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The ancient city of Ugarit, now Ras Shamra is located near Latakia on the cost of Syria. It served as an important port, as it rests on a headland.

Evidence for settlement dates back to Neolithic times, with a wall dated to roughly 6000 BCE. Ugarit’s location made it ideal for settlement. It rests on a headland and is also an entrance to the inland Euphrates and Tigris. Ugarit is known to have traded with Egypt in the 19th century BCE, as evidenced by Egyptian beads identified on the site.

Most importantly for the archaeological record, some of the Amarna letters originated in Ugarit in roughly 1350 BCE. These letters between Ugarit and Egypt detail a cargo of trade and tribute items. The vast array of artefacts listed in the letters show the extent of international trade at the time.

Ugarit was destroyed in the late Bronze Age, radiocarbon dated to roughly 1192-1190 BCE. As the city was destroyed and was not rebuilt, it has been crucial in dating other events in the area.

The site is made up of a 65ft tall Tell. The most important discoveries in Ugarit are a series of collections of tablets, including the Baal Cycle, which describes the Canaanite Religion.

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