Appendix VII





A CONTEMPORARY reference to the Amorite Phoenician tin mines in Britain appears probably to exist in the historical road-tablet of the great "Akkad" emperor Sargon I., about 2800-2750 B.C., recording the mileage and geography of the roads throughout his vast empire of world-conquest. The existing document is a certified copy in cuneiform script of the original record of Sargon I. It was found at the Assyrian capital of Assur, and was made by an official scribe in the 8th century B.C.1

The tablet details the lengths of the roads within Sargon's empire from his capital at Agade on the Euphrates, and records that "the produce of the mines in talents, and the produce of the fields to Sargon has been brought." And it states that his empire of "the countries from the rising to the setting of the sun, which Sargon the . . . king conquered with his hand," included amongst many other lands "the Land of Gutium," "the land of the Muru (or Amorites)" and "the Tin-land country which lies beyond the Upper Sea (or Mediterranean)."

This latter reference, which occurs in line 41 is translated by Prof. Sayce as follows:--

"To the Tin-land (KUGA-KI) (and) Kaptara (Caphtor, Krete), countries beyond the Upper Sea (the Mediterranean)."2


And Prof. Sayce remarks that "'The Tin-land beyond the Mediterranean' must be Spain, and so bears testimony to maritime trade at this early period between Asia and the western basin of the Mediterranean. It is unfortunate that the loss of the text on the reverse of the tablet prevents our knowing what the exact construction of the sentence was; but it would have been something like: 'The road led towards the Tin-land,' as well as other countries beyond the limits of the Babylonian empire."3

The word-signs in the tablet for "Tin-land," however, which are rendered "Kuga-ki" by Prof. Sayce, possess many other ideographic and phonetic values besides "Kuga" as selected by him; and an examination of these may help us to recover the real Sumerian or Amorite name for the land in question (-- the affix ki or gi = "land," and is now disclosed as the Sumerian source of the Greek ge "earth," as already noted).

This Sumerian word-sign in Sargon's tablet for "Tin" means literally "shining, bright," and hence also "tin" and "silver";4 and it has an unequivocal word-value of AZAG,5 with the Akkad equivalent of KAS-PU or GAZA-PA,6 which latter are probably cognate with the Greek word Kassiteros for Tin and "Cassiterides." The other Sumerian phonetic value of this Tin word-sign, although usually rendered KU or KU-U,7 is very doubtful, because its two constituent word-signs have so many different values, the first having no less than 28 different sounds. Thus besides KU-U, this word-sign may be restored amongst others as KU-SAM,

1 Text is published in Keilschrifttexte aus Assur verschiedenen Inhalts 1920, No. 92.
2 Ancient
Egypt, 1924, 2.                               3 Ib. 4.
4 But "silver" is usually distinguished by the addition of the sign for "Sun," on account of its superior brightness.
5 Br. 9887.                          6 Br. 9891 and 4722.                        7 Br. 9888.



ES-U (? Aes bronze or copper ore), BI-KUS, A-KUS or MU-KUS, the latter two suggesting that Ictis or Mictis name applied by the Greeks to the Phoenician tinport at St. Michael's Mount in Cornwall, on the Sea of Icht.

There is probably, I think, another reference to this Western Tin-land in a subsequent line of this expanded paragraph. Line 47 of the tablet may be read, with literal translation, as follows:--

   U MAD               KUS-SA-IA     I   KI   MI-SIR-SU            ME
   "And the country of Kus-sa-ia, the captured1 land [beyond] the frontier,
        (or "mud").                                            (or Mi-sir,
                                                                i.e., Egypt) 
                                                                as ordered."

This seems possibly to refer to "the Tin-land beyond the Mediterranean" as "The country of the Kussaia or Kassi people," as captured by Sargon I., and as lying beyond the frontier of Egypt or "Misir." It thus would account for the name "Cassi-terides"; and Kassi is sometimes spelt with u in cuneiform script.2

The other captured Western land "beyond the Mediterranean," associated with this Tin-land in Sargon's tablet is named therein Kaptara, which is usually considered to be the "Caphtor" of the Philistines, of the Old Testament,3 and conjectured to be Crete, as it is called therein an "island or sea-coast" by the Phoenician name "ai" (i.e., the -ay or -ey place-affix in British coastal names). But the Cretans are held to be the "Chereth-ites" of the Old Testament, which thus excludes Caphtor from being Crete, which, moreover, could not be described as "beyond the Mediterranean." I venture therefore to suggest that this "Kaptara" is the ancient Phoenician mining-port of Abdara or "Abdera" in Spain, near the straits of Gibraltar, from which the initial K has latterly dropped out--like the K in "Khatti" to form "Hatti," in "Khallapu" to form "Hallab" or "Allepo," and the G in Gwalia, Gioln, Gwite, etc., to form "Wales, Ioln, Wight," etc. And the letters t and d are always interchangeable, as we have seen in Tascio, etc. In favour of this dropping of the K in Kaptara through the wear and tear of time, is the fact that since Strabo's and Ptolemy's day "Abdara" has now become shortened into "Adra." Abdara, as Ptolemy calls it, was a Phoenician silver mining seaport colony founded traditionally by Tyre.4 And the Phoenicians had another "Abdera" port in Thrace, also with rich silver mines.5 This Iberian Abdara has many coins bearing its name in Phoenician letters, along with a Sun-temple on the reverse; and the Roman coins repeat the Sun-temple and the Phoenician script, with the bi-lingual legend "Abdera."6 And although a short distance inside the Straits, it was probably the Kaptara of Sargon's tablet, and a port of call of his subject Amorite merchants on their way to and from the outer Tin-mines of the Cassiterides of Cornwall about 2750 B.C., before the founding of Gades.


Regarding the tradition that "giants" occupied Britain before Brutus, and that "giants" were the builders of the Stone Circle, and megaliths and "giants' tombs," in Britain, Britany, Mauretania, Sardinia, and in other places colonized by the Phoenicians, it is significant that the Mor, Muru, Maruta or "Amorites" of Syria-Phoenicia-Palestine are called "giants" by the Hebrews in their Old Testament. They are, moreover, also called there "the sons of Anak (Beni-anak)."7 Now "Anak" in Akkadian is a name for "Tin."8 And Tarshish, which, as Tarz or Tarsus, we have seen


1 Br. 3979.                   2 M.D. 444.                 3 Jer. 47. 4.                  4 Strabo, 3. 4. 3.          5 Herodotus 6, 46-7.

6 A.A.C. 16-17.                              7 Numbers 3, 28 f., Josh. 10, 5; 11, 21, etc.

8 Anaku = "Tin" also "lead" M.D. 70.


was a chief port of the Amorite Phoenicians, and which we know was actually visited and conquered by Sargon I., is thus celebrated in the Old Testament in connection with Tyre of the Phoenicians: "Tarshish was thy merchant by reason of the multitude of all kinds of riches; with silver, iron, TIN, and lead, they traded in thy fairs."1

It would thus appear that the Tin which was imported into ancient Palestine, and which entered into the bronze that decorated Solomon's temple, and formed sacred vessels in that sanctuary, was presumably obtained in most part, if not altogether, from the Phoenician Tin-mines of Ancient Britain.

1 Ezek. 27, 12.