The Syria of today offers tourists as much a cultural experience as a sightseeing one, where ancient history provides a fascinating backdrop to everyday life on the streets                          

 


Syria

Archaeological Sites

Ugarit

Ugarit was a town located along the eastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea. It was buried and stayed enclosed in its capsule of sand until it was rediscovered in 1929 by C.F.A. Schaeffer in the modern town of Lattakia. At its height encompassing roughly twenty hectares, Ugarit was the capital of an empire in what is today the modern country of Syria. Ugarit was a very significant discovery because it gave us an insight into the life of four thousand years ago at the height of Egyptian civilization.

Ugarit has a long history which started seven thousand years ago. It was a great center of commerce trading goods with nearby kingdoms particularly the Minoans. The city was invaded by immigrants of the kingdoms of the Amorites and ancient Semitic Canaanites. Because of this, Ugarit formed an alliance with ancient Egypt. This all ended in the 12th century B.C. when they were inevitably invaded by the Hittites and the town lost its significance as a major trading port.

There have been many things discovered within this ancient city. Many tablets written in Cuneiform, the main language of the Near East at this time, have been found. Also found were hieroglyphics of other languages including Akkadian, Ugaritic a form of old Hebrew, Hurrian, and Hittite. Also found within the city was a library, family houses, various public buildings including an administrative building that contained the financial records and two temples, one devoted to the god Baal and the other to Dagon. Perhaps the most significant item that has come out of Ugarit are the Cuneiform tablets containing a Semitic language closely related to the Old Testament version of Hebrew.

 
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