This magnificently produced volume is in itself a tribute to the devoted and rewarding work which Claude Schaeffer, aided by many skilful collaborators, began at Ras Shamra-Ugarit 36 years ago. The frontispiece illustrates a 5000-pound Syrian banknote, engraved with designs of Ugaritic ivories, a mark of honour in addition to that which was bestowed when the author was made a ‘Freeman’ of the city of Latakia. His many friends and admirers in this country will rejoice that he is held in esteem and affection in the East no less than in the West.
The account here presented describes the discoveries made in the 18th and 19th campaigns of 1954-5, and includes a full-scale map of the ‘Grand Palais’ and the ‘Petit Palais’ which, besides being buildings of great architectural interest, have yielded historical and archaeological treasures in abundance. Associated with the former building we have the remains of a royal garden, a parterre which, with its surrounding paths, is an ancient forerunner of Louis XIV's achievement at Versailles, but 31 centuries older, and in another court we find an ornamental pond bordered with a low stone parapet. Not far away was a furnace for the baking of cuneiform texts; some of them had never been removed from the ashes.