Many tablets containing cuneiform (Latin for "wedge shaped") texts have been found throughout the Near East and used to write many different languages including Sumerian, Akkadian and Eblaite. This cuneiform writing was a logogram style of writing where one cuneiform sign represented one word, similar to modern day Chinese. It was found that the cuneiform writing developed out of an older "pictographic" writing. Each pictograph was a picture of what that logogram represented such as in ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs. Over time the pictures were replaced by the cuneiform.
In 1928 French Archeologists discovered a large collection of cuneiform tablets with a script unlike the previously discovered cuneiform writing. This discovery was made at a site known as "Ras Shamra" near the Mediterranean coast in modern day Syria. The site was later discovered to be the ancient Canaanite city of Ugarit. It was later discovered that the Ugarit cuneiform was a phonogram, or alphabetic, where each cuneiform sign represented one letter of an alphabet. The Ugarit Alphabet was Semitic, the same as Hebrew. Some have even called the writing system of Ugarit "Hebrew cuneiform". Not only is the Ugarit alphabet Semitic, the Ugarit language was also Semitic and almost identical to Hebrew. This was a great discovery for Biblical Hebrew scholars as the Ugarit language was able to shed some light on some Hebrew words of uncertain meaning.
The city of Ugarit was occupied from pre-historic times to about 1200 BCE when it was mysteriously deserted. The tablets with the Ugarit cuneiform were written in its later life (about 1300 to 1200 BCE). It was discovered through the writings of the tablets that the people of the city were worshipers of the same Canaanite gods as their surrounding neighbors including deities as El, Baal, Asherah and even Yahweh. The culture, lifestyles and literary writings were found to be very similar to the Israelites and can also shed much light on the Biblical text.
The origins of the Ugarit cuneiform script is not known but can be assumed that it was derived out of the same Pictographic script used to write Hebrew, just as the Sumerian cuneiform evolved out of a pictographic script. This theory adds to the evidence that the Semitic/Hebrew script is older than previously thought.