"Ugarit" Top 5 Page for this destination Latakia Things to Do Tip by iwys

Latakia Things to Do: 39 reviews and 76 photos

Ugarit, known in Arabic as Ras Shamra, is one of the most underrated archaeological sites in the Middle East. It was the first port city in the history of the world. There was a town here as far back as 8,000 years ago and it was the most important city on the Mediterranean more than 2,500 years before the birth of Christ, and during its peak, from 2000 to 1.500 BC, it became wealthy from its trade with the Egyptians and the Minoans and was at that time the most developed city in the western world, with a great royal palace, temples, a piped water system and libraries which utilised one of the world's first alphabets.

In 1200 BC, however, it was destroyed by the invading Philistines. The site lay forgotten until a local farmer discovered an old tomb here in 1928. The site was then excavated by a team of French archaeologists led by Claude Shaeffer.

The site itself sprawls over a large area, about half of which is still overgrown. There are pathways which will take you all around the site and signposts in English describing the main buildings. I found it fascinating.

Opening hours: 08.30-18.30 (summer); 08.30-16.30 (winter)

Admission: Sú150

Directions: About 15km north of Lattakia on the coastal road.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Mar 26, 2007
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