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Pococke Kition inscriptions

Pococke Kition inscriptions
The inscriptions
Present locationmostly destroyed

The Pococke Kition inscriptions were a group of 31 Phoenician and 2 non-Phoenician inscriptions found in Cyprus and published by Richard Pococke in 1745. In describing Kition (modern Larnaca), Pococke wrote: "the walls seem to have been very strong, and in the foundations there have been found many stones, with inscriptions on them, in an unintelligible character, which I suppose, is the antient [sic] Phoenician..."[1]

The Phoenician inscriptions are known as KAI 33 (CIS I 11), KAI 35 (CIS I 46) and CIS I 57-85. They represent some of the most important finds in Phoenician and Semitic language studies, as they were used by Jean-Jacques Barthélemy in his decipherment of the Phoenician language.

Only one of the inscriptions still survives, in the Ashmolean Museum - all the rest were destroyed in construction work in 1749.[2][3]

Surviving inscription – KAI 35

The sole surviving inscription is a marble funeral stone, numbered "2" in Pococke's sketch, measuring 12 x 3 x 3 inches; the inscription is in memory of a deceased wife. The inscription was brought to England by a Dr. Porter of Thaxted, and presented to Oxford University by Charles Gray MP in 1751.[4][5] It was published many times, first by Pococke, and then by John Swinton, Richard Chandler, Jean-Jacques Barthélemy, Wilhelm Gesenius,[5] and Johan David Åkerblad.[2]

Today it resides at the Ashmolean Museum, with accession number AN1974.325.[6]


Pococke 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33
CIS 11 46 57 64 73 82 74 60 NP 81 79 68 80 78 67 76 70 66 NP 59 71 62 58 65 77 69 83 85 61 72 75 84 63
CIS 11 46 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 NP NP
Pococke 1 2 3 23 20 8 29 22 33 4 24 18 15 12 26 17 21 30 5 7 31 16 25 14 11 13 10 6 27 32 28 9 19



  1. ^ Pococke, v. II pg. 213
  2. ^ a b Fredrik Thomasson (11 January 2013). The Life of J. D. Åkerblad: Egyptian Decipherment and Orientalism in Revolutionary Times. BRILL. pp. 93–. ISBN 978-90-04-23635-6.
  3. ^ CIS I, p.39, "Lapides interea ad aquaeductus molem struendam adhibuit vir turca insulae Cypro praefectus Beschir, circa annum 1749; ut monumenta ipsa reperiendi spes omnis linquenda sit, nisi aquaeductus ipse destruatur."
  4. ^ "Ashmolean".
  5. ^ a b Macray, William Dunn (1868). Annals of the Bodleian Library, Oxford, A. D. 1598-A. D. 1867: With a Preliminary Notice of the Earlier Library Founded in the Fourteenth Century. Rivingtons. p. 162. Charles Gray, M.P. for Colchester, presented… an inscription, in the Phoenician language, upon a white marble stone, which was brought, with many others, from Citium, in the island of Cyprus, by Dr. Porter, a physician of Thaxted in Essex. The stone measures twelve inches in length, by three in breadth, and three in depth. It has been frequently engraved: first by Pocock (Travels in the East, vol. ii. pl.xxxiii. 2); next by Swinton (Inscriptiones Citieae, 1750, and Philos. Trans. 1764); afterwards by Chandler, Barthélemy, &c; and, lastly, by Gesenius (for whom former copies were collated with the original, and corrected, by Mr. Reay) in his Scripturae Linguæque Phaenicia, Monumenta, published in 1837, where the inscription is described at pp. 126-133, part i., and engraved at pl. xi. part iii. It appears to be an epitaph by a husband in memory of his wife.
  6. ^ Marble block with Phoenician funerary inscription
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Pococke Kition inscriptions
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