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The site of Ras Shamra, Syria, was exhumed by French archaeologists C. Schaeffer and R. Dussaud, from 1929, following the discovery of an ancient tomb by a peasant. The excavations were carried on by French teams of archaeologists until the 1970s, then by a Franco-Syrian team.

They reached its monuments and residential areas. A wall dated early 6000 before J.C. shows that the city already existed in the early Neolithic. A carnelian bead was identified at the time of Sesostris I. A stela and a statuette of Sesostris III / Amenemhat III were also found there.

The main success of the excavations lies in the extensive literature in cuneiform tablets, in several languages: Akkadian, Ugaritic, Nesite, Hurrian, Cypro-Minoan and some Egyptian hieroglyphics. Soon, archaeologists have understood that colonies of foreigners, mainly composed of merchants, occupied these places.

The texts written in Akkadian were translated first, since this language was already controlled by the specialists of Mesopotamia. As the outline of the ancient history of Ugarit could be erected, as well as confirmation of the former name of the site of Ras Shamra: Ugarit.

These texts are fundamental to understand the interactions between the Empires : Egyptians, Hittites, Mesopotamians and Mitanni.

For example, a text Tuthaliya IV regulates the horses used by the messengers of the Hittite and Egyptian kings in transit Ugarit:

Another example : Aziru of Amurru, which appears both in the archives of Amarna in Egypt and in the texts of Ugarit, is contemporary of Niqmaddu king of Ugarit, which, itself, is the author of an agreement with Suppiluliuma, the king of the Hittites.

Towards, at the beginning of the second millennium, Ugarit was known because mentioned in the archives of Ebla and Mari.

For French language, click here.

My notes of veracity :

Ras Shamra was the city of Ugarit: 5/5

Tag(s) : #Empire of the Hittites, #Empire of Egypt

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