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Archaeologists: Ancient Texts Show Similarities between Arabic and Ugaritic Languages
Global Arab Network - - Andy McDonough
According to archaeologists, the ancient texts found in Ugarit revealed important information on the intellectual and cultural life in Ugarit, detailing the various aspects of life in the ancient city.

The finds highlight similarities between the Ugaritic language and Arabic in terms of meanings and grammar.

Director of Lattakia Department of Archaeology Jamal Haidar said excavations in Ras Shamra uncovered documents that illustrate the attempts of an Ugaritic scribe at teaching his students the alphabet, noting that scribes were respected in the city and royal court of Ugarit and that they were highly cultured and knowledgeable.

Ancient texts show that Ugaritic scribes learned foreign languages and taught them in addition to giving special attention to their mother tongue, the Canaanite language.

Haidar pointed out that the discovered small clay tablets show that the alphabetical order of the Ugaritic language is very similar to the Arabic and Greek alphabets with only few differences.

He added that the Ugaritic language is also close to Arabic in grammar and terms, with around 1000 words that are the same in Arabic, making up more than two thirds of the Ugaritic vocabulary, noting that some Ugaritic words are not found in classical Arabic, but rather in the common dialect of Lattakia.

Director of the Ugarit site Ghassan al-Qaiem said that, according to British scientist John Healey, the people of Lattakia are the heirs of the people of Ugarit, which makes it natural for Ugaritic terms to remain in the local dialect, adding that this facilitated the study of Ugaritic texts.

The Ugaritic language, discovered by French archaeologists  in 1928, is known only in the form of writings found in the lost city of Ugarit, near the modern village of Ras Shamra, Syria. It has been extremely important for scholars of the Old Testament in clarifying Biblical Hebrew texts and has revealed more of the way in which ancient Israelite culture finds parallels in the neighboring cultures.

Ugaritic was "the greatest literary discovery from antiquity since the deciphering of the Egyptian hieroglyphs and Mesopotamian cuneiform[1]". Literary texts discovered at Ugarit include the Legend of Keret, the Aqhat Epic (or Legend of Danel), the Myth of Baal-Aliyan, and the Death of Baal — the latter two are also collectively known as the Baal Cycle — all revealing a Canaanite religion.(SANA)

For More Archaeological News click HERE

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