Later Occupations Of Ras Shamra

When we think of Ras Shamra, we generally think of the Late Bronze age city of Ugarit and all the wonderful tablets preserved there. But the tell was occupied on and off from as early as the Neolithic Period to as late as Roman times. There was an apparent gap of seven centuries between the fall of the City of Ugarit and earliest Persian Period (generally Greek) occupation. Stucky’s publication of the later occupation phases is now available online.

Stucky, Rolf A., Ras Shamra, Leukos Limen: die nach-ugaritische Besiedlung von Ras Shamra (Mission archeologique de Ras Shamra, 1; Paris: Librairie Orientaliste P. Geuthner, 1983).

I tend to agree with Yon, 103, that Leukos Limen, “does not fit the farming settlement located nearly a kilometer inland.” As Yon tells us, Leukos Limen “is a descriptive term, however, meaning ‘white harbor,’ that some Greek writers used to refer to the port of ‘Minet el-Beida’ (same meaning in Arabic), which has striking white limestone. . . .” Even Stucky, 2, doesn’t seem all that thrilled with the designation, “Da H. Safadi im Hafen von Leukos Limen nicht auf entsprechende römische Schichten gestossen ist, muss es sich beim Dorf auf dem nahen Tell um eine reine Binnensiedlung mit – nach Keramik und Kleinfunden zu schliessen – enger Bindung an das benachbarte Laodicea gehandelt haben.” If Safadi didn’t find a Roman stratum at Minet el-Beida why not call the nearby settlement “White Harbor?” But then, why?