This article is about two artifacts from Burrows Cave from the John White Collection of photographs.
In the image below, the letter פ is a perfect match to the Phoenician way of writing the letter. The Lamed is inverted. A Phoenician ל can look like our modern latin based L, but here in these artifacts, there appears to be three variants to it. L, Upside down L, and an L rotated 45 degrees.
The proper spelling of an elephant in Hebrew is פיל. In this image, we have פל. That is a pretty good match.
The בא uses the Libyan version of the letter ב. I do not know the significance of the line going through the circle. The א is the standard Phoenician version of the letter.
The Hebrew word for “to come” may depend on the noun, masculine/feminine, or plurality. Nevertheless the word בא is used as one variant for “come”. Consider “Father is coming” which translates by Google as אבא בא. If you want The Elephant is coming, Google Translate gives you הפיל מגיע. In this instance בא is not used.
Nevertheless, what is written on this stone is פל בא. I translate this to “The Elephants are coming.” – fully recognizing that a Hebrew purist will take issue here.
The word Mariners is at the head of this translation.
I discussed this artifact with Rick Osman who points out that the man bringing the elephant is likely a Mad-jai with a Mad-jai sword. He is likely lifelong bound to this elephant. Also notice that the bottom of the image is the water symbol indicating that these elephants are being imported from a foreign land.
Translation: “Mariners, the elephants are coming.”
Artifact John White Image 763
The red circle is likely either a ה(hey) or a ס(samech). The faint line down the middle is the question. If the line in the middle is part of the letter, than it is a ס. If it is a ה(hey) then it mean “The”.
The blue circle פאל is most likely a variant spelling for Elephant.
The green circle is סבך. Interweave is a perfect match in Ben-Yehuda’s dictionary.
The rest of the artifact is still a work in progress.