It is now ten years since the French archaeological expedition under M. Claude Schaeffer first started digging at Ras Shamra, on the north coast of Syria. The present is therefore a suitable moment in which to take stock of what has so far been discovered.
Our best point of departure is provided by the series of annual volumes in which the excavator’s reports and the epigraphists’ primary studies have been conveniently gathered together from the pages of the periodical SYRIA. It must be borne in mind, however, that these excellent publications represent a preliminary and not a final stage in the interpretation of the materials. The literature grows from day to day, and the contributions made by other scholars are equally important for a correct appreciation of the subject. Among these special mention should be made of the work of Albright, Montgomery, Harris, Goetze and Gordon in America, of Ginsberg and de Vaux in Palestine, of Friedrich and Eissfeldt in Germany, of Hrozný in Prague, Aistleitner in Budapest and Cassuto in Italy. In this country studies have been published by the late Father Burrows, Dr J. W. Jack, of Edinburgh, Professor S. H. Hooke and the present writer.