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Sarcophagus of Eshmunazar II Found Near Sidon, Lebanon

What Did the Phoenicians Believe About Death and Afterlife?

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Sidon Sarcophagus: Illustration of the Sarcophagus of Eshmunazar II Found Near Sidon, Lebanon

Sidon Sarcophagus: Illustration of the Sarcophagus of Eshmunazar II Found Near Sidon, Lebanon

Source: Jupiter Images

Discovered in 1855 at a site near Sidon, the sarcophagus of Eshmunazar II bears an inscription in Phoenician Canaanite with the Phoenician alphabet. Now located in the Louvre Museum in Paris, the sarcophagus was created in the early 5th century BCE. The inscription identifies the king inside and warns people not to disturb him:

    "O thou, remember this: May no royal race and no man open my covering, nor deface (the inscriptions of) my covering, nor molest me in this funeral bed, nor carry away the coffin, where I repose. Otherwise, the sacred gods shall inflict extirpation on them and shall exterminate this royal race and this man of the crowd and their offspring for ever."

Evidently, the Sidonians didn't believe in an afterlife:

    "I am carried away, the time of my non-existence has come, my spirit has disappeared, like the day, from whence I am silent, since which I became mute.

    And I am lying in this coffin, and in this tomb, in the place which I have built."
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