A Greek Inscription Mentioning ΣΥΚΑΜΙΜΩΝ Discovered off the Carmel Coast

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Lisa Ullmann
Ehud Galili


In the winter of 1985-6, underwater survey was carried out in the north bay of Atlit. A hoard of metal artefacts, stuck together was discovered at a depth of 2.5 m, close to the coastline. It contains several items including a set of four wooden tools; a bronze figurine of a woman within a metal frame; a bronze chain and an unidentified bronze artefact bearing an inscription on both sides. This last object is 40 cm long, 15 cm wide and 1 cm thick, with a rectangular base that is wider and thicker. In the centre of the base is a hole probably intended for attaching or mounting the object. The object bears an inscription which reads, on one side [ïn]EPCOOTEPIAÇ (= ὺπὲρ σωτηρἰας), preceded by a lulav, shofar and menorah; and on the other side CYKAMIN(jO[N] (= Συκαμινων), followed by a lulav. According to the archaeological context, the artefacts in the hoard were probably taken from Shiqmona (located some 10 km to the north) after the destruction of the town in the seventh century CE and put on board ship to be used as scrap-metal, but the ship sunk while anchoring in the North Bay of Atlit.

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