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It appears that henna was also known and used in ancient Ugarit [modern-day Ras Shamra, Syria: a city-state on the Mediterranean coast that flourished between 1500 and 1200 BCE] for a variety of purposes. A short tablet in Ugaritic cuneiform dated to the late 13th century BCE, numbered KTU 4.767, references the word kprt. The text is fragmentary and its meaning is not altogether clear; modern scholars have suggested that it refers to henna, based on references in other Ugaritic texts to henna (kpr). Duane Smith proposes that this is a medical prescription; his translation reads “When in pain a wrapping of henna cures, [while] sickness consumes”.
A ritual use of henna in preparation for battle appears to be recorded in the Ba‘al Cycle, a collection of Ugaritic tablets recording one version of a myth concerning Ba‘al and ‘Anath. These tablets date from 1400-1350 BCE. The story describes the struggle between Mot, the god of death, and Ba‘al, the storm god and god of life and fertility, helped by his sister ‘Anath, warrior-goddess of fertility. The portion of the text in question is unfortunately extremely fragmentary; it appears to describe the goddess ‘Anath being adorned, before she leaves to fight the followers of Mot, with perfumes, purple from a seashell, and kpr, henna dye (fragment KTU 1.3:II.2). This is in accordance with a motif of ritual washing in Ugaritic literature, where characters prepare themselves for meals, sacrifices, or battles by washing themselves and adorning themselves with purple or red dye. It is unclear whether ‘Anath is preparing herself for the victory feast or for the battle. The description of ‘Anath adorning herself is repeated in two other fragments which appear to be copies of the previous section