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Byblos bronze spatulas

The two inscribed Byblos bronze spatulas

The Byblos bronze spatulas are a number bronze spatulas found in Byblos, two of which were inscribed. One contains a Phoenician inscription (known as the Azarba'al Spatula, KAI 3 or TSSI III 1) and one contains an inscription in the Byblos syllabary.

They were published in Maurice Dunand's Fouilles de Byblos (volume I, 1926–1932, numbers 1125 and 2334, plate XXXII).[1]


The spatulas discovered in Dunand's Fouilles de Byblos volume I are as follows:


  • 1125 (the Azarba'al Spatula) Large bronze spatula with a short stalk (9.5 x 5.6cm). Phoenician inscription of six lines on one side. On the other side, some chisel test marks. Published separately in 1938 as Spatule de bronze avec épigraphe phénicienne du XIIIe siècle (now dated to the tenth century). Text of the inscription:[2][3][4]
(1) [...]Y L'ZRB'L [...] to Azarba'al
(2) TŠ'M Š<Q>LM KSP ninety she<q>els of silver.
(3) NŠBT 'M NḤL Let us share. If you inher-
(4) TNḤL MGŠTK it (obtain) it, your portion
(5) 'LK WMGŠT will be yours, and my portion
(6) 'LY shall be mine.
  • 2334. Bronze spatula (7 x 4.5cm), similar to no. 1125. Inscribed in the Byblos syllabary. Vertical lines apparently separate the words, as in archaic Phoenician inscriptions.


  • 1345 Small bronze spatula (6.5 x 1.5mm), badly ruined
  • 2333 Bronze spatula (10.5 x 4.4cm), similar to no. 1125 but without inscription
  • 3227. Narrow triangular spatula (8 x 2cm), in bronze
  • 3313 Bronze spatula (7.7 x 2.6cm), with square stem


  • Dunand, Maurice, 'Spatule de bronze avec épigraphe phénicienne du XIIIe [actually: Xe] siècle', in: Bulletin du Musée de Beyrouth 2 (1938) 99–107.
  • Shea, W. H. 1977 The Byblos Spatula Inscription, JAOS 97.2: 164-170
  • Ranck, T. E. 1973 The Byblos Spatula, an Ancient Bribe or Peace Offering. Australian Journal of Biblical Archaeology 2: 45-50


  1. ^ Dunand, Maurice (1939). Fouilles de Byblos: Tome 1er, 1926-1932 [The Byblos excavations, Tome 1, 1926–1932]. Bibliothèque archéologique et historique (in French). Vol. 24. Paris: Librarie Orientaliste Paul Geuthner.
  2. ^ Donner, Herbert; Rölig, Wolfgang (2002). Kanaanäische und aramäische Inschriften (5 ed.). Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. p. I, 1.
  3. ^ Krahmalkov, Charles R. (2000). Phoenician-Punic Dictionary. Leuven: Peeters / Departement Oosterse Studies. pp. 238, 464, 499. ISBN 90-429-0770-3. Krahmalkov notes that the translation is "problematic" (ibidem, p. 327).
  4. ^ Krahmalkov, Charles R. (2001). A Phoenician-Punic Grammar. Leiden / Atlanta: Brill / SBL. p. 253. ISBN 978-1-62837-031-7.
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Byblos bronze spatulas
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