Ugarit (/ˌuːɡəˈriːt, ˌjuː-/; Ugaritic: , ʼUgart; Arabic: أوغاريت‎) the original name of what is now known as Ras Shamra, is an ancient Kingdom in the Levant. It lies on the Mediterranean coast, some 11 kilometres north of Latakia in Syria, near modern Burj al-Qasab.
Early work began on thesite in 1929 after the chance discovery of a tomb in the Bay of Minet el-Beida (“White Port”), located about ten kilometers north of the city of Latakia, and regular excavations were carried out on this site (1929-1935) and on the neighboring Ras Shamra from 1929-2009. The investigations soon uncovered the remains of two settlements of the late Bronze Age, the ancient Mahadu, on the site of Minet el-Beida, and the ancient Ugarit, on the site of Ras Shamra, the capital of a Levantine kingdom of the same name in the second millennium BC. From the first excavation campaigns, identification was verified because of the discovery of texts.
Among the tablets, there are texts written in a language and transcribed in writing, both of which were previously unknown and quickly deciphered. This was the local language Ugaritic (a Semitic language), transcribed using an alphabet written with cuneiform signs.


This capital of the kingdom is one of the cities of the Levant which includes urban planning most associated with the Late Bronze Age, and a reference site for the study of Bronze Age urban and palace civilization in the Middle East and the Eastern Mediterranean.
However, field research has shown that occupation of the site of Ras Shamra dates back to Neolithic pre-ceramic times (middle of the eighth millennium BC.) and it continued until the end of The Late Bronze Age, with village facilities from Neolithic and Chalcolithic periods giving way, from the middle of the third millennium BC, to urban installation.

After the destruction of the city of Ugarit in the early twelfth century BC, the site of Ras Shamra then enjoyed only modest reoccupation from the middle of the first millennium, in the Iron Age and the Hellenistic and Roman times.

Source: The Syrian-French archaeological mission of Ras Shamra – Ugarit.


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