Ugarit

Ugarit - Ras Shamras
The ancient site of Ugarit is only 14Km north of the Syrian coastal city of Latakia. For a short period it was called Ras Shamra but it was re-given its ancient name of Ugarit when excavations revealed the city remains in about 1929.
The Kingdom of Ugarit, which flourished in the Bronze Age, dates back much further than 3000 BC. Excavations at the base of the ‘tell’ (man-made hill) prove that this area was first settled in the 7th century BC and had links with Mesopotamia. In the 2nd Millennium BC, Ugarit was occupied by the Canaanites who were known as the Phoenicians. Ugarit, along with Byblos (in modern day Lebanon), prospered and flourished for a few hundred years, as a centre of trade linking Mesopotamia with the Minoans of Crete and shipping cedar wood to the Egyptian Pharaohs. Ugarit at this point was in control of a small but very fertile area of land stretching between the present Turkish border and Jableh (south of Latakia). It was at this time that Ugarit became specialized in bronze working.
By the C16th BC Ugarit had greatly developed in prosperity and it was exceptionally diplomatic in balancing its relations between the Egyptians and the Mitannis and the Hittites in Northern Syria. It is believed that Ugarit was destroyed by a tidal wave in the C14th BC, however it was rebuilt and it was restored to its former position of prosperity. Much of what has been found dates back to this period which is considered a golden age for Ugarit, and it was during this period that the Ugarit alphabet was first developed. Using a different system from hieroglyphics and pictograms, it relied on the 'one sign per one sound' principle. However, correspondence with Egypt and the Hittites remained in the Babylonian syllabic cuneiform alphabet.
In the 13th century BC, Ugarit strengthened ties and trading links with the Aegean and passed the first alphabet as we know it, to the Greeks. Around 1200 BC Ugarit was taken over and destroyed by the 'Sea Peoples'. Its centrally regulated economy was destroyed and despite a slight recovery it never regained its former wealth. The Iron Age had arrived and there was less demand for the bronze the economy depended on.