Sarcophagus of Ahiram



by G. Eric and Edith Matson Photograph Collection, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (1936)
published on 26 April 2012

The Sarcophagus of Ahiram, king of Byblos, bearing the oldest inscription of the Phoenician alphabet, which reads:

"Coffin which Ittobaal, son of Ahiram, king of Byblos, made for Ahiram, his father, when he placed him in the 'house of eternity'. Now if a king among kings or a governor among governors or a commander of an army should come up against Byblos and uncovers this coffin, may the sceptre of his rule be torn away, may the throne of his kingdom be overturned, and may peace flee from Byblos! And as for him, if he destroys this inscription, then the...!"

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