Official Blog of the Bishop of Durham

The Lost Treasure of Ugarit

Posted by NT Wrong on August 28, 2008

Ugarit is about to hit the big screen — in the first film of the Jack Hunter series: The Lost Treasure of Ugarit.
(Any resemblance to Indiana Jones is purely coincidental.)

Here’s the trailer:

The trailer spells an unusual ‘Ugaritic’ hapax legomenon: ʿ-g-ṯ-ś-ǵ-h-ʾu-n-ṭ-ʾi-r , or ‘????? Hunter’. The so-called ‘Ugaritic’ is in fact nonsense. I wonder whether somebody (‘A’) managed to transliterate ‘Jack Hunter’ into Ugaritic cuneiform, but later on some ignorant Hollywood person (‘H’) came along and replaced some of the symbols with more visually interesting, yet incorrect and nonsensical, Ugaritic symbols?

Jack Hunter (Ivan Sergei), an adventurous treasure seeker, goes to Syria after his mentor and father figure Professor Fredrick Shaffer (Sean Lawlor) is killed. Professor Frederick Shaffer believed that the people of Ugarit, a town in Syria that existed during the Pharoah’s reign, had buried a treasure before they were wiped out by the Pharoahs [sic]. Jack Hunter is one of the few archaeologists in the world who can interpret Ugarit writings [sic], however he never bought Frederick’s belief of a hidden treasure. Before he was killed, Frederick had discovered a clue that would prove his theory was true. We follow Jack to Syria where he meets Nadia Ramadan (Joanne Kelly) the Ministry of Archaeology for Syria. Nadia thinks Jack is only coming to Syria to steal their historical artifacts and sell them to the highest bidder. She and her co-worker Tariq Khaliff (Mario Bassill) accompany Jack Hunter on his quest to find who killed Professor Frederick. During their travels, Jack discovers that the treasure is in fact real. Jack, Nadia and Tariq are caught up in a chase thru Syria, Egypt and Turkey trying to find the lost Treasure of Ugarit before Albert Littman (Thure Riefenstein) gets it for himself and the Russian mafia.
The Lost Teasure of Ugarit – Official Website

It looks spectacularly awful.

4 Responses to “The Lost Treasure of Ugarit”

  1. Duane said

    I didn’t notice the apocalypse, but I’m glad to see you back. This film does look “spectacularly awful.”

    I’m fairly sure that the “Ugaritic” string is made up, but I’m not so sure that two of the signs are also made up. The fourth sign which you read ?ḫ is certainly a ś as seen uniquely in the abecedary KTU 5.4 Your second ? is likely a variant of the ġ. But why would they use such strange forms when the common one are good enough for a bad film.

  2. ntwrong said

    Thanks, Duane. The unique form of ś stumped me there. And I thought the other sign looked like a ġ, but I’d only seen it with the top and bottom wedges indented, not the middle. And now it’s clear that the end of the word spells (in a sort of Ugaritic-English mix) ‘Hunter’.

  3. ntwrong said

    … So, I’ve changed the post from when you made your comment.

  4. jimgetz said

    This looks just like my life as an Ugaritic scholar….

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