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Douïmès medallion

Douïmès medallion
Carthaginian medallion from Lidzbarski's Handbuch der Nordsemitischen Epigraphik Table II (cropped)
Createdc. 700 BC

The Douïmès medallion is a small gold medallion found in 1894 in the Douïmès Necropolis of ancient Carthage. It is the oldest known Phoenician-Punic inscription found in North Africa.[1]

The inscription, known as KAI 73, includes a reference to pgmlyn, understood as Pygmalion of Tyre, although scholars have "expressed disbelief" given the archaeological context. It has been assumed to have been produced earlier than its archaeological context.[2]

The medallion's inscription reads:

(1) L‘ŠTR- To Astar-
(2) -T LPGMLYN -te (and) to Pygmalion,
(3) YD‘MLK BN YD‘MLK, son of
(4) PDY ḤLṢ Padi, delivers
(5) ’Š ḤLṢ that which he delivers
(6) PGMLYN Pygmalion.



  1. ^ Boardman, John; Edwards, I. E. S.; Sollberger, E.; N. G. L. Hammond (16 January 1992). The Cambridge Ancient History. Cambridge University Press. pp. 494–. ISBN 978-0-521-22717-9. The oldest tombs of Carthage, at Douimés, Dermech, and the 'Hill of Juno', excavated late in the last century and earlier this century, were all published very sketchily. One of the most important is a tomb in the Douimeés area which contained a small gold medallion inscribed with a dedication to Ashtart by one Iadamelek. This is the oldest inscription from North Africa, and since the same tomb contained a Proto-Corinthian kotyle it cannot be dated before about 700 B.C., though it is argued that the script is more archaic.
  2. ^ Philip Schmitz, Deity and Royalty in Dedicatory Formulae: The Ekron Store-Jar Inscription Viewed in the Light of Judg 7:18, 20 and the Inscribed Gold Medallion from the Douïmès Necropolis at Carthage (KAI 73). Maarav 15.2 (2008): 165-73: "Scholars understandably expressed disbelief about this identification: “it is easily conceivable that the gem was dedicated to Astarte and Pygmalion and in the process acquired the inscription,” mused M. Lidzbarski before reflecting on the difficulty of explaining a transliterated Greek name in an inscription of such apparently early date. The notion that the object must have become an heirloom, and is thus earlier than the tomb in which it was discovered, has had wide circulation. I agree that this is probably the best explanation of its archaeological context."
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Douïmès medallion
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