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The French Excavations at Minet el Beida and Ras Shamra in Syria

  • F. A. Schaeffer (a1)


The excavations at Minet el Beida and Ras Shamra, begun in 1929 and continued in 1930,were undertaken at the suggestion of M. Rene Dussaud, Member of the Institute and Conservator at the Louvre. The natural harbour of Minet el Beida (the White Bayy lies facing Cyprus; and it was this fact which gave M. Dussaud the idea of a Mycenaean colony from Cyprus importing thither the copper which had to be disembarked for transport to the interior and to Mesopotamia. This theory was supported by the fact that 1000 metres from the bay is a huge tell (mound), called by the natives Ras Shamra (Cape Samphire), which might well hide the ruins of this assumed sea-port.



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1 The first report, covering the season of 1929, was published in Syria,1929,10,285310. That of the season of 1930 will appear in the same journal early in 1931.

2 It was called Leu cos Limen by the Greeks, and lies about 15 kilometres north of Latikia, in the State of the Alaouites, Northern Syria.

3 See his Topographie historique de la Syrie antique et médiévale,Paris, p.417.

4 The vault is 4 metres long and 3 metres wide; its present height is 2 metres; the stairway is 4 metres long and 1 m. 90 wide.

5 See Dussaud, R. et Schaeffer, F.A.,‘Ivoires d’époque mycénienne trouvés dans la nécropole de Ras Shamra (Syrie),’ Gazette des Beaux Arts,1930.

5 See Virolleaud, Ch.Les inscriptions cuneiformes de Ras Shamra,’Syria,1929,10,304. After him, Bauer, Hans,Die Entzifferung der Keilschrifttafeln von Ras Shamra,Halle,1930. Dhorme, P.,Revue Biblique,1930.

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  • ISSN: 0003-598X
  • EISSN: 1745-1744
  • URL: /core/journals/antiquity
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