Archaeology » Diciplines by Regional study » Phoeniciology

Phoeniciology is a sub-discipline of Archaeology exclusively about ancient Phoenicia, occupying modern-day Lebanon and Tunisia, and, to a lesser extent: Cyprus, Malta, Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, Israel and Spain.

The Carthage city, having been destroyed by rivals, it became difficult to practice and the main reason was scarcity of sites. However it had continued significance up to this time period, and the buildings were just erected over the older ones.

Phoenicians Overview :

From 1200 to 800 B.C. the Semitic-speaking Phoenicians lived and prospered on the Mediterranean coast north of Palestine;cities were Tyre and Sidon. Having gained fame as sailors and traders they occupied a string of cities along the Mediterranean coast, in what is today Lebanon and Syria.

Contributions to Civilization Manufacturing and trade :

The coastal land, though narrow, was fertile and supported farming. Still, the resourceful Phoenicians became best known for manufacturing and trade. They made glass from coastal sand. From a tiny sea snail, they produced a widely admired purple dye, called "Tyrian purple" which became their trademark also the favorite color of royalty.

Phoenicians also used papyrus to make scrolls, or rolls of paper, for books. The word Bible and bibliography came from the Phoenician city of Byblos. Phoenicians traded with people all around the Mediterranean Sea and in order to promote trade, they set up colonies.

Missionaries of Civilization :

The Phoenicians served as missionaries of civilization, bringing eastern Mediterranean products and culture to less advanced peoples. A few Phoenician traders braved the stormy Atlantic and sailed till England. There, they exchanged goods from the Mediterranean for tin. About 600 B.C., one Phoenician expedition may have sailed down the Red Sea and then followed the African coast around the southern tip. That historic voyage was forgotten for centuries. (In the late 1400's, Europeans claimed to be the first to round the southern tip of Africa.)

The Alphabet :

As merchants, the Phoenicians needed a simple alphabet to ease the burden of keeping records. They therefore replaced the cumbersome cuneiform alphabet of 550 characters with a phonetic alphabet, based on distinct sounds, consisting of 22 letters. After further alterations by the Greeks and Romans, this alphabet became the one we use today!


Prehistoric archaeology Contains Following Chapter:
Ancient Phoenicia :
Phoeniciology 6th century BC Punic figurines

The earliest record of the Phoenicians is from the 16th century BC, although it is believed that around 3000 BC they settled in what became known as Phoenicia (from the Greek name, Phoinikes), an area equivalent to the coast of modern-day Lebanon. A Semitic people perhaps originally from the Persian Gulf area, they turned their backs on the sere land they had crossed and developed one of the earliest ancient and great seafaring Western cultures, using commerce as their principal motivation and source of influence. In fact, their name for themselves seems to have been Kena'ani (or Canaanites), a word which in Hebrew means"merchants."

Phoeniciology The excavations at Byblos

Byblos, believed to have been the first city of the Phoenicians, achieved its greatest renown beginning in the third millennium BC when it was a busy port used for trade. Ships from throughout the Mediterranean would come to Byblos in search of local materials, as well as those found in other further-distant lands. Egypt would send gold, papyrus, linen and alabaster, and exchange it all for oil and wood.

The trunk and branches from cypress, oak, fir, and especially the famous, huge, and sometimes ancient Lebanese cedar trees that covered the Lebanese coast and nearby highlands, were extremely important materials in the barren and arid parts of the Middle East and North Africa.

Byblos continued to be important until the first millennium BC. Following that, it was invaded, as was the whole region, successively by the Persians, Alexander the Great, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Arabs, and the Crusaders. Afterwards, many of its ruins were covered over and lost from memory.

Phoeniciology Crusader castle ruins of present-day Saida

Sidon, due to its early prominence in trade (especially of Phoenician glassware and the special purple dyes), was a hard won prize but nevertheless frequently conquered, destroyed and rebuilt. Prosperous throughout the 2nd millennium BC, it was ruled by Assyria, Babylonia, Persia, Alexander the Great, the Seleucids of Syria, the Ptolemaic dynasty of Egypt, and the Romans. Even Herod the Great and Jesus are known to have visited it.

Phoeniciology The few remains of Ugarit

Ugarit (near Ras Shamra in present-day Syria) was the first city outside of the original Phoenician settlements (Byblos, Sidon and Tyre) to take on a distinctly Phoenician flavor. It had been settled in the 4th millennium BC, before the Phoenicians arrived, but it was not until the 2nd millennium the 16th to the 13th centuries BC that Ugarit became the Phoenician-led Mediterranean center for trade with Egypt, Cyprus, Mesopotamia and the rest of Syria. During its golden age, from 1450 to 1200 BC, it had great royal palaces, temples, shrines and libraries.

A farmer discovered the ruins of Ugarit when he struck a large stone with his plow. A mere 9 miles north of the Syrian town of Al-ladhiqiyah, today's Ugarit provides a vague idea of what the layout of the city was like. Sitting serenely on a hill overlooking the Mediterranean, the site is beautiful. There is still evidence of where the gutters of the streets carried water not bad for a city that is around 2,500 years.

Other Resource about Phoeniciology:
Phoeniciology in Wiki

Phoeniciology is a sub-discipline of Archaeology exclusively studying of ancient Phoenicia, occupying modern-day Lebanon and Tunisia, and, to a lesser extent: Cyprus, Malta, Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, Israel and Spain.

What is Phoeniciology History

Archaeological sub-disciplines - Phoeniciology is an sub-discipline of Archaeology exclusively studying of ancient Phoenicia, occupying modern-day Lebanon...

Ancient Phoenicia

The largest, comprehensive comilation of studies about the Phoenicians, Punic, Canaanites.

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