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Ugarit

Ugarit (or Ras Shamra) is an ancient Canaanite town in Syria north of Beirut which was at it's height in 1400 BC. It was forgotten but rediscovered in 1928 by a female peasant of the Alaouite[?] tribe plowing a field, accidentally opening an old tomb. The discovered area was the Necropolis of a town, named Ugarit.

On excavation on the site, several cuneiform clay tablets were found, constituting a royal library. Some of these were written in Babylonian language[?], but the majority were written in a language with an alphabet of only 30 symbols of which no prior knowledge existed when the discoveries were made. This language is commonly called Ugaritic.

During excavations in 1958 another library containing the so-called Claremont Ras Shamra Tablets was uncovered. These were however sold on the black market and not recovered until the 1970s.

Most excavations of Ugarit were undertaken under extreme political conditions by archeologist Claude Schaeffer[?] from the Prehistoric and Gallo-Roman Museum of Strasbourg.

The clay tablets found in Ugarit have very high importance for studies of the Old Testament, as some references to historical events, and even mythological concepts that appear in the Bible, also appear on the clay tablets from Ugarit.

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