The Phoenicians

By Sage and Robert Smith


The Phoenicians existed between 1500 BC and 300 BC. They occupied the coast of Lebanon and Syria during the time but had to mostly live at sea because they didn't have much land. The land was about 160 mile long and 20 miles wide. Their major cities were Trye, Sidon, Byblos, and Arwad.


On the map to the right you can not only see the land that the Phoenicians occupied,but you can also see the trade routes they used. The Phoenicians had too trade throughout the Mediterranean sea because they didn't have everything they needed on their tiny piece of land.

Some Other Info

The term Phoenicia comes from the Greek "Phoenix" which means purple red, and refers to the purple industry (the dye extracted from the murex and used to color cloth). The Phoenicians used the Murex so much to make their purple dye that they drove it into extinction. The dye the Phoenicians made is "Royal Purple", because the process of extracting the dye from the Murex was so difficult and so time-consuming, and because it was very expensive, and only rich people could get it. The darker the cloth dyed purple was, the more expensive the cloth was.

Biggest Achievement

The Phoenicians are best known for making the first alphabet. It contains 22 letters and was created in 1000 BC at the city Byblos. It has influenced lots of alphabets including: Aramaic, Greek, and ours. The 22 letters only consists of only consonants, no vowels. Throughout time the vowels were added into the English and then to others.