SAGU & AMPA
North of the Rawsch Chaqaa lies the next (10th) town which Esarhaddon in 676 BC sums up when he describes the kingdom of Sidon. The old village of Chekka, or šaqqa, built on a hill, most likely corresponds to the šigata of the Amarna correspondence and the Sa-gu-u of Esarhaddon’s list. That is all what E.Lipinski says about it in his Itineraria Phoenicia. There is no motivation. But he is in good company, because also G.Kestemont in “
et les Assyrians” (OLA 15 St.Phoen.I + II, Leuven 1983) and G.Bunnens
(Considérations Géographiques sur la place occupée par la Phénicie dans
l’expansion de l’empire Assyrian) seem to chose also for this option. The “Dictionnaire
de la Civilisation Phénicienne et Punique” gives only a vague explanation: The
town must be located between Batroun and Enfé. But, of course there is the
similarity in the name Sagu / šaqqa. Tyre
Back to the name of the town in the Amarna correspondence. There it is seven times mentioned. EA 74 is important: Abdi-Aširta has taken šigata to himself! EA 76 als: Gaz-people against šigata!
The Bordeaux Itinerary places the name TRICLIS halfway between
and Batrun and again we arrive at
Chekka. The name TRICLIS is no error for TRIERES, but a transcription of the
originally Greek name of the red mullet. Tripoli
Meanwhile we have already passed a big promontory: Rawsch Chaqaa. This cape has not mentioned by Esarhaddon but several classical writers did so all the more. The Greek name of the promontory was Theouprosopon, which means “face of god”. This name is probably of Phoenician “Penu’el” which must have designated the white stone of the cliff, going down precipitously into the sea and offering an impressive view to sailors doubling the headland or shaping the course of their vessels from
to the mainland. Cyprus
The (Penu’el) could be connected with a memory-stone and inscription out of the
Western Mediterranean, which says: “…it being a tall
stone <engraved> with the figure of Baalhammon, his face to the West and
his back to the East.” (KAI 78.4/6). It confirms exactly the direction the
Phoenician choose and in the case of Penu’el it was the god EL whose name was
invoked. See: Krahmalkov: Dictionary, Leuven,
In December 2012 Fadi Nassar paid already attention to this place and Roux Renard made a comparison with Brean peninsula in Somerset (UK).
Four kilometres north of Chekka and 16 km southwest of Tripoli, the peninsula of Anfe is the site of Am-pa in Esarhaddon’s list and most likely of Ambi in the time of the Canaanites and in the Amarna correspondence. This Ambi is mentioned seven times, of which EA 102.20 is important: Ambi is hostile (to Rib Addi of Gubla).
Ampa or Ambi was certainly the site of the Phoenician city, called “nose”, because it enters “like a nose” into the sea. Unfortunately we don not know the Phoenician name for nose.
In later times it is the NEPHIN of the Crusaders, a dependence of the Counts of Tripoli and the Anf al-Hagar, “the Stone Nose”, of al-Idrisi (Nuzhat al Muštaq fi ihtiraq al afaq).
The castle of the Crusaders occupied the promontory, which is about 400 meters long ans only 125 meters wide in its widest point.
E.Lipinski. OLA 127. St.Phoen.XVIII. Leuven 2004. p. 27+28+288. Phoenicia
See:Les Ports Phéniciens et Puniques, Carayon, Strassbourg 2008.
See:Cuatro estudios sobre los dominios territoriales de las ciudades-estado fenicia, Belmonte, Barcelona 2003.