The Phoenicians Civilization

Introduction to Phoenicians

The Phoenicians were really amazing people. They we remembered for many reasons. One is that they invented an whole new way of writing, called Cuneiform (more about Cuneiform in The archaeologist's section). Another thing they invented were ships, because they virtually lived on water: they were sea traders! Also, the Phoenicians houses were, and in some places still are, made of mud-brick, with flat roofs. Tools,weapons and vessels were made from stone. If these seem like interesting topics, or if you'd just like to learn more about the Phoenicians, scroll down!!!

Cristian - Archaeologist

Long ago existed a clever civilization, the mighty Phoenicians. The Phoenicians are believed to have invented many things including glassblowing, a high-prized purple dye, pottery, and copper metalwork.

There are a lot of objects and inventions that made a big impact on the Phoenicians. For example, the Phoenicians invented glassblowing, which is a way of making glass containers. Another thing that Phoenicians possibly invented was pottery. Pottery is made out of clay and earthenware. I think both glassblowing and pottery was an important thing to the Phoenicians because they could store water, food, and the highly-priced purple dye they were famous for. Another invention that might have been really important to the Phoenicians was the copper metalwork. I think copper metalwork was really important to them because they could make weapons, and therefore, they were harder to take over, unlike other civilizations, which were over-powered by other civilizations repeatedly.

The Phoenicians left many legacies behind. Do you have any beautiful glass containers in your house? Well, they might have been made by glassblowing; glassblowing is a way to make glass containers. To glass blow, a person heats up glass, and uses gravity as a tool to make glass containers. It is called glassblowing because people that do it, the glass blowers, insert a huge straw at the end of the heated glass, and then they blow into it so the glass swells up. Another awesome legacy of the great Phoenicians was the alphabet; most of the modern alphabet is based on the alphabet invented by the Phoenicians. The last legacy, and by far the most important to some of the archaeologists in the world, is shipbuilding and the bravery to explore the sea they didn't know anything about. I think that exploring the sea was really creepy to them because they didn't know anything about it. Also, the Phoenicians made their boats out of timber because of the large amount of timber they had. And thanks to them, we know have jet skis, racing boats, etc. that’s why I think that was their greatest legacy.

Zara - Archaeologist

Not much is known about the phoenician religion. What we do know is that there were many gods and goddesses that they worshipped, and each deity was associated with a specific city. Most people shared the same basic religion, even though the cities were different. Life was literally explained by the gods. if there was an earthquake, they thought it was because a God was angry.

In the Neareast today, peoples life are much like they were when the Phoenicians lived. Researchers observe todays lifestyle along with evidence from the past to better understand these people. They used many things that we use today. Take pottery for example. It was pretty useful to us Archaeologist. It was cheap, and easily broken, so the Phoenicians would throw it away, and thousands of years later we would find, study, and observe these pieces of pottery, to find out what these great, ancient people did.
Here are some fun facts you might like:
Burial was practiced by the Phoenicians instead of cremation. They were buried with many offerings, like pottery jars, Scarab seals, Scents (in the jars along with oils) and amulets. How amazing!

Cuneiform was a cool way of writing that the Phoenicians invented. Eventually, they used over 1800 signs! It is made of wedge shaped marks that represent sound, and can be made into words!!! The reason they invented this was because the pictograph system used too many letters.

Julianne- Historian

Although people don’t have the exact date the Phoenicians came to the Mediterranean Region, people think they arrived around 3000 B.C. The writing that the Phoenicians invented was “born” in Byblos, the city that was famous for papyrus in around 1000 B.C. The Phoenician alphabet had 22 characters. The reason for that is because the alphabet had fewer consonants than earlier Semitic languages. Their writing became popular after 1000 B.C. The writing spread to Ethiopia and is still used there today. One of the most important branches of the Phoenician writing is Aramaic. The Phoenicians made a great idea, why not set up sailors and traders and set up a collection of trading posts and colonies while they resupply their ships! In around 814 B.C., people made a colony which over time became the most powerful city in western Mediterranean. The city was named Carthage. Many Phoenicians died during the conquests of Alexander the Great.

Luke - Anthropologist

Though undoubtedly a religious society the Phoenicians had no clear religion. There were a few reasons for this. The first was that they recorded very little about their religious lives. Another important reason was that ach city had gods that it more prominently worshipped making it seem as if each Phoenician City had a religion of its own.

In many ways the Phoenicians were an advanced society. They drew from their surrounding civilizations but developed inventions of their own as well. An example of one of these inventions was their language. Though their spoken language only changed slightly there was a drastic change in their written one. At first they used a Sumerian series of symbols called cuneiform. However as their trades became more and more advanced they started using a system using sounds put together to make words. This required an alphabet.

To the Phoenicians there were many aspects of life that kept their civilization going. One very important aspect of life was their capital city Carthage. This city was originally controlled by a governor. However the citizens wanted more freedom and the rule transitioned into a monarchy controlled by King Dasumi. Another important aspect of their life was their seafaring skills which allowed them to have extensive trading with other civilizations and also to create many colonies and cities. The Phoenicians biggest city was called Tyre.

The Phoenicians communicated most commonly through trade deals. These deals were recorded at first using cuneiform. However as time went they began using sounds which in turn called for an alphabet. The Phoenician alphabet was 22 letters long (all consonants).

Rachel - Geographer

The Phoenicians lived on the coast lands of Mediterranean, in Levant. Levant is now Lebanon, and Israel. The Phoenicians grew wheat, barley, grapes, and olives. They also used the domestication of animals. They had water, plants, animals, sea creatures, and sea shells to use as natural resources. Even though they lived near the ocean, with the storms, they kept their colonies going.