Archaeology » Archaeological Articles» Ugarit

It is the Capital city of a prehistoric principality in what these days is on the northern part of the Syrian coast, just north of the city of Latakia. Ugarit was never large nor very influential and its major renown these days is associated to its very vital archaeological finds of cuneiform tablets.

The city is located about 1 km in from the coastline, and roofed an area roughly about 0.3 kmĀ². Its populace is around 1600 BCE has been likely amid 6000 and 8000, making it a reasonably sized town of this time.


Ugarit was a town of a lot of authorized buildings and temples to divinity like Baal and Dagan, mutually with a broad choice of libraries. Most imperative buildings were situated about the walled off palace, a palace which also had its own and personal direct gate directly out of town.

Thanks to the wide choice of cuneiform tablets, we know fairly a bit on Ugarit - as an instance, the estimate on populace is derivative from census information on such tablets. On the tablets of Ugarit there are recorded 4 lingo's (the local tongue Ugarit, Akkadian, Sumerian and Hurrian), written in 7 special scripts. Ugarit was a Semitic language which in its former stages was written with 30 cuneiform signs, but by the 13th century BCE, 25 or 22 signs had turn out to be very common. The Ugaritic writing is normally measured to be the world's oldest alphabet.

The tablets offer a distinctive instance of Bronze Age literature. Texts comprise "Legend of Keret", "Legend of Danel", "Myth of Baal-Aliyan" and "Death of Baal" - all belong to Old Canaanite mythology. For researchers of the Old testimony, Ugaritic texts have verified imperative, as they illustrate that the old patriarchal stories of the older Testament was based on written Canaanite credentials. Ugarit also gives its own art way and style, even if there are many illustrations of Egyptian power. For the structural design i.e. architecture, we see instances of Mycenaean sway, shows that Ugarit had a urban culture.

What brought Ugarit down were annihilation from the Sea People, almost certainly mutually with earthquakes and famines.

Though the site is considered to have been occupied prior, Neolithic Ugarit was previously vital enough to be carrying weapons with a wall early on, possibly by 6000 BC.

The first written proof stating the city comes from the close by city of Ebla, ca. 1800 BC. Ugarit conceded into the sphere of power of Egypt, which intensely influenced its art. The initial Ugaritic contact and touch with Egypt comes from a carnelian bead known with the Middle Kingdom pharaoh Senusret I, 1971 BCE-1926 BC. A stela and a statuette from the Egyptian pharaohs Senusret III and Amenemhet III have also been found. On the other hand, it is indistinct at what time these tombstones got to Ugarit. Amarna letters from Ugarit ca. 1350 BC accounts one letter each one from Ammittamru I, Niqmaddu II, and his queen.

Boar rhyton, Mycaenean ceramic import to Ugarit, 14th-13th century BC (Louvre) At the time of its high culture, from the 16th to the 13th century BC, Ugarit hang about in steady touch with Egypt and Cyprus (named Alashiya).

Apart from royal correspondence to neighboring Bronze Age monarchs, Ugaritic literature from tablets found in the libraries include mythological texts written in a narrative poetry, 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 Kirtu," the "Legend of Danel", the Ba'al tales that feature Baal- Hadad's clashes with Yam and Mot, and other fragments.

The discovery of the Ugaritic records has been of huge implication to biblical scholarship, as these archives for the first time offered a detailed portrayal of Canaanite religious viewpoints at the period directly former the Israelite settlement. These texts show significant parallels to Biblical Hebrew literature, mainly in the areas of divine images and poetic outline. Ugaritic poetry has a lot of rudiments afterwards found in Hebrew poetry: parallelisms, meters, and rhythms. The discoveries at Ugarit have guided and led to a new assessment of the Old Testament as literature.

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It is the Capital city of a prehistoric principality in what these days is on the northern part of the Syrian coast, just north of the city of Latakia.