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Ahiram Sarcophagus

Beirut National Museum

· Beirut

In the early 1920's, a storm caused a landslide at the archaeological site of Byblos that led to a surprising discovery of a necropolis that housed several beautiful and large sarcophagus of the Phoenician kings of Byblos, known today as the royal necropolis of Byblos.

The most important sarcophagus was the one of Ahiram, king of Byblos (850 BC.) that bears a Phoenician inscription curse that states:

"If any King, or Governor or Army commander exposes this coffin, then let his judicial scepter be broken, let his Royal throne be overthrown, let a vagabond efface his inscription."

The sarcophagus is famed for its bas-relief carvings, and its Phoenician language inscription, which is considered to be the earliest known example of the fully developed Phoenician alphabet.

The sarcophagus is located at the Beirut National Museum.

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