Claude Schaeffer/courtesy Odile Schaeffer

Officials of the Alaouite state—the governor, H. Schoeffler (left), and his minister of finance (center)—visited the dig at Ugarit to witness the excavation of the cuneiform tablets from Ugarit’s palace library. (Georges Chenet, Schaeffer’s assistant, is on the right in this photo.)

The importance of the discovery of tablets written in an unknown ancient alphabet led Schaeffer to call these witnesses, who could attest to his discovery. As though to allay any doubts, Schaeffer excavated several tablets while the officials watched.