We know about 10-12 Phoenicians by name in the town of
in the south of Ancient Egypt ( )
in 4 inscriptions. Nubia Abu Simbel is known from
the colossal statues of Ramses II and his two temples. There is also a small of Ibsjeb and the queen
Nefertari. All this had to be replaced some 200 metres up as a result of the
installation of the Nasr dam and lake between Elefantine and temple of Hathor Abu
Simbel. The inscriptions are based on the survey of Maganini. What
did the Phoenicians so far to the south?
CIS I 111:
This is here Abdptaḥ son of Yagir-ešmun – dl’ -- ’ḥm
Abdptaḥ = servant of Ptaḥ (Benz p.174, Krahmalkov p.357).
Yagir-ešmun must be a misspelling. We know however Yagid-ešmun = Ešmun make him/me/you fortunate. (Benz p.127, Krahmalkov p.205).
We know the father and the son, but further information can not be detected, because the inscription has too many damages in the end. The names are of interest, because they are carrying names of the gods: Phoenician Ešmun and Egyptian Ptaḥ. The father seems to be complete Phoenician, but the son is holding an Egyptian god in his name.
CIS I 112a
Abdsakun son of PTyehaw who sailed upstream to
Abdsakun = servant of Sakun (Benz p.162, Krahmalkov p.356)
PTyeḥaw must be: Ptḥyḥw = Ptaḥ-yeḥaw = Ptaḥ grant long live (Benz p.177, Krahmalkov p.410)
We know, that Abdsakun sailed up to
Abu Simbel. Maybe
his father Ptaḥ-yeḥaw lived somewhere else. That could be Memphis
or Saqqara, where a lot of other Phoenicians
The father uses the Egyptian Ptaḥ in his name, but the son has a complete Phoenician name.
CIS I 112b1
Gerhekal son of Helem. I am the one who sailed upstream … to
Helem must be ḥelem (vocalisation and meaning uncertain) (Benz 109, Krahmalkov p.184)
Gerhekal = Ger-Hêkal (Fearer of Hekal) (Benz 104, Krahmalkov p.143).
Helem is an almost unknown word in the Phoenician world. Maybe the origin was Egyptian. Gerhekal is a Phoenician name. At the end of the inscription there stands clearly lḥmh, but Krahmalkov thinks we have to read dlḥms =
CIS I 112c
Kusi son of Abdp‘m. I am who sailed upstream to – Kusj to
The name of the son Kusi could be a naming to the
It could be a misspelling also, because we know the Phoenician word ksy (CIS I 2022;
3985) in the Punic language, but not kšy. The Egyptian name for the Nubian is
kš. Another possibility is that it is a misspelling for ks’y (servant of Kese).
land of Kusj
Abdp‘m could be a misspelling, because we are aware of the Phoenician name Abddo‘m (Benz 104, Krahmalkov p.143).
It is obvious, that Kusi went to
Abu Simbel (dlḥms),
but here we find only the word --ḥmh. Maybe Abu Simbel was called in ḥmh and
in Phoenician: dlḥms. Egypt
It is difficult to retain your own proper language. That is why there are so many misspellings.
CIS I 113
I am Ešmunyaton coming from – n – r – h – nkpyn? coming from Sharu.
Ešmunyaton – ‘r? Sharu.
Ešmunyaton = May Ešmun grant! (Benz 71-72, Krahmalkov p.83).
The place Sharu is unknown.
A last inscription mentions only the name Kšy again (see CIS I 112c).
Benz: PERSONAL NAMES IN THE PHOENICIAN AND PUNIC INSCRIPTIONS
Frank L.Benz, Studia Pohl, Rome, Biblical Institue Press, 1972. Studia Pohl: Dissertations scientificae de rebus orientis antique. A cataloque, Grammatical Study and Glossary of Elements.
Krahmalkov: PHOENICIAN - PUNIC DICTIONARY
Charles R.Krahmalkov. OLA 90. Studia Phoenicia XV.
Uitgeverij Peeters en Departement Oosterse studies. Leuven 2000.