Phoenicia - Wikipedia
Phoenicia was an ancient civilization composed of independent city-states located along a shared ethnic identity as Can'nai, inhabitants of the land of Canaan yet, despite a Following this, trade relations between Sidon and Israel ceased. According to the Bible, the ancient Canaanites, were idol worshipers who . On the link between the Sea People and Phoenicians, Maria Eugenia Aubet. "purple,"6 "Canaan" thus being a Hurrian appellative of Phoenicia as the country of purple dye.7 . 16 However, nothing in the root KNC suggests any relation to.
There is therefore much continuity in Phoenician traditions from the Late Bronze Age until the Hellenistic period around B. The Canaanites were the earliest inhabitants of Lebanon according to written historical records. They were called Sidonians in the Bible. Sidon was one of their cities. Artifacts unearthed at Byblos have been dated to B. They were produced by Stone Age farmers and fishermen.
They were repelled by Semitic tribes people who arrived as early as B. Canaanites ousted the Hittites, invaders from present-day Turkey; overpowered the Ugarit people on the Syrian coast and drove southward until they stopped Ramasses III, the pharaoh of Egypt. The Canaanites also had encounters with the Hyksos, a people who conquered lower kingdom of Egypt; and the Assyrians.
According to the Bible, the ancient Canaanites, were idol worshipers who practiced human sacrifice and engaged in deviant sexual activity.
They reportedly conducted human sacrifices in which children were immolated in front of their parents on stone altars, known as Tophets, dedicated to the mysterious dark god Molech. We have some idea what the Canaanites looked like. An Egyptian wall painting from B. The Canaanites have Semitic facial features, and dark hair, which the women wear in long tresses and the men have styled in mushroom- shaped bundles on the tops of their heads.
Both sexes wore bright red and yellow clotheslong dresses for women and kilts by the men.
From what scholars have been able to ascertain, the Canaanites were a largely urban people that originated in eastern Syria, migrated southward along the Mediterranean lived mostly between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean in what is now Israel. They never were very strong or established an empire and in fact were often overrun by the great empires of Mesopotamia, Egypt and Anatolia.
By around B. Phoenician mask Canaanites buried 4, years ago were folded up with their arms and legs crossed and placed in burial pots, sometimes wearing a necklace made with gold, rock crystal and carnelian beads. The burial pot and the position of the dead, it is thought, was intended to replicate the position of a newborn in a womb ready to be reborn into the afterlife.
At Ashkelon see Below Canaanite families placed corpses in burial chambers and kept them there until the flesh rotted off, a process that took several months, then they would bury the bones in recesses and corners of the chambers. Over time the remains of a lot of individuals could get crammed inside. At Ashkelon babies were buried with Egyptians scarabs, magical charms, suggesting, archaeologists say, that they were accorded the status of full-fledged adults.
The Canaanites are believed to have been the first people to possess an alphabet. A 13th century B.
Believed to have used to teach scribes languages, the tablet appears to have contained other columns with other languages, perhaps the Semitic cuneiform language of Akkadian and another unrelated tongue, possibly Hurrian or Hittite. The desolate Valley of Hinom, just south of the Old City in Jerusalem, is where the ancient Canaanites reportedly conducted human sacrifices in which children were immolated in front of their parents. Canaan objects, excavated by archaeologists include an Canaanites at Ashkelon Around B.
Canaanites occupied the coastal settlement of Ashkelon, one of the largest and richest seaports in the Mediterranean in ancient times. Ashkelon was located in present-day Israel, 60 kilometers south of Tel Aviv, and dates back at least to B.
The presence of all these cultures and historical periods means the site is rich archaeologically but also difficult and complex to sort through. The great wall that surrounded it when it was at its height was an arc over two kilometers long, with the sea on the other side.
Just the ramparts of the wallnot the wall itselfwere up to 16 meters high and 50 meters thick. The towered wall on top of it may have risen to a height of 35 meters. The Canaanites occupied Ashkelon from until B. They had master craftsmen and a clear idea of what they wanted to buildbig fortified cities. With plentiful supplies of fresh water, it was a major exporters of wine, olive oil, wheat and livestock.
Studies of their teeth indicate they ate a lot sand in their food and their teeth wore down quickly. Ten centimeters tall and dated to B. Baal was the Canaanites storm god.
Those elusive Canaanites!
The statue is now on display in the Israel Museum. At its height Canaanite Ashkelon was probably home to 15, peoplequite a large number in ancient times. By comparison Babylon at that time might have had 30, residents. The Egyptians considered the Canaanites to be rivals and cursed the Ashkelon kings by writing their names on figurines and smashing them to magically destroy their power.
Stager has suggested that the Canaanites perhaps were the Hyksos, mysterious people from the north that conquered the ancient Egyptians, based in the discovery of artifacts in Egypt from the Hyskso period that are identical with those found in Canaanite Ashkelon. Ugarit Ugarit was an important 14th century B. Mediterranean port located on the Syrian coast, 10 kilometers north of the Syrian port of Latakia on the Mediterranean coast, east of the northeast coast of Cyprus. It was an the next great Canaanite city to arise after Ebla.
Tablets found at Ugarit indicated it was involved in the trade of box and juniper wood, olive oil, wine. Ugaritian head According to the Metropolitan Museum of Art:. Although the name of the city was known from Egyptian and Hittite sources, its location and history were a mystery until the accidental discovery in of an ancient tomb at the small Arab village of Ras Shamra.
To the west lay a good harbor the bay of Minet el Beidhawhile to the east a pass led to the heart of Syria and northern Mesopotamia through the mountain range that lies parallel with the coast. The city also sat astride an important north-south coastal trade route linking Anatolia and Egypt. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Octobermetmuseum.
A large palace, built from finely dressed stones and consisting of numerous courtyards, pillared halls, and a columned entrance gate, occupied the western edge of the city.
- ORIGIN OF THE PHOENICIANS AND CANAANITES, SEA PEOPLES AND PHILISTINES
In a special wing of the palace were a number of rooms apparently devoted to administration, since hundreds of cuneiform tablets were discovered there covering almost all aspects of the life of Ugarit from the fourteenth to the twelfth century B. It is clear that the city dominated the surrounding land though the full extent of the kingdom is uncertain.
The citizens engaged in trade and many foreign merchants were based in the state, for example from Cyprus exchanging copper ingots in the shape of ox hides. The presence of Minoan and Mycenaean pottery suggests Aegean contacts with the city. It was also the central storage place for grain supplies moving from the wheat plains of northern Syria to the Hittite court.
Curtis, Adrian Ugarit Ras Shamra. Ugarites and the First Alphabet According to the Guinness Book of Records, the earliest example of alphabetic writing was a clay tablet with 32 cuneiform letters found in Ugarit, Syria and dated to B.
The Ugarits condensed the Eblaite writing, with its hundreds of symbols, into a concise letter alphabet that was the precursor of the Phoenician alphabet.
The Ugarites reduced all symbols with multiple consonant sounds to signs with a single consent sound. In the Ugarite system each sign consisted of one consonant plus any vowel. Ugarit texts refer to deities such as El, Asherah, Baak and Dagan, previously known only from the Bible and a handful of other texts. Ugarit literature is full of epic stories about gods and goddesses. This form of religion was revived by the early Hebrew prophets.
An inch-high silver-and-gold statuette of a god, circa B. The Ugarit alphabet was passed on to the Semitic tribes of the Middle East, which included the Phoenicians, Hebrews and later the Arabs. Ugaratic letters Philistines, Phoenicians and Sea Peoples Some archeologist and historians believe a mysterious group known as the Sea People — perhaps ancestors of the Minoans — migrated to Lebanon around B.
Other archeologist believe the Philistines were originally a Sea People group. The Phoenicians learned from them how to build harbors, moorings, docks, and piers. The Sea Peoples, like the Phoenicians, were excellent navigatorsand how they knew the routes west to the rich sources of metals. Abercrombie of the University of Pennsylvania wrote: The Philistines, one of the Sea People groups, are easily identified on the depiction of the battles by their distinctive headdresses. Since the 's, most scholars have linked those headdresses with some of the anthropoid coffin burials from Beth Shan and elsewhere in Eretz Israel.
Abercrombie, University of Pennsylvania, James B. Besides the headdresses and biblical references, archaeological data suggest the appearance of a new group along the coast. The distinctive Philistine ware Mycenean IIIc1b appears in the twelfth century and continues into the eleventh century. This pottery tradition has close parallels to Cyprus as well as other islands in the eastern Mediterranean, and suggests that the Sea People may have originated from the eastern Mediterranean rather than Crete Amos 9: Cremation burial, which can be cited from Anatolia and the Aegean, occurred in the coastal region beginning in the twelfth century and continued well into the seventh century.
But in all these cases they were represented, not in their own writings, but in those of rivals and enemies. A culture of horror and creativity They therefore appear in history in a largely negative light. All cultures have good points and bad points — hardly surprisingly, really, given that they are all made up of human beings.
ORIGIN OF THE PHOENICIANS AND CANAANITES, SEA PEOPLES AND PHILISTINES | Facts and Details
The culture of the Canaanites was no exception. Barbaric practices Most notably, their religious practices seem to have been horrific. They included the sacrifice of infants, apparently by the terrible method of committing them alive to the flames of their gods.
Such was the widespread nature of this practice amongst the people of the Canaan that one of the main points of an early story in the Bible Genesis 22in which the Hebrew patriarch Abraham is prevented by Yahweh the Israelite God from sacrificing his son Isaac to him, is to underpin the point that Yahweh does not require infant sacrifice.
The Romans too, a millennium later, were horrified by the Carthaginian religious practices; and the sacrifice of infants seems to appear in the archaeological record, in the mass burial of tiny bodies in special Carthaginian cemeteries. A major contribution to human progress But the Canaanite culture seems also to have been a creative and enterprising one.
It made very significant contributions to human progress. The Canaanite alphabet may well have had Egyptian roots, but was certainly the first true alphabetical script. Phoenician trading cities of Tyre and Sidon, they spread this form of script around he Mediterranean world. These in turn gave rise to the western European alphabet, and to the Cyrillic alphabet of eastern Europe. Phoenician alphabet — wikemedia: By Luca — Own work, Public Domain, https: To the north, the Aramaean peoples who settled northern Canaan and Syria at the turn of the millennium also took over the Canaanite alphabet.
Their Aramaic alphabet became the standard script for everyday transactions within the Assyrian Empireand then in the Babylonian and Persian empires. Thus it spread right across the Middle East, evolving further into the Arabic, Syriac particularly associated with the Christian communities of the regionand Sanskrit scripts.
From the latter it became ancestral to the alphabets used in the multiplicity of South Asian languages. Given the advantages of alphabetic systems over other forms of writing, the Canaanite contribution to human progress can therefore be seen as a formidable one. What happened to them after they were famous? But what of the Canaanites themselves?