James Whitred

Three men and an inscription. Frank Moore Cross (center) deciphers a bowl inscribed in fifth-century Phoenician, discovered in the dog cemetery at Ashkelon, though not in a dog burial. Flanking him are Leon Levy (right), connoisseur of ancient Near Eastern art, philanthropist and patron of the Ashkelon expedition, and Lawrence E. Stager, head of the excavations. The bowl had two holes drilled above its inscription so that it could be displayed on a wall by means of a leather thong. The inscription contains a word that Cross reads as cgm, “cakes.” Intriguingly, honey- and cheese-cakes were a common offering in the healing cult of Asklepios, either to the deity or to the sacred dogs associated with him.