Phoenician Oblelisk from Cyprus

Illustration

Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin
by
published on 14 June 2016

The finely carved inscription on this obelisk dates to the 4th century BCE. The obelisk was set up in a cemetery at the Phoenician colony of Kition in Cyprus by a certain Arish in memory of his parent; his father Parz, who is said to have been "chief of the commercial agents", and his mother Shamzabaal. During the 1st millennium BCE, the Phoenicians, descendants of the Levantine Canaanites, refined and perfected the alphabet invented by their ancestors nearly a thousand years earlier, and transmitted it to Greece and Western Europe. Easy to use and accessible to all levels of society, it rapidly caught on, and, although the shapes of the letters have changed with time, it is essentially the same alphabet we use today. From Kition, Cyprus. 4th century BCE. (The British Museum, London)


About the Author

Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin
Associate Professor of Neurology and lover of the Cradle of Civilization, Mesopotamia. I'm very interested in Mesopotamian history and always try to take photos of archaeological sites and artifacts in museums, both in Iraq and around the world.

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