The Puzzler on Oct 19 2008, 05:34 PM, said:
My answer is yes, sometimes it does take outside influence to develop a different culture, why else did the Phoenicians practice a typically Egyptian custom of circumcision?
I'll be back tomorrow to add more. Night.
The date suggested as the start of the Phoenicians as a force of empire is not the date suggested as the start of the Phoenicians as a culture. I would also suggest there was not an 'event' that made the Phoenicians, Phoenician, but it was an evolution. Did Egyptians settle in Byblos? Probably some might have - it was a major trading port by all accounts. Did some Phoenicians settle in Egypt? Probably, but we see no sign of Egypt becoming Phoenician as a result. Strange that, as you indicate that the presence of a few members of a foreign culture in one's territory initiates a cultural change. Your assumption that Byblos 'became' Phoenician due to the arrival of some Egyptians is very frail.
Your other assumption that the Egyptians 'made' the Phoenicians into a sea-faring people holds no water (pardon the pun). Byblos 'began as a small fishing village' according to your source. I would think, then, they would develop some maritime expertise of their own as the village grew into a town and were probably very adequate, sea-faring, sailors before the arrival of any Egyptians.
And the final asumption I will address, that of the 'Egyptians being in charge of trading'? Why? Why not the Phoenicians trading their cedar for papyrus and then trading the papyrus to the Greeks? I'm sure they were quite capable of overseeing this trade on their own and did not need the Egyptians to hold their hands every step of the way.
Now I will give an opinion about a question. Why did the Phoenicians adopt the practice of circumcision? Because they witnessed it in Egypt, were told it had religious or health benefits and adopted it for themselves (probably quite slowly). Again, this doesn't require an Egyptian presence in Byblos to accomplish.
There is only so much you can do to try to make what we know fit your theory, and most of that is assume. But in assuming you are neglecting that others (the Phoenicians) have heads on their shoulders and brains in those heads. Look, the Egyptians may have imposed themselves on Byblos at an early stage, but we see no evidence of that from the writings produced so I see no reason to presume the Egyptians brought Phoenician culture to the Phoenicians, or that their presence in Byblos was the catalyst for this culture to develop.