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Ugarit

UGARIT ōō’ gə rĭt. Ugarit, modern [[Ras Shamra]], was an important maritime city situated in northern Syria, fifty nautical m. E of the point of Cyprus. The bay on which it was located was known to the Greeks as Leukos Limen (“White Harbor”), modern Minet el-Beida. During the Bronze Age, copper ore passed through Ugarit en route from Cyprus to Mesopotamia. Ugarit had important contacts with the Hittites of Asia Minor and with the Egyptians. It served as the crossroads between Mediterranean culture and the world of the Sumerians and Akkadians in Mesopotamia. With the coming of the Iron Age to the Near E, copper lost its importance and Ugarit lost its position as a major trading port. The modern discovery of Ras Shamra dates from 1928 when a Syrian peasant accidentally plowed up a flagstone which covered a subterranean passageway. Charles Virolleaud, Director of Archaeological Works in Syria and Lebanon, then administered by the French, excavated the site which proved to be a burial c