Phoenician Script

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Lebanon C476

     The earliest alphabetic inscription is in Phoenician on the sarcophagus of King Ahiram of Byblos. It was discovered in 1922 by Pierre Montet. (Byblos is on the coast of the Mediterranean, due east of Cyprus.)
     The dates attributed to the inscription range around 1000 B.C. The inscription reads “Coffin which Itthobaal son of Ahiram, king of Byblos, made for Ahiram his father, when he placed him for eternity. Now, if a king among kings, or a governor among governors or a commander of an army should come up against Byblos and uncover this coffin, may the scepter of his rule be torn away, may the throne of his kingdom be overturned and may peace flee from Byblos. And as for him, may his inscription be effaced.”

SCN C476

Lebanon C479

     The tablet on this stamp has twelve Phoenician letters, corresponding to aleph, shin, taw, sin, resh, pe, ayin, samek, waw, nun, mem, lamedh, shin, yodh. The same letters appear in the same order on other stamps in the set.

SCN C479