Inscribed stone reliquary, resembling a small sarcophagus. H. 0.135 m; W. 0.15 m; Th. 0.105 m. One of its sides has a hole, presumably for gaining closer contact with the relic. The interior is lined with lead. Fragmentary relics were found inside, enclosed in a small lead box. Gilbert Dagron notes that this kind of reliquary is well attested in Cilicia and Syria. The object was found by the inhabitants of the village Çaltı-Bozkır. Now in the Museum in Silifke. In 2009 re-edited with a good photograph by Ayşe Aydın (which is by mistake tagged editio princeps in the SEG, for earlier editions, see Eyice 1979 and I. Cilicia, no. 9).
The inscription reads:
Text: I. Cilicia, no. 9.
Saint NameZechariah, father of John the Baptist : S00597
Zechariah, Old Testament Prophet : S00283
Saint Name in SourceΖαχαρίας
Type of EvidenceInscriptions - Inscribed objects
Archaeological and architectural - Extant reliquaries and related fixtures
Evidence not before400
Evidence not after600
Activity not before400
Activity not after600
Place of Evidence - RegionAsia Minor
Place of Evidence - City, village, etcSeleucia ad Calycadnum
Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)Seleucia ad Calycadnum
Cult Activities - RelicsReliquary – institutionally owned
DiscussionAlthough reliquaries of this form are quite common in the region around Syria, they are rarely inscribed. This label is a very simple one, it mentions only the name of the saint, whose relics were kept inside. The Zechariah concerned was probably the father of John the Baptist, identified by an early Christian tradition with an innocent priest murdered at the Temple in Jerusalem (see Matthew 23:35), but could, possibly, be the Old Testament Prophet Zechariah.
Aydın, A., "[in Turkish: Märtyrer, Heilige und Reliquienkult im kilikisch-isaurischen Raum]", Olba 17 (2009), 72, 82.
I. Cilicia = Dagron, G., Feissel, D. (eds.), Inscriptions de Cilicie, (Paris: De Boccard, 1987), no. 9.
Hagel, St., Tomaschitz, K., (eds.), Repertorium der westkilikischen Inschriften (Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. Denkschriften der philosophisch-historischen Klasse 265, Ergänzungsbände zu den Tituli Asiae Minoris 22, Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1998), no. ÇaB 1.
Tabula Imperii Byzantini 5, s.v. Çaltı(2).
Eyice, S., "Rölik mahfazaları hakkında bir kitap ve bu münasebetle Anadolu'dan bazı Rölik mahfayalar", Istanbul Üniversitesi Edbiyat Fakültesi, Sanat Tarihi Yıllığı 8 (1979), 57-94.
Mietke, G., "Monumentalisierung christilcher Heiliger in Kilikien in frühbyzantinischer Zeit", Olba 17 (2009), 120.
Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 37, 1330; 59, 1598.