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The Puzzler

Who were the Phoenicians?

188 posts in this topic

This is a topic I have been doing heaps of reading on and have found the Phoenicians endlessly interesting. I find them as the Atlanteans but there seems to be way more to them...

Ancient sources tell us they came from Africa, East Africa and Ethiopia have many links to them. It seems now genetics has identified them as having a J2 haplogroup which puts them in the Middle East area. That would make them indigenous I guess. They spoke an African-Semetic language.

1. The Phoenicians came from Hyperborea like shemTov's map (from American Atlantis, I'll link soon) is showing a grouping towards. (?is this right?) although the info cormac gives says, Greece, Italy, Turkey, Lebanon and Caucus.(J2 references)

2. They are indigenous to the area called Phoenicia. (Been there since migration at least 8000 years old)(Like cormac's info says-same J2 haplogroup)

3. They came from the Indian Ocean area and Africa.(Going on ancient sources and many similarities of looks and customs)

What is anyone's opinion on who the Phoenicians were?

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My opinion would be mainly indigenous. Perhaps they were derived from the original middle eastern (Canaanite) people through some intermingling with the migration of people from the Caucasus area around the Black Sea when that was inundated (which, if the evidence is correct, happened around 7,000 - 6,000BCE.)

Question for you, Puzzler. You say they spoke an African-Semitic language. Is this known from those who settled the Libyan/Tunisian coastal areas or was this the language of the Phoenicians from the area around Canaan on the Easterm Mediterranean coast?

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My opinion would be mainly indigenous. Perhaps they were derived from the original middle eastern (Canaanite) people through some intermingling with the migration of people from the Caucasus area around the Black Sea when that was inundated (which, if the evidence is correct, happened around 7,000 - 6,000BCE.)

Question for you, Puzzler. You say they spoke an African-Semitic language. Is this known from those who settled the Libyan/Tunisian coastal areas or was this the language of the Phoenicians from the area around Canaan on the Easterm Mediterranean coast?

I'm not sure who knew it really but Wiki tells us it was;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoenician_languages

Phoenician was a language originally spoken in the coastal region then called Pūt in Ancient Egyptian, Canaan in Phoenician, Hebrew, and Aramaic, and Phoenicia in Greek and Latin. Phoenician is a Semitic language of the Canaanite subgroup; its closest living relative is Hebrew. The area where Phoenician was spoken includes modern-day Lebanon, coastal Syria, northern Israel and Malta. Its speakers called their own language (dabarīm) Pōnnīm/Kana`nīm "Punic/Canaanite (speech)"

So I was wondering if Semitic had to have an African root;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semitic_languages

The Semitic family is a member of the larger Afro-Asiatic family, all the other five or more branches of which are based in Africa. Largely for this reason, the ancestors of Proto-Semitic speakers are now widely believed to have first arrived in the Middle East from Africa, possibly as part of the operation of the Saharan pump, around the late Neolithic.[8][9] Diakonoff sees Semitic originating between the Nile Delta and Palestine as the northernmost branch of Afro-Asiatic. Blench even wonders whether the highly divergent Gurage indicate an origin in Ethiopia (with the rest of Ethiopic Semitic a later back migration). However, an opposing theory is that Afro-Asiatic originated in the Middle East, and that Semitic is the only branch to have stayed put; this view is supported by apparent Sumerian and Caucasian loanwords in the African branches of Afro-Asiatic.

I guess this above paragraph is summing up the situation at the moment.

I am interested in the map shemTov puts up with J2 appearing very north whereas cormacs info gave area as Greece, Lebanon, Turkey and Caucasus. That dark area looks way north of any of these, or would that be Caucasus?

Quick edit to add some more info into this post.

Edited by The Puzzler

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Puzzler, if the 'Out of Africa' hypothesis for H. sap. is correct we could technically say all languages have an African root. This doesn't mean much when looking at origins of ethnicity of particular peoples, however.

If I was to say the Punic language spoken by the Phoenicians was 'African-Semitic' I am implying an origin (and I am speaking of a direct and more or less immediate origin) of these peoples that may not be factual. I read the Wiki article as well and it seems Punic is very closely related to Hebrew. While both may have derived from some ancient Afro-Asiatic language (as all Neolithic languages probably did) there is little merit investigating this (imo) with respect to finding out where the Phoenician peoples hail from.

All you are doing in looking this far back is saying all these groups of people originally hailed from Africa (after a migration of peoples perhaps millenia before they [the Phoenicians and other Canaanite people] developed their distinctive cultural differences) - which is hardly a revelation.

Punic appears to have been a Semitic language (drop the 'African') and this points to their [the Phoenicians'] origin as being in the near Middle-East, probably (as cormac's post in the other thread indicated) an offshoot of the Canaanites. The genetic assay would seem to support this.

The Caucasus area is the area between (roughly) the Black and Caspian Seas. I am unfamiliar with shemTov's map - does this indicate a different location for Caucasia?

Edited by Leonardo

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This is a topic I have been doing heaps of reading on and have found the Phoenicians endlessly interesting. I find them as the Atlanteans but there seems to be way more to them...

Ancient sources tell us they came from Africa, East Africa and Ethiopia have many links to them. It seems now genetics has identified them as having a J2 haplogroup which puts them in the Middle East area. That would make them indigenous I guess. They spoke an African-Semetic language. ... (snip) ...

... What is anyone's opinion on who the Phoenicians were?

Hi Puzzler -- have you read any books by Steven Collins? For example:

" ... A fresh look at the early history of Israel from the time of Abraham to King Solomon, with special emphasis on the little-known and immensely important events that helped to shape our modern world. Here is the untold story of Israel's sojourn in Egypt and evidence that God's People visited distant lands in Europe and America in ancient times. Author Steven Collins retells the story of the Book of Genesis and the lives of the Patriarchs with a keen insight into the meaning of interesting clues that other authors have missed. This is not just a rehash of history, but a reanalysis of a foundational book of Holy Scripture in the light of subsequent events and Bible prophecy. In addition to all of that, it is quite a good read!

http://stevenmcollins.com/html/books.html

Regards,

Karlis

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Puzzler, if the 'Out of Africa' hypothesis for H. sap. is correct we could technically say all languages have an African root. This doesn't mean much when looking at origins of ethnicity of particular peoples, however.

I don't have anything to add to this. I just wanted to take a moment and savor the fact that at UM someone, for once, did not make an instant and unquestioned direct link between language and society. Okay. I'm done now.

--Jaylemurph

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I don't have anything to add to this. I just wanted to take a moment and savor the fact that at UM someone, for once, did not make an instant and unquestioned direct link between language and society. Okay. I'm done now.

--Jaylemurph

So you think we should not equate language with a given society? I think I agree..... Please explain...

I'm not even sure what Leo was saying to me, I am not saying because we all came out of Africa all words should have an African root....

Wouldn't it depend where the speaking of a language began, irrespective of what ethnicity they were...

I think an ethnicity does not determine language....is this a 'dumb' view?

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Puzzler, if the 'Out of Africa' hypothesis for H. sap. is correct we could technically say all languages have an African root. This doesn't mean much when looking at origins of ethnicity of particular peoples, however.

If I was to say the Punic language spoken by the Phoenicians was 'African-Semitic' I am implying an origin (and I am speaking of a direct and more or less immediate origin) of these peoples that may not be factual. I read the Wiki article as well and it seems Punic is very closely related to Hebrew. While both may have derived from some ancient Afro-Asiatic language (as all Neolithic languages probably did) there is little merit investigating this (imo) with respect to finding out where the Phoenician peoples hail from.

All you are doing in looking this far back is saying all these groups of people originally hailed from Africa (after a migration of peoples perhaps millenia before they [the Phoenicians and other Canaanite people] developed their distinctive cultural differences) - which is hardly a revelation.

Punic appears to have been a Semitic language (drop the 'African') and this points to their [the Phoenicians'] origin as being in the near Middle-East, probably (as cormac's post in the other thread indicated) an offshoot of the Canaanites. The genetic assay would seem to support this.

The Caucasus area is the area between (roughly) the Black and Caspian Seas. I am unfamiliar with shemTov's map - does this indicate a different location for Caucasia?

So were the Canaanites from Africa or are they too 'indigenous' to the Levant?

We can only really call Phoenicians Phoenicians from 1500BC technically, before that they were a people at Sidon and Tyre, part of Canaanites, didn't really do the sailing thing too much, wasn't until they became Phoenicians as such they developed the sailing expertise, the Canaanites weren't known sailors, so at 1500BC we have the Canaanites developing into Phoenicians........

So, by taking DNA from someone at (old) Carthage area is really only telling us Phoenicians came from the Levant, which we know is no big suprise, but what is the DNA telling us about where Canaanites came from? The ancestors of Phoenicians...

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So you think we should not equate language with a given society? I think I agree..... Please explain...

I'm not even sure what Leo was saying to me, I am not saying because we all came out of Africa all words should have an African root....

Wouldn't it depend where the speaking of a language began, irrespective of what ethnicity they were...

I think an ethnicity does not determine language....is this a 'dumb' view?

Originally, that post was much longer and more in depth, and basically agreed with and backed up much of what you were saying, but then I figured, "Sod it. No one really wants me to go on that long". The result of which is the pith of the post was lost to a drive-by comment I should have known better than to put up, and even though I knew exactly what I was trying to say, nobody else could, so it does sort of look like I was more in accord with Leo (with whom in this one instance, rather unusually, I respectfully disagree).

I certainly don't think you were advocating a sort of pan-African language origin, nor do I think there's any meaningful necessary connexion between language and ethnicity. Language acquisition and development is pretty far outside my sphere of knowledge, so I'm hesitant to make any comment on it at all, but it certainly seems to me that if things as widely divergent as Calculus and television or as fundamental as writing can be independently created, so can modern speech. There is virtually nothing I'm aware of that suggests strong interconnexion between the most basic postulated or known early languages that would even hint at some ur-language.

--Jaylemurph

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I can Google this up but can't access the info, anyone here can access this site?

"allAfrica.com: Kenya: Maasais, Canaanites And the Inca Connection5 Jun 2007 ... If, as Graves affirms, the Canaanites came from East Africa via the Nile, it is not surprising to find even a third cognate by Lake Victoria ...

allafrica.com/stories/200706050712.html - Similar pages - Note this"

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Originally, that post was much longer and more in depth, and basically agreed with and backed up much of what you were saying, but then I figured, "Sod it. No one really wants me to go on that long". The result of which is the pith of the post was lost to a drive-by comment I should have known better than to put up, and even though I knew exactly what I was trying to say, nobody else could, so it does sort of look like I was more in accord with Leo (with whom in this one instance, rather unusually, I respectfully disagree).

I certainly don't think you were advocating a sort of pan-African language origin, nor do I think there's any meaningful necessary connexion between language and ethnicity. Language acquisition and development is pretty far outside my sphere of knowledge, so I'm hesitant to make any comment on it at all, but it certainly seems to me that if things as widely divergent as Calculus and television or as fundamental as writing can be independently created, so can modern speech. There is virtually nothing I'm aware of that suggests strong interconnexion between the most basic postulated or known early languages that would even hint at some ur-language.

--Jaylemurph

Okey dokey, cool J, thanks for that. Food for thought.

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Hi Puzzler -- have you read any books by Steven Collins? For example:

" ... A fresh look at the early history of Israel from the time of Abraham to King Solomon, with special emphasis on the little-known and immensely important events that helped to shape our modern world. Here is the untold story of Israel's sojourn in Egypt and evidence that God's People visited distant lands in Europe and America in ancient times. Author Steven Collins retells the story of the Book of Genesis and the lives of the Patriarchs with a keen insight into the meaning of interesting clues that other authors have missed. This is not just a rehash of history, but a reanalysis of a foundational book of Holy Scripture in the light of subsequent events and Bible prophecy. In addition to all of that, it is quite a good read!

http://stevenmcollins.com/html/books.html

Regards,

Karlis

No, I haven't but it sounds like a good read, I will check it out, thanks!

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Ok, since Puzzler did not reply, and no one else commented -- I'll assume nobody has heard of Steven Collins. Either that, or are Collins' propositions not worth considering?

Regards,

Karlis

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Ok, since Puzzler did not reply, and no one else commented -- I'll assume nobody has heard of Steven Collins. Either that, or are Collins' propositions not worth considering?

Regards,

Karlis

No, no I'm very interested, I just was working through my answers....

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Was ancient Israel a landlocked nation or a seacoast trading empire? In this fascinating study, historian Steven M. Collins details the little-known story of Israel's ancient empires. Not only did King David's land empire stretch clear across the Mideast to Mesopotamia, but Israel boasted a navy which merged with and dominated the famed Phoenicians. Hebrew ships plied the Mediterranean, establishing colonies along the European and North African coasts. Israel's influence in the ancient city-state of Carthage has never before been so thoroughly documented, nor her definite presence in early Britain. New evidence is presented also suggesting that her ships visited the North American continent, as well. This study plows much new ground in ancient history.

A review of Collins; I find this interesting because it is sayingthat the Phoenicians basically merging from the shipping Israel had done, which makes sense to me.

Rather than them introducing shipping themselves, they adapted it from an earlier source.

Can someone just confirm for me what defines the term Israel? Is it Canaan or something different? Is it later Canaan?

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If only the Egyptians and East Africans practised circumcision, how did the Jewish people come to adapt it into their life unless they came from this same area?

Unless they picked it up in the Caucasus area from the Egyptians that were around Colchis?

How does anyone equate this practise with the Jews apart from coming from an African source?

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Since,

The Phoenicians were the Canaanites—and the ancestors of today's Lebanese.

According to Dr. Spencer Wells, then both are haplogroup J2.

About J2:

Haplogroup J2 is widely believed to be associated with the spread of agriculture from Mesopotamia, the Levant, and Anatolia. The age of J2 has been estimated as 18,500 +/- 3,500 thousand years ago. Its distribution, centered in West Asia and Southeastern Europe, its association with the presence of Neolithic archaeological artifacts, such as figurines and painted pottery, and its association with annual precipitation have been interpreted as evidence that J2, and in particular its J2a-M410 subclade belonged to the agricultural innovators who followed the rainfall.

and

Another important fact about the distribution of Haplogroup J2 is that it appears to have dispersed from a Middle Eastern homeland to the west through a primarily maritime or littoral route, as it is found in high concentrations among the populations of the coasts of the Mediterranean Sea in both Eurasia and Africa, and particularly along the coasts of the eastern Mediterranean in Europe.

Haplogroup J2 (Y-DNA)

About the parent haplogroup J:

Haplogroup J is believed to have arisen 31,700 years ago (plus or minus 12,800 years) in the Near East (Semino et al. 2004).

and

Haplogroup J is found in greatest concentration in the Caucasus and Southwest Asia.

This together indicates that the Phoenicians/Canaanites and their ancestors have been in the same general area for the last 20,000 to 30,000 years.

cormac

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~~~(snip) ...

Can someone just confirm for me what defines the term Israel? Is it Canaan or something different? Is it later Canaan?

Hi Puzzler -- At this URL, is a map of “Israel/Canaan during the reign of King David”.

http://www.mideastweb.org/palearly.htm

Collins postulates that at the height of Israel’s power under King David, the Phoenicians were a sea-faring/trading nation, and had an alliance; that there were regular, established shipping trading routes to the North American Great Lakes.

Regards,

Karlis

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So were the Canaanites from Africa or are they too 'indigenous' to the Levant?

We can only really call Phoenicians Phoenicians from 1500BC technically, before that they were a people at Sidon and Tyre, part of Canaanites, didn't really do the sailing thing too much, wasn't until they became Phoenicians as such they developed the sailing expertise, the Canaanites weren't known sailors, so at 1500BC we have the Canaanites developing into Phoenicians........

So, by taking DNA from someone at (old) Carthage area is really only telling us Phoenicians came from the Levant, which we know is no big suprise, but what is the DNA telling us about where Canaanites came from? The ancestors of Phoenicians...

Sorry, Puzzler. My post was a bit obtuse.

What I was inferring was that, by referring to Punic as an Afro-Semitic language you are making it out to be a blend of ancient Semitic and a contemporary African language, hence implying an origin for the Phoenicians as not being the Levant and an offshoot of the Canaanites, but resulting from direct migration from Africa. Semitic we already know is one of a family of Afro-Asiatic languages so the 'African' in African-Semitic is unnecessary and potentially misleading.

I think cormac has answered the origins question rather well and I can't think of anything else to add.

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Sorry, Puzzler. My post was a bit obtuse.

What I was inferring was that, by referring to Punic as an Afro-Semitic language you are making it out to be a blend of ancient Semitic and a contemporary African language, hence implying an origin for the Phoenicians as not being the Levant and an offshoot of the Canaanites, but resulting from direct migration from Africa. Semitic we already know is one of a family of Afro-Asiatic languages so the 'African' in African-Semitic is unnecessary and potentially misleading.

I think cormac has answered the origins question rather well and I can't think of anything else to add.

Aaahhhhhh..

OK, sounds fair. (For now... :ph34r: )

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Puzzler, on one of your other threads someone posted about the phoenicans circumnavigating africa. During the long journey, they stopped off to plant and harvest grain etc. It would make sense to me that some of the phoenicans could have stayed behind at places where they stopped. This could result in their genes being widespread as well as influencing or being influenced by other cultures around africa.

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Ok, since Puzzler did not reply, and no one else commented -- I'll assume nobody has heard of Steven Collins. Either that, or are Collins' propositions not worth considering?

Regards,

Karlis

Hadn't heard of him before and looking at his website I certainly won't be wasting money on his books which appear to contradict nearly everything Jewish archaeologists tell us about the origins of the Jewish state and early Biblical times. King David ran a global sea empire eh? Hmmm, and all from his little hill top village and without any of the surrounding empires even knowing .....

I'd rather read Finkelstein and Silberman :)

As for the Phoenicians - any reason they had to be a distinct racial group? Whilst the original Phoenicians may well have been a Caananite tribe living on the coast ... maybe they were joined over time by various groups of seafarers as their port grew .... and thus became the first multi-ethnic society? Just a thought :)

btw if their sailors were anything like sailors from more recent times, it wasn't just grain they were seeding on their journey round Africa :D

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I agree that the Phoenicians could have been an amalgamation of a number of peoples.

An ethnic group is a group of human beings whose members identify with each other, usually on the basis of preferential endogamy and/or a presumed or real common ancestry.[1][2] Ethnic identity is further marked by the recognition from others of a group's distinctiveness[3] and the recognition of common cultural, linguistic, religious, behavioral or biological traits,[1][4] real or presumed, as indicators of contrast to other groups.[5]

Ethnicity is an increasingly important means by which states and scientists can identify (and categorise) people, and through which people can identify themselves. According to "Challenges of Measuring an Ethnic World: Science, politics, and reality", a conference organized by Statistics Canada and the United States Census Bureau (April 1-3, 1992), "Ethnicity is a fundamental factor in human life: it is a phenomenon inherent in human experience."[6] However, many social scientists, like anthropologists Fredrik Barth and Eric Wolf, regard ethnicity more as a product of interaction, rather than reflecting essential qualities inherent to human groups.[7] Processes that result in the emergence of such identification are called ethnogenesis. Members of an ethnic group, on the whole, claim cultural continuities over time, although historians and cultural anthropologists have documented that many of the values, practices, and norms that imply continuity with the past are of relatively recent invention.[8]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnic_group

A "product of interaction", which would definitely apply to those with sailing experience in the ancient times.

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I agree that the Phoenicians could have been an amalgamation of a number of peoples.

An ethnic group is a group of human beings whose members identify with each other, usually on the basis of preferential endogamy and/or a presumed or real common ancestry.[1][2] Ethnic identity is further marked by the recognition from others of a group's distinctiveness[3] and the recognition of common cultural, linguistic, religious, behavioral or biological traits,[1][4] real or presumed, as indicators of contrast to other groups.[5]

Ethnicity is an increasingly important means by which states and scientists can identify (and categorise) people, and through which people can identify themselves. According to "Challenges of Measuring an Ethnic World: Science, politics, and reality", a conference organized by Statistics Canada and the United States Census Bureau (April 1-3, 1992), "Ethnicity is a fundamental factor in human life: it is a phenomenon inherent in human experience."[6] However, many social scientists, like anthropologists Fredrik Barth and Eric Wolf, regard ethnicity more as a product of interaction, rather than reflecting essential qualities inherent to human groups.[7] Processes that result in the emergence of such identification are called ethnogenesis. Members of an ethnic group, on the whole, claim cultural continuities over time, although historians and cultural anthropologists have documented that many of the values, practices, and norms that imply continuity with the past are of relatively recent invention.[8]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnic_group

A "product of interaction", which would definitely apply to those with sailing experience in the ancient times.

Hi Q!

Yeah I was going to add to that too and 1.6's post made me think abit.

I haven't forgotton those Egyptians arriving in around 1800BC in Colchis on the Black Sea (J2 in Caucasus) either, I'm going a long way around.....I'm working on it all now.

That time is before 'Phoenicians' became Phoenicians in Phoenicia. When they were still just Sidonese Canaanites. Egyptians must have been sailing before them if Sesostris has sailed into the Erythraean Sea previously. The Celts are proving interesting too.

You will also see touches of the J2 in Ethiopia too. That could be when Herodotus speaks of them coming from the 'shores of the Erythraean Sea'.

It appears though from other Herodotus I read that he specifically starts the Erythraean Sea OUTSIDE the Arabian Gulf (Red Sea).

Being a 'child of Canaan' would indeed seem to make Sidon multicultural. The link between Heracles being Melqet certainly add to the mystery.

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I'm just not getting past the Canaanites being from Africa.

http://www.raceandhistory.com/cgi-bin/foru...rames/read/1895

The fact that Phoenicians spoke a Semitic language does not necessarily mean they were Semites. Language and race are two different things. There are, for instance, plenty of Spanish-speakers in the world whose ancestors did not come from Spain.

As noted in my book Black Spark, White Fire the Bible clearly indicates that the Phoenicians – a Canaanite people – were not of Semitic descent. The word "Semitic" applies to those peoples who were descended from Noah’s son Shem. But, according to Genesis 9-10, the Canaanites were descended from another of Noah’s sons, Ham.

Genesis states that there were four Hamitic nations: "Cush, Mizraim, Put and Canaan." Mizraim is Egypt. Cush is Nubia, or the Sudan. "Put" likely refers to a land the Egyptians called Punt, which probably lay in Ethiopia or Somalia.

Thus, every Hamitic nation, except Canaan, appears to be located in Africa.

Of course, not all readers believe the Bible. But even an atheist must wonder why the Biblical scribes believed that Phoenicians and other Canaanites were related to people in Africa. Was it something about their appearance?

The Babylonian Talmud, set to writing in the sixth century A.D., records a Jewish oral tradition that the Canaanites were black. In it, Noah curses his grandson Canaan, saying: "Canaan’s children shall be born ugly and black!… your grandchildren’s hair shall be twisted into kinks…"

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