Phillack Celtic Stele Cornwall (c 500 BCE)

Earliest Natively Written Text in Britain Showing Celtic Britain was literate. For translation methodology see: How to Translate Alphabetic Akkadian Texts

Phillack Stele as it Appeared in 2021 Outside Old Church Vestry at Phillack in Cornwall, England

Stele as it Appeared in 2021 Outside Old Church Vestry at Phillack in Cornwall, England

(Feb 20, 2023) This old vestry is 35 meters east of the church of St. Phillack (St. Felicitas) which is  southwest of St. Ives. The stele is in front by the corner. This building and stele and was registered with English Heritage in 1988 as a class 2 site number 1365625. It was used as a foundation stone in the first St. Phillack church which was torn down and replaced in 1856. So many more such inscribed stones may be still underground as foundation stones of ancient churches.
So why is this British national treasure out in the weather getting destroyed? This should be front and center in the British Museum.
Photo by Emma Trevarthen and found at:


Chris Bond (2023) Antiquarian Notes on the Prehistory of Cornwall. Cornovia Press, Sheffield
Richard Edmonds (1857-58) The Celtic and Other Antiquities of the Land's End District of Cornwall. Archaeologica Cambrensis 3:3-4, pages 275-295, 350-368, 66-76, 173-183, 274-283
(The above articles were combined into an 1862 book)Richard Edmonds (1862) The Land's End district: its antiquities, natural history, natural phenomena and scenery. Published by J. R. SmithOnline at:
Phillack Stele as it Appeared in 1890

Phillack Stele as it Appeared in 1890

The mentioned Richard Edmonds in the above caption said this in his book published in 1862 on page 63:
"An inscribed stone, as old perhaps as the last, formed one of the foundation stones of the late church at Phillack. It is 7 3/4 feet long, and now stands outside the wall of the vestry, in the southeastern corner of the courtyard but the inscription appears to be illegible."
Photo found in Bond (2023)
Sideview close-up of the letters with Alphabetic Akkadian letter assignments by Olmsted. These are definitely not Latin which anyone can see. These letters are similar to what is found in Iberia dating to 500 BCE.

Uncertain Translation of Phillack Stele of Cornwall, Britain

(September 2, 2023) These letters styles are similar to those found in Iberia. We need a better picture to make letter identification more certain!

Translation in Akkadian

(read left to right! Capital letters on object. Small letters are inferred Inner vowels) Mix of Etruscan and Aegean Island
  1. IRu  Ne'u  Tu  MiQi  UZu 
  2. (too uncertain to translate)

In English

  1. Astrological-powers are affecting astrological-magic undermining the frustration.
  2. (too uncertain to read)

Map of Cornwall, England from Google Maps.

Location of Phillack in Cornwall

Phillack was an ancient Cornwall trading center for tin going northward into Ireland and Scandinavia.