Tyre-Circle Cross Connection Found at Burrows Cave

Dr. John J. White III

The purpose of this brief note is to report that a Burrows Cave (BC) artifact has been provided by Russell Burrows that makes a direct connection between the name of the great city state of Tyre in Southern Phoenicia and the circle-cross symbol that we have previously identified as an emblem of Tyre or perhaps of the maritime fleet serving the cause of the Tyrian state. Figure 1 gives photographs of the stone artifact in question.

As in the case of Reference 1, Figure 1 shows a BC rock artifact with four alphabetic letters engraved on it. The yodh (upper left), resh (lower left) and he (lower right) letters are from the alphabet widely known as the Phoenician alphabet. The teth letter (upper right) on this stone is the common circle-cross letter, referred to previously as a Symbol. This fact strengthens the argument that the alphabet used was Phoenician. The previous stone employed a circle letter with a vertical stroke, and option used in Phoenician writing but also corresponding to the letter "b" in some alphabets.

We may now translate this inscription in the Bronze Age boustrophedon manner (right to left on the first line, left to right on the second line) as TH-Y-R-HE. Note that the "th" is commonly pronounced as "teh" and not as in "thing". Thus we have another example of the name of the great Phoenician maritime state called TYRE written on a BC artifact.

It is important to observe that the name of the ancient city of Tyre is pronounced S-U-R in Phoenician, meaning rocks, and it is usually written without a vowel. Figure 1 can be viewed as the transliteration into the Phoenician alphabet of a Greek-related word pronounced more like TERRE or TIERE and having a basic meaning similar to island, land, homeplace, etc. Our model suggests that the Seafaring Tyrians spread the names TYRE and TYRIAN around the ancient world themselves.

The reverse side of the new stone shows a well executed circle-cross emblem with a saw-tooth wave draw beneath. This latter symbol consistently stands for ocean water. We regard the artifact shown in Figure 1 as strong evidence that the circle-cross was an emblem of Tyre during the first millennium B.C.

We do not say with reprinting these articles by Dr. White and others that we agree with what they think. The fact is that Dr. White has devoted many hours of strenuous research of the BC tablets. We wish not to take any credit away from his abilities as a researcher however, the stones he has published with his decipherment as "TYRE" were actually sling stones with "to finish you" inscribed in Schaff. Dr. White and others working mostly with symbol transliterations did indeed realize that the BC artifacts were without a doubt from the Mediterranean Sea area.

MES Vol. 7 #1. 1993 - page 91

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