Front Side of Zincirli Amulet

Zincirli Stone Amulet Found In Phoenicia: Front Side

Main image is of a trapped howling Basenji dog. It could represent the feelings of people who are trapped by drought or represent the dog star Sirius which guided the drought causing sun. Below this howling dog is a smaller dog of a different breed laying down. This amulet is now at the Vorderasiatisches (Pergamon) Museum in Berlin. Identification number: S 03604. It is 9.2 x 5 cm in size and 1.4 cm thick.

The amulet was excavated during the fourth season of the German expedition to Zincirli Höyük under the direction of Felix von Luschan (March 20–June 28, 1894). It was first published by Walter Andrae (1943: 146–47, pl. 9c) in the fifth volume of final excavation report. 

Photo in DeGrado, and Madadh. (2017). Letter assignments by Olmsted. Image online at:
The Basenji dog from the Near East and Northern Africa is one of the earliest surviving dog breeds. Notice its curly tail and pointed ears just like that  on the Zincirli Amulet.
Map showing find spot of Zincirli Amulet

Back Side: Nourishments for Life-Powers Are Being Blocked by Astrological Powers

(May 6, 2023) This stone amulet has two texts of differing letter styles, Text 2 is early Etruscan while text 1 is early Israelite (Gezer). The Israelite text is derogatory complaining that the diviners (seers) are getting rich over some drought. The Etruscan text justifies this expense by stating that any offerings for the connective life powers, god Hu and goddess Ayu, are a waste because they do not affect fate. In general Israelites favored life powers while Phoenicians favored magical motion powers. The Etruscans favored both as long as both powers kept to their proper domains.

The lower image consists of people bringing offerings to some motion power temple, probably to the temple of the full moon god Su who is the motion power source. The upper image shows the constellations most involved in defining fate involving the editing of the life network done by  crescent moon goddess Ayu. Going around clockwise these are: Pleiades, Southern Cross, an unknown constellation looking like an ax head, Cygus the swan, and another 1 or 2 unknown constellations.

In ancient times the Southern Cross (Crux) was part of the Greek constellation Centaurus. It was visible to the ancient Greeks, but the Earth’s axial precession gradually took the stars of Crux to the far southern sky, making them invisible from most locations in the northern hemisphere. By the year 400 CE, the Southern Cross had fallen below the horizon for most of Europe. It was rediscovered by European explorers in the 15th and 16th centuries.

 The Pleiades dips below the horizon at Mediterranean latitudes at the start of the stormy season in Late October/November so they became associated with rain and wind. In Greek mythology they were associated with the goddess Artemis (Ayu). 

Translation in Akkadian (Levant Text 36)

(Read right to left. Capital letters on seal. Small letters are inferred Inner vowels. Verb is italic bold)
  1. (Israelite) BaRu  LiPu  Bu  Ḫu  EŠu (Lev 36.1)
  2. (Etruscan) Bu  GaPpu  ITu  IRu  Ya (Lev 36.2)

(Dual use letters are E/H, I/Y, U/W, and '/A in which vowel appears at beginning of words except for Yahu which is keeping its traditional Hebrew transliteration)

In English

  1. The seer's fat is being nourished by Hu's confusion.
  2. Nourishments for the winged-ones (Hu and Ayu) do not astrologically-empower the omens


DeGrado, Jessie and Richey, Madadh. (2017) An Aramaic-Inscribed Lamashtu Amulet from Zincirli. Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 377: 107-33. Online at:
An archaeological website for a more recent excavation is hosted by the university of Chicago but all their translations of other texts are wrong because they they were done without following any standards. 
Southern Cross: