt. Its attestation stretches over an extraordinarily lo ...
, 1971–1926 BC. A
stela A stele ( ),Anglicized plural steles ( ); Greek plural stelai ( ), from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country ...
and a statuette from the Egyptian pharaohs Senusret III and
Amenemhet III:''See Amenemhat, for other individuals with this name.'' Amenemhat III, also spelled Amenemhet III, was a pharaoh Pharaoh (, ; cop, ''Pǝrro'') is the common title now used for the monarch A monarch is a head of stateWebster's II New Co ...
have also been found. However, it is unclear at what time these monuments were brought to Ugarit. Amarna letters from Ugarit c. 1350 BC record one letter each from
Ammittamru I Ammittamru I (Known by some sources as Amishtammru I or Amistammru I) was a king of the Ancient Syrian city of Ugarit who ruled c. 1350 BC. Reign The first mention of him is EA 45 sent by Ammittamru I to Egypt, either in the late reign of Ameno ...
,
Niqmaddu II Niqmaddu II (Amorite language, ''Amorite'': ) was the second ruler and king of Ugarit, an ancient Syrian citystate in northwestern Syria, reigning c. 1350–1315 BC (or possibly c. 1380–1346 BC) and succeeding his less known father, Ammittamru ...
, and his queen. From the 16th to the 13th century BC, Ugarit remained in regular contact with Egypt and Alashiya (Cyprus). In the second millennium BC, Ugarit's population was
Amorite The Amorites (; Sumerian language, Sumerian 𒈥𒌅 ''MAR.TU''; Akkadian language, Akkadian ''Amurrūm'' or ''Tidnum''; Egyptian language, Egyptian ''Amar''; he, אמורי ''ʼĔmōrī''; grc, Ἀμορραῖοι) were an ancient Semitic lan ...
, and the Ugaritic language probably has a direct Amoritic origin.Pardee, Dennis. "Ugaritic", in
The Ancient Languages of Syria-Palestine and Arabia
' (2008) (pp. 5–6). Roger D. Woodard, editor. Cambridge University Press, , (262 pages).
The kingdom of Ugarit may have controlled about 2,000 km2 on average. During some of its history it would have been in close proximity to, if not directly within the
Hittite Empire The Hittites () were an Anatolian people who played an important role in establishing first a kingdom in Kussara before 1750 BC, then the Kanesh or Nesha kingdom (c. 1750–1650 BC), and next an empire centered on Hattusa Hattusa (also ...

Hittite Empire
.


Destruction

The last
Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the Three-age sys ...
king of Ugarit,
Ammurapi Ammurapi was the last Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the second pri ...
(circa 1215 to 1180 BC), was a contemporary of the last known
Hittite Hittite may refer to: * Hittites, ancient Anatolian people ** Hittite language, the earliest-attested Indo-European language ** Hittite grammar ** Hittite phonology ** Hittite cuneiform ** Hittite inscriptions ** Hittite laws ** Hittite religion ** ...

Hittite
king, Suppiluliuma II. The exact dates of his reign are unknown. However, a letter by the king is preserved, in which Ammurapi stresses the seriousness of
the crisis ''The Crisis'' is the official magazine of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is a civil rights organization in the United States, forme ...
faced by many Near Eastern states due to attacks. Ammurapi pleads for assistance from the king of
Alashiya Alashiya, also spelled Alasiya, also known as the Kingdom of Alashiya, was a Sovereign state, state which existed in the Middle and Late Bronze Ages, and was situated somewhere in the Eastern Mediterranean. It was a major source of goods, especial ...
, highlighting the desperate situation Ugarit faced: Eshuwara, the senior governor of Cyprus, responded: The ruler of
Carchemish Carchemish ( or ), also spelled Karkemish (Hittite language, Hittite: ''Karkamiš''; Turkish language, Turkish: ''Karkamış''; he, כַּרְכְּמְישׂ; Ancient Greek, Greek: Εὔρωπος, ''Europos''; Latin: ''Europus'') was an imp ...

Carchemish
sent troops to assist Ugarit, but Ugarit had been sacked. A letter sent after Ugarit had been destroyed said: By excavating the highest levels of the city's ruins, archaeologists can study various attributes of Ugaritic civilization just before their destruction, and compare artifacts with those of nearby cultures to help establish dates. Ugarit also contained many caches of cuneiform tablets, actual libraries that contained a wealth of information. The destruction levels of the ruin contained Late Helladic IIIB pottery ware, but no LH IIIC (see
Mycenaean period Mycenaean Greece (or the Mycenaean civilization) was the last phase of the Bronze Age in Ancient Greece, spanning the period from approximately 1750 to 1050 BC.. It represents the first advanced and distinctively Greek civilization in mainland ...
). Therefore, the date of the destruction of Ugarit is important for the dating of the LH IIIC phase in
mainland Greece Greece is a country of the Balkans, in Southeastern Europe, bordered to the north by Albania, North Macedonia and Bulgaria; to the east by Turkey, and is surrounded to the east by the Aegean Sea, to the south by the Cretan Sea, Cretan and the Li ...
. Since an Egyptian sword bearing the name of pharaoh
Merneptah Merneptah or Merenptah (reigned July or August 1213 BC – May 2, 1203 BC) was the fourth pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization of Ancient history, ancient North Africa, concentrated along th ...
was found in the destruction levels, 1190 BC was taken as the date for the beginning of the LH IIIC. A
cuneiform Cuneiform is a Logogram, logo-Syllabary, syllabic writing system, script that was used to write several languages of the Ancient Near East. The script was in active use from the early Bronze Age until the beginning of the Common Era. It is nam ...

cuneiform
tablet found in 1986 shows that Ugarit was destroyed after the death of Merneptah (1203 BC). It is generally agreed that Ugarit had already been destroyed by the eighth year of
Ramesses III Usermaatre Meryamun Ramesses III (also written Ramses and Rameses) was the second Pharaoh Pharaoh ( , ; cop, , Pǝrro) is the common title now used for the monarch A monarch is a head of state A head of state (or chief of stat ...
(1178 BC). Recent radiocarbon work, combined with other historical dates and the eclipse of January 21, 1192, indicates a destruction date between 1192 and 1190 BC. Whether Ugarit was destroyed before or after
Hattusa Hattusa (also Ḫattuša or Hattusas ; Hittite language, Hittite: URU (Sumerogram), URU''Ḫa-at-tu-ša'', Hattic language, Hattic: Hattush) was the capital of the Hittites, Hittite Empire in the late Bronze Age. Its ruins lie near modern Boğazk ...
, the Hittite capital, is debated. The destruction was followed by a settlement hiatus. Many other Mediterranean cultures were deeply disordered just at the same time. Some of the disorder was apparently caused by invasions of the mysterious
Sea Peoples The Sea Peoples are a purported seafaring confederation A confederation (also known as a confederacy or league) is a union of sovereign groups or states united for purposes of common action. Usually created by a treaty, confederations of ...
.


Kings


Language and literature


Alphabet

Scribes in Ugarit appear to have originated the "
Ugaritic alphabet The Ugaritic writing system is a cuneiform abjad (consonantal alphabet) used from around either the fifteenth century BCE or 1300 BCE for Ugaritic, an extinct Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language, and discovered in Ugarit ...

Ugaritic alphabet
" around 1400 BC: 30 letters, corresponding to sounds, were inscribed on clay tablets. Although they are
cuneiform Cuneiform is a Logogram, logo-Syllabary, syllabic writing system, script that was used to write several languages of the Ancient Near East. The script was in active use from the early Bronze Age until the beginning of the Common Era. It is nam ...

cuneiform
in appearance, the letters bear no relation to Mesopotamian cuneiform signs; instead, they appear to be somehow related to the
Egyptian Egyptian describes something of, from, or related to Egypt. Egyptian or Egyptians may refer to: Nations and ethnic groups * Egyptians, a national group in North Africa ** Egyptian culture, a complex and stable culture with thousands of years of r ...
-derived
Phoenician alphabet The Phoenician alphabet is an alphabet An alphabet is a standardized set of basic written symbols A symbol is a mark, sign, or word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes t ...

Phoenician alphabet
. While the letters show little or no formal similarity to the Phoenician, the standard letter order (seen in the
Phoenician alphabet The Phoenician alphabet is an alphabet An alphabet is a standardized set of basic written symbols A symbol is a mark, sign, or word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes t ...

Phoenician alphabet
as ʔ, B, G, D, H, W, Z, Ḥ, Ṭ, Y, K, L, M, N, S, ʕ, P, Ṣ, Q, R, ʃ) shows strong similarities between the two, suggesting that the Phoenician and Ugaritic systems were not wholly independent inventions.


Ugaritic language

The existence of the
Ugaritic language Ugaritic () is an extinct Northwest Semitic language Northwest Semitic, known as Syro-Palestinian in dialect geography, is a division of the Semitic languages comprising the indigenous languages of the Levant. It would have emerged from Proto ...
is attested to in texts from the 14th through the 12th century BC. Ugaritic is usually classified as a
Northwest Semitic language Northwest Semitic, known as Syro-Palestinian in dialect geography, is a division of the Semitic languages comprising the indigenous languages of the Levant. It would have emerged from Proto-Semitic, Common Semitic in the Early Bronze Age. It is fi ...
and therefore related to
Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as one of the spoken languages of the Israelites and their longest-survivi ...
,
Aramaic Aramaic (Classical Syriac The Syriac language (; syc, / '), also known as Syriac Aramaic (''Syrian Aramaic'', ''Syro-Aramaic'') and Classical Syriac (in its literary and liturgical form), is an Aramaic Aramaic (Classical Syriac ...
, and
Phoenician Phoenician may refer to: * Phoenicia, an ancient civilization * Phoenician alphabet * Phoenician language * List of Phoenician cities * Phoenix, Arizona See also

* Phoenix (mythology) * Phoenicia (disambiguation) {{disambiguation Language an ...
, among others. Its
grammatical In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis include ...
features are highly similar to those found in
Classical Arabic Classical Arabic ( ar, links=no, ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلْفُصْحَىٰ, al-ʿarabīyah al-fuṣḥā) or Quranic Arabic is the standardized literary form of the Arabic language Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic languages, ...

Classical Arabic
and
AkkadianAkkadian or Accadian may refer to: * The Akkadian language Akkadian ( ''akkadû'', ''ak-ka-du-u2''; logogram: ''URIKI'')John Huehnergard & Christopher Woods, "Akkadian and Eblaite", ''The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the World's Ancient Languages' ...

Akkadian
. It possesses two
genders Gender is the range of characteristics pertaining to, and differentiating between, femininity and masculinity. Depending on the context, these characteristics may include biological sex, sex-based social structures (i.e., gender roles), or gende ...
(masculine and feminine), three cases for
nouns A noun () is a word In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) ...
and
adjectives In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Itali ...
(
nominative In grammar In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as ...
,
accusative The accusative case (list of glossing abbreviations, abbreviated ) of a noun is the grammatical case used to mark the direct object of a transitive verb. The same case is used in many languages for the objects of (some or all) prepositions. It is ...
, and
genitive In grammar In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, a ...
); three numbers: (
singular Singular may refer to: * Singular, the grammatical number In linguistics, grammatical number is a grammatical category of nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and verb agreement (linguistics), agreement that expresses count distinctions (such as "one", ...
,
dual Dual or Duals may refer to: Paired/two things * Dual (mathematics), a notion of paired concepts that mirror one another ** Dual (category theory), a formalization of mathematical duality ** . . . see more cases in :Duality theories * Dual ...
, and
plural The plural (sometimes abbreviated An abbreviation (from Latin ''brevis'', meaning ''short'') is a shortened form of a word or phrase, by any method. It may consist of a group of letters, or words taken from the full version of the word or ph ...

plural
); and
verb A verb () is a word (part of speech) that in syntax conveys an action (''bring'', ''read'', ''walk'', ''run'', ''learn''), an occurrence (''happen'', ''become''), or a state of being (''be'', ''exist'', ''stand''). In the usual description of E ...
aspects Aspect or Aspects may refer to: Entertainment * ''Aspect magazine ASPECT Volume 9: Performance ''ASPECT'' was a biannual DVD The DVD (common abbreviation for Digital Video Disc or Digital Versatile Disc) is a digital optical disc data sto ...
similar to those found in other Northwest Semitic languages. The word order in Ugaritic is
verb–subject–object In linguistic typology Linguistic typology (or language typology) is a field of linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for s ...
, subject-object-verb (VSO)&(SOV); possessed–possessor (NG) (first element dependent on the function and second always in genitive case); and
noun A noun () is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical meaning (linguistics), meaning. In many l ...

noun
adjective In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most langu ...
(NA) (both in the same case (i.e. congruent)).


Ugaritic literature

Apart from royal correspondence with neighboring Bronze Age monarchs, Ugaritic literature from tablets found in the city's libraries include mythological texts written in a poetic narrative, letters, legal documents such as land transfers, a few international treaties, and a number of administrative lists. Fragments of several poetic works have been identified: the "
Legend of Keret The Legend of Keret, also known as the Epic of Kirta, is an ancient Ugaritic epic poetry, epic poem, dated to Late Bronze Age, circa 1500 – 1200 Anno Domini, BC. It recounts the myth of King Kirta, Keret of Hubur. It is one of the Ugarit tex ...
", the "Legend of
Danel Danel (), father of Aqhat, was a culture hero A culture hero is a mythological Myth is a folklore genre Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the traditions common to that cu ...
", the Ba'al tales that detail
Baal Baal (), properly Baal,; phn, , baʿl; hbo, , baʿal, ). was a title and honorific An honorific is a title that conveys esteem, courtesy, or respect for position or rank when used in addressing or referring to a person. Sometimes, the term " ...

Baal
-
Hadad Hadad ( uga, 𐎅𐎄 ), Adad, Haddad (AkkadianAkkadian or Accadian may refer to: * The Akkadian language Akkadian ( ''akkadû'', ''ak-ka-du-u2''; logogram: ''URIKI'')John Huehnergard & Christopher Woods, "Akkadian and Eblaite", ''The Cam ...

Hadad
's conflicts with Yam and Mot, among other fragments. The discovery of the Ugaritic archives in 1929 has been of great significance to biblical scholarship, as these archives for the first time provided a detailed description of Canaanite religious beliefs, during the period directly preceding the
Israelite The Israelites (; he, בני ישראל ''Bnei Yisra'el'') were a confederation of Iron Age ancient Semitic-speaking peoples, Semitic-speaking tribes of the ancient Near East, who inhabited a part of Canaan during the history of ancient Israe ...
settlement. These texts show significant parallels to Hebrew biblical literature, particularly in the areas of divine imagery and poetic form. Ugaritic poetry has many elements later found in Hebrew poetry: parallelisms,
metres The metre ( Commonwealth spelling) or meter ( American spelling; see spelling differences) (from the French unit , from the Greek noun , "measure", and cognate with Sanskrit Sanskrit (, attributively , ''saṃskṛta-'', nominalization, no ...
, and
rhythm Rhythm (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximatel ...
s. The discoveries at Ugarit have led to a new appraisal of the Hebrew Bible as literature.


Religion

The important textual finds from the site shed a great deal of light upon the cultic life of the city. The foundations of the
Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the Three-age sys ...
city Ugarit were divided into quarters. In the north-east quarter of the walled enclosure, the remains of three significant religious buildings were discovered, including two temples (of the gods
Baal Baal (), properly Baal,; phn, , baʿl; hbo, , baʿal, ). was a title and honorific An honorific is a title that conveys esteem, courtesy, or respect for position or rank when used in addressing or referring to a person. Sometimes, the term " ...

Baal
Hadad Hadad ( uga, 𐎅𐎄 ), Adad, Haddad (AkkadianAkkadian or Accadian may refer to: * The Akkadian language Akkadian ( ''akkadû'', ''ak-ka-du-u2''; logogram: ''URIKI'')John Huehnergard & Christopher Woods, "Akkadian and Eblaite", ''The Cam ...

Hadad
and
Dagon Dagon ( he, דָּגוֹן, ''Dāgōn''), or more accurately Dagan, ( sux, 2= dda-gan, 𒀭𒁕𒃶; phn, 𐤃𐤂𐤍, Dāgān) was a god worshiped in ancient Syria The history of Syria covers events which occurred on the territory of the ...

Dagon
) and a building referred to as the library or the high priest's house. Within these structures atop the
acropolis An acropolis (Ancient Greek: ἀκρόπολις, ''akropolis''; from ''akros'' (άκρος) or ''akron'' (άκρον), "highest, topmost, outermost" and ''polis'' (πόλις), "city"; plural in English: ''acropoles'', ''acropoleis'' or ''acropol ...

acropolis
numerous invaluable mythological texts were found. These texts have provided the basis for understanding of the Canaanite mythological world and religion. The Baal cycle represents Baal Hadad's destruction of Yam (the god of chaos and the sea), demonstrating the relationship of Canaanite ''
chaoskampf Chaos ( grc, χάος, kháos) refers to the void state preceding the creation of the universe or cosmos in the Greek creation myth A creation myth (or cosmogonic myth) is a symbolic narrative of how the world began and how people first cam ...
'' with those of
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in th ...

Mesopotamia
and the
Aegean Aegean may refer to: *Aegean Sea *Aegean Islands *Aegean Region (geographical), Turkey *Aegean Region (statistical), Turkey *Aegean civilizations *Aegean languages, a group of ancient languages and proposed language family *Aegean Sea (theme), a n ...
: a warrior god rises up as the hero of the new
pantheon Pantheon may refer to: * Pantheon (religion), the set of gods belonging to a particular religion, mythology or tradition * Pantheon (mythical creature), a mythical or imaginary creature used in heraldry, particularly in Britain Computing *Pant ...
to defeat chaos and bring order.


Archaeology


Discovery

After its destruction in the early 12th century BC, Ugarit's location was forgotten until 1928 when a peasant accidentally opened an old tomb while ploughing a field. The discovered area was the
necropolis A necropolis (plural necropolises, necropoles, necropoleis, necropoli) is a large, designed cemetery A cemetery, burial ground or graveyard is a place where the remains of dead people are burial, buried or otherwise interred. The word ''cem ...

necropolis
of Ugarit located in the nearby seaport of Minet el-Beida. Excavations have since revealed a city with a prehistory reaching back to c. 6000 BC.


Site and palace

The site is a sixty-five foot high mound. Archaeologically, Ugarit is considered quintessentially
Canaan A 1692 map of Canaan, by Philip Lea Canaan (; Northwest Semitic Northwest Semitic, known as Syro-Palestinian in dialect geography, is a division of the Semitic languages comprising the indigenous languages of the Levant. It would have ...

Canaan
ite. A brief investigation of a looted tomb at the necropolis of Minet el-Beida was conducted by Léon Albanèse in 1928, who then examined the main mound of Ras Shamra. But in the next year scientific excavations of Tell Ras Shamra were commenced by archaeologist
Claude SchaefferClaude may refer to: *Claude (given name) *Claude (surname) *Claude (alligator), an albino alligator at the California Academy of Sciences *Claudius, Roman emperor from 41 to 54, who is called Claude in French *Claude (Grand Theft Auto), Claude (''G ...
from the Musée archéologique in
Strasbourg Strasbourg (, , ; german: Straßburg ; gsw, label=Bas Rhin Bas-Rhin (; Alsatian: ''Unterelsàss'', ' or '; traditional german: links=no, Niederrhein; en, Lower Rhine) is a department Department may refer to: * Departmentalization, divi ...

Strasbourg
. Work continued under Schaeffer until 1970, with a break from 1940 to 1947 because of
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
.Claude F. A. Schaeffer et al., Le Palais Royal D'Ugarit III: Textes Accadiens et Hourrites Des Archives Est, Ouest et Centrales, Two Volumes (Mission De Ras Shamra Tome VI), Imprimerie Nationale, 1955. The excavations uncovered a
royal palace This is a list of royal s, sorted by continent. Africa * , * , * , * , * * * * Imperial Palace- Massawa Eritrea * * Lozitha Palace * Royal Palace Maseru * * Al Manar Palace * , *, * , * , * , * Olowo of Owo's Pal ...
of ninety rooms laid out around eight enclosed courtyards, and many ambitious private dwellings. Crowning the hill where the city was built were two main temples: one to
Baal Baal (), properly Baal,; phn, , baʿl; hbo, , baʿal, ). was a title and honorific An honorific is a title that conveys esteem, courtesy, or respect for position or rank when used in addressing or referring to a person. Sometimes, the term " ...

Baal
the "king", son of El, and one to
Dagon Dagon ( he, דָּגוֹן, ''Dāgōn''), or more accurately Dagan, ( sux, 2= dda-gan, 𒀭𒁕𒃶; phn, 𐤃𐤂𐤍, Dāgān) was a god worshiped in ancient Syria The history of Syria covers events which occurred on the territory of the ...

Dagon
, the
chthonic The word chthonic is derived from the Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speaker ...

chthonic
god of fertility and wheat. 23
stelae A stele ( ),Anglicized plural steles ( ); Greek plural stelai ( ), from Greek , ''stēlē''. The Greek plural is written , ''stēlai'', but this is only rarely encountered in English. or occasionally stela (plural ''stelas'' or ''stelæ''), ...

stelae
were unearthed: nine stelae, including the famous
Baal with Thunderbolt Baal with Thunderbolt or the Baal stele is a white limestone Relief#Bas-relief or low relief, bas-relief stele from the ancient kingdom of Ugarit in northwestern Syria. The stele was discovered in 1932, about from the Temple of Baal (Ugarit), Templ ...
, near the Temple of Baal, four in the Temple of Dagon and ten more at scattered places around the city. File:Boar rhyton Louvre AO18521.jpg, Boar rhyton, Mycenaean ceramic imported to Ugarit, 14th–13th century BC (Musée du Louvre, Louvre). File:UgaritSite.jpg, Remains of the ancient city, some walls and what appears to be a small well.


Texts

On excavation of the site, several Text corpus, deposits of Cuneiform (script), cuneiform clay tablets were found. These have proven to be of great historical significance.


See also

* Asherah * Cities of the ancient Near East * Elohim (gods) * Short chronology timeline * Ugaritic mythology


Explanatory notes


References


Citations


General sources

* ''internal strugle'' Annalee Newitz, What Happened to the Original 1 Percent?, New York Times, May 11, 2020 * ''Ugarit Forschungen'' (Neukirchen-Vluyn). UF-11 (1979) honors
Claude SchaefferClaude may refer to: *Claude (given name) *Claude (surname) *Claude (alligator), an albino alligator at the California Academy of Sciences *Claudius, Roman emperor from 41 to 54, who is called Claude in French *Claude (Grand Theft Auto), Claude (''G ...
, with about 100 articles in 900 pages. pp. 95, ff, "Comparative Graphemic Analysis of Akkadian language, Old Babylonian and Western Akkadian", ( i.e. Ugarit and Amarna letters, Amarna (letters), three others, Mari, Syria, Mari, OB,Royal, OB,non-Royal letters). See above, in text. * Bourdreuil, P. 1991. "Une bibliothèque au sud de la ville : Les textes de la 34e campagne (1973)". in ''Ras Shamra-Ougarit,'' 7 (Paris). * André Caquot, Caquot, André & Maurice Sznycer, Sznycer, Maurice. ''Ugaritic Religion''. Iconography of Religions, Section XV: Mesopotamia and the Near East; Fascicle 8; Institute of Religious Iconography, State University Groningen; Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1980. * Robert Drews, Drews, Robert. 1995. ''The End of the Bronze Age: Changes in Warfare and the Catastrophe ca. 1200 BC'' (Princeton University Press). * de Moor, Johannes C. ''The Seasonal Pattern in the Ugaritic Myth of Ba'lu, According to the Version of Ilimilku''. Alter Orient und Altes Testament, Band 16. Neukirchen – Vluyn: Verlag Butzon & Berker Kevelaer, Neukirchener Verlag des Erziehungsvereins, 1971 * Gibson, J.C.L., originally edited by G.R. Driver.'' Canaanite Myths and Legends''. Edinburgh: T. and T. Clark, Ltd., 1956, 1977.*K. Lawson and K. L. Younger Jr, "Ugarit at Seventy-Five," Eisenbrauns, 2007, * L'Heureux, Conrad E. ''Rank Among the Canaanite Gods: El, Ba'al, and the Repha'im''. Harvard Semitic Museum, Harvard Semitic Monographs No. 21, Missoula MT: Scholars Press, 1979. * Eleazar M. Meletinskii, Meletinskii, E. M., 200
''The Poetics of Myth''
* Mullen, E. Theodore, Jr. ''The Assembly of the Gods: The Divine Council in Canaanite and Early Hebrew Literature''. Harvard Semitic Museum, Harvard Semitic Monographs No. 24, Cambridge, MA: Harvard Press, 1980/ Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press Reprint, 1986. (comparison of Ugaritic and Old Testament literature). * Dennis Pardee,'' Ritual and Cult at Ugarit'', (Writings from the Ancient World), Society of Biblical Literature, 2002, * William M. Schniedewind, Joel H. Hunt, 2007. ''A primer on Ugaritic: language, culture, and literature'' p. 14. * Smith, Mark S. ''The Ugaritic Baal Cycle: Volume 1. Introduction with Text, Translation and Commentary of KTU 1.1–1.2'', (Vetus Testamentum Supplements series, volume 55; Leiden: Brill, 1994). * Smith, Mark S. ''The Ugaritic Baal Cycle: Volume 2. Introduction with Text, Translation and Commentary of KTU 1.3–1.4'', (Vetus Testament Supplement series, volume 114; Leiden: Brill, 2008). Co-authored with Wayne Pitard. * Smith, Mark S., 2001. ''Untold Stories. The Bible and Ugaritic Studies in the Twentieth Century'' Chapter 1: "Beginnings: 1928–1945" * Tubb, Jonathan N. (1998), ''Canaanites'' (British Museum People of the Past). * Wilfred G. E. Watson and Nicolas Wyatt, ''Handbook of Ugaritic Studies'', Brill, 1999, * Wyatt, Nicolas (1998): ''Religious texts from Ugarit: the worlds of Ilimilku and his colleagues'', The Biblical Seminar, volume 53. Sheffield, England: Sheffield Academic Press, paperback, 500 pages.


External links


Ugarit (Tell Shamra) 1999 application for UNESCO World Heritage Site

RSTI
The Ras Shamra Tablet Inventory: an online catalog of inscribed objects from Ras Shamra-Ugarit produced at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.
The Ras Shamra Tablet Inventory Blog

Ugarit - World History Encyclopedia




* [http://www.ras-shamra.ougarit.mom.fr/ Le Royaume d'Ougarit (in French)]
Dennis Pardee, Ugarit Ritual texts – Oriental Institute

Pictures from 2009
{{Authority control Ugarit, 1928 archaeological discoveries Amarna letters locations Bronze Age sites in Syria Destroyed cities Former populated places in Syria Late Bronze Age collapse Neolithic sites in Syria Phoenician cities Populated places disestablished in the 2nd millennium BC Populated places established in the 6th millennium BC States and territories disestablished in the 12th century BC States and territories established in the 18th century BC