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The Puzzler

Who were the Phoenicians?

188 posts in this topic

Here is some words from Herodotus:

The account which I received of this Hercules makes him one of the twelve gods. Of the other Hercules, with whom the Greeks are familiar, I could hear nothing in any part of Egypt. That the Greeks, however (those I mean who gave the son of Amphitryon that name), took the name from the Egyptians, and not the Egyptians from the Greeks, is I think clearly proved, among other arguments, by the fact that both the parents of Hercules, Amphitryon as well as Alcmena, were of Egyptian origin. Again, the Egyptians disclaim all knowledge of the names of Neptune and the Dioscuri, and do not include them in the number of their gods; but had they adopted the name of any god from the Greeks, these would have been the likeliest to obtain notice, since the Egyptians, as I am well convinced, practised navigation at that time, and the Greeks also were some of them mariners, so that they would have been more likely to know the names of these gods than that of Hercules. But the Egyptian Hercules is one of their ancient gods. Seventeen thousand years before the reign of Amasis, the twelve gods were, they affirm, produced from the eight: and of these twelve, Hercules is one.

In the wish to get the best information that I could on these matters, I made a voyage to Tyre in Phoenicia, hearing there was a temple of Hercules at that place, very highly venerated. I visited the temple, and found it richly adorned with a number of offerings, among which were two pillars, one of pure gold, the other of emerald, shining with great brilliancy at night. In a conversation which I held with the priests, I inquired how long their temple had been built, and found by their answer that they, too, differed from the Greeks. They said that the temple was built at the same time that the city was founded, and that the foundation of the city took place two thousand three hundred years ago. In Tyre I remarked another temple where the same god was worshipped as the Thasian Hercules. So I went on to Thasos, where I found a temple of Hercules which had been built by the Phoenicians who colonised that island when they sailed in search of Europa. Even this was five generations earlier than the time when Hercules, son of Amphitryon, was born in Greece. These researches show plainly that there is an ancient god Hercules; and my own opinion is that those Greeks act most wisely who build and maintain two temples of Hercules, in the one of which the Hercules worshipped is known by the name of Olympian, and has sacrifice offered to him as an immortal, while in the other the honours paid are such as are due to a hero.

That places Tyre foundation at 2900BC, a similar time Sesostris is said to have gone through there. Heracles had been an Egyptian God for 17,000 years at that time, so would assume that the Phoenicians took the God Heracles from them or Tyre was founded by an Egyptian, with Phoenicans later arriving there. We see a bit later but still much earlier than the Greek Heracles, the Phoenicians colonised Thasos and left a temple of Heracles.

I wonder therefore:

Were the Egyptians in the Levant before the Phoenicians that descended from Canaan, around 1500BC?

Edited by The Puzzler

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Can anyone give me a link or evidence that the Phoenicians were descendants of the Cucuteni-Trypillians, shem, my mind is a bit blurred since we last touched on this, you may have some info on this.

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Can anyone give me a link or evidence that the Phoenicians were descendants of the Cucuteni-Trypillians, shem, my mind is a bit blurred since we last touched on this, you may have some info on this.

there are no bodies to prove anything hartewise but stylistically it seems like they attended potters college in hacilar [J2 haplo like phoenicians]

linked-image

and it is thought that the suddenly intrusive elite med. skull types [j2] in the kurgans are probably cucuteni

"Anthropology of Sredny Stog and Novodanylovka

J.P. Mallory reviews a work on the archaeology of the Sredny Stog and Novodanylovka cultures of the northern Pontic area, which are considered by some to be the original Proto-Indo-Europeans. It is interesting that the females are Proto-Europoid, while there is an intrusive Mediterranean element of Balkan origin among the males.

D. Ya. Telegin et al. Srednestogovskaya i Novodanilovskaya Kul'tury Eneolita Azovo-Chernomorskogo Regiona. Kiev: Shlyakh, 2001.

Reviewed by J.P. Mallory, JIES vol. 32, 3/4, p. 363-366.

"The third section of the book surveys the anthropological literature concerning the Sredny Stog and Novodanylovka cultures. For the twenty Sredny Stog burials from Igren, we find the somewhat unusual situation of women outliving males on an average of 7.8 years (males - 35.8 years, females - 43.6); only one individual lived passed 55 years. In terms of the craniological analysis of physical characteristics the Sredny Stog females tend to exhibit a homogeneous Proto-Europoid type that is most similar to the earlier inhabitants of the region. The series of male crania, however, tend to vary more and indicate both more robust Proto-Europoid and more gracile southern European (or Mediterranean) components. The analysis of six Novodanilovka skulls from three sites suggests again the presence of both Proto-Europoid and Mediterranean types. The cranial evidence as a whole suggests a mingling of local Proto-Europoids (seen especially in the east) with more gracial south-east European types in the west, a attern that might be explained by the flow of populations from the Balkan Neolithic (Tripolje) into the western Ukraine."

there is a really neat story about what happened to the bodies but its very spooky

Edited by shemTov

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Here is some words from Herodotus:

That places Tyre foundation at 2900BC, a similar time Sesostris is said to have gone through there. Heracles had been an Egyptian God for 17,000 years at that time, so would assume that the Phoenicians took the God Heracles from them or Tyre was founded by an Egyptian, with Phoenicans later arriving there. We see a bit later but still much earlier than the Greek Heracles, the Phoenicians colonised Thasos and left a temple of Heracles.

I wonder therefore:

Were the Egyptians in the Levant before the Phoenicians that descended from Canaan, around 1500BC?

I'm assuming you put an extra '0' in 1,700 by accident when referring to how long Heracles had been an Egyptian god!!! :blink:

Regarding the dating of the founding of Tyre by Herodotus - I would be a little wary of the figure given. While I am not familiar with the calendric system in use in Phoenicia it is likely the priests quoted a date to Herodotus based on previous royal or high priestly personages and the length of their reign, rather than give him a date based on exact knowledge of founding based on calendar. As such, given the propensity of those in the ancient civilisations to exaggerate the length of rule of important or dearly held royals etc we should look more towards hard evidence of the founding - and the first monumental mention of Tyre as a city is in 1300BCE, we also have the Amarna letters of 1350BCE (source). Interestingly, the Amarna (Tyre) letters seem to have been written by a mayor - not a King. An indication Tyre was, at that time, not important enough to rate a royal presence?

We might allow a century or two before that for it's founding, but I'd be skeptical of a date of double that without real evidence.

Edited by Leonardo

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I'm assuming you put an extra '0' in 1,700 by accident when referring to how long Heracles had been an Egyptian god!!! :blink:

Regarding the dating of the founding of Tyre by Herodotus - I would be a little wary of the figure given. While I am not familiar with the calendric system in use in Phoenicia it is likely the priests quoted a date to Herodotus based on previous royal or high priestly personages and the length of their reign, rather than give him a date based on exact knowledge of founding based on calendar. As such, given the propensity of those in the ancient civilisations to exaggerate the length of rule of important or dearly held royals etc we should look more towards hard evidence of the founding - and the first monumental mention of Tyre as a city is in 1300BCE, we also have the Amarna letters of 1350BCE (source). Interestingly, the Amarna (Tyre) letters seem to have been written by a mayor - not a King. An indication Tyre was, at that time, not important enough to rate a royal presence?

We might allow a century or two before that for it's founding, but I'd be skeptical of a date of double that without real evidence.

No, I did not put in an extra '0'. lol

About Heracles I heard the account given that he was of the number of the twelve gods; but of the other Heracles whom the Hellenes know I was not able to hear in any part of Egypt: and moreover to prove that the Egyptians did not take the name of Heracles from the Hellenes, but rather the Hellenes from the Egyptians,—that is to say those of the Hellenes who gave the name Heracles to the son of Amphitryon,—of that, I say, besides many other evidences there is chiefly this, namely that the parents of this Heracles, Amphitryon and Alcmene, were both of Egypt by descent, and also that the Egyptians say that they do not know the names either of Poseidon or of the Dioscuroi, nor have these been accepted by them as gods among the other gods; whereas if they had received from the Hellenes the name of any divinity, they would naturally have preserved the memory of these most of all, assuming that in those times as now some of the Hellenes were wont to make voyages and were seafaring folk, as I suppose and as my judgment compels me to think; so that the Egyptians would have learnt the names of these gods even more than that of Heracles.

In fact however Heracles is a very ancient Egyptian god; and (as they say themselves) it is seventeen thousand years to the beginning of the reign of Amasis from the time when the twelve gods, of whom they count that Heracles is one, were begotten of the eight gods.

I moreover, desiring to know something certain of these matters so far as might be, made a voyage also to Tyre of Phenicia, hearing that in that place there was a holy temple of Heracles; and I saw that it was richly furnished with many votive offerings besides, and especially there were in it two pillars, the one of pure gold and the other of an emerald stone of such size as to shine by night: and having come to speech with the priests of the god, I asked them how long a time it was since their temple had been set up: and these also I found to be at variance with the Hellenes, for they said that at the same time when Tyre was founded, the temple of the god also had been set up, and that it was a period of two thousand three hundred years since their people began to dwell at Tyre. I saw also at Tyre another temple of Heracles, with the surname Thasian; and I came to Thasos also and there I found a temple of Heracles set up by the Phenicians, who had sailed out to seek for Europa and had colonised Thasos; and these things happened full five generations of men before Heracles the son of Amphitryon was born in Hellas.

So then my inquiries show clearly that Heracles is an ancient god, and those of the Hellenes seem to me to act most rightly who have two temples of Heracles set up, and who sacrifice to the one as an immortal god and with the title Olympian, and make offerings of the dead to the other as a hero. Moreover, besides many other stories which the Hellenes tell without due consideration, this tale is especially foolish which they tell about Heracles, namely that when he came to Egypt, the Egyptians put on him wreaths and led him forth in procession to sacrifice him to Zeus; and he for some time kept quiet, but when they were beginning the sacrifice of him at the altar, he betook himself to prowess and slew them all. I for my part am of opinion that the Hellenes when they tell this tale are altogether without knowledge of the nature and customs of the Egyptians; for how should they for whom it is not lawful to sacrifice even beasts, except swine and the males of oxen and calves (such of them as are clean) and geese, how should these sacrifice human beings? Besides this, how is it in nature possible that Heracles, being one person only and moreover a man (as they assert), should slay many myriads?

http://server.egypt.com/egypt/historyen/in.../About-Heracles

I will do more checking on the beginnings of Tyre, thanks for reminding me of that, but as you can see Heracles is not a Greek God but an ancient Egyptian one who is indeed according to them 17,000 years immortal. I have included so much text from Herodotus for you to read since it is all inclusive about Heracles and many people don't know he was an Egyptian God before a Greek one, note also that they didn't know about or have Poseidon as a God, I believe he was Phoenician, father of Sidon.

I find all of Herodotus work absolutely fascinating and never tire of reading it.

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No, I did not put in an extra '0'. lol

I will do more checking on the beginnings of Tyre, thanks for reminding me of that, but as you can see Heracles is not a Greek God but an ancient Egyptian one who is indeed according to them 17,000 years immortal. I have included so much text from Herodotus for you to read since it is all inclusive about Heracles and many people don't know he was an Egyptian God before a Greek one, note also that they didn't know about or have Poseidon as a God, I believe he was Phoenician, father of Sidon.

I find all of Herodotus work absolutely fascinating and never tire of reading it.

:lol:

I understand now, thanks for clarifying. I thought you were stating that Egyptian culture was over 17,000 years old, but you are referring to Herodotus. The same exaggeration of the passage of time applies - only more so - in this, imo. It was important for Egypt and their prestige that they be seen as predating all other civilisations, so I think a bit of creative license by the teller of this tale to Herodotus is warranted in this instance.

It would not be beyond probability, also, that the one who told Herodotus of Heracles being an ancient Egyptian god was simply enagaging in 'one-upmanship' by co-opting the Greek hero and god and implying the god was already known to them. I can't find any reference to a Heracles in ancient Egyptian mythology, except during and after the Hellenic period. There is an Egyptian god, Heryshaf, who was later identified (loosely) with Heracles, but identifying one cultures' god with a god of another culture happened all the time. it does not mean Heracles was worshipped by the ancient Egyptians.

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:lol:

I understand now, thanks for clarifying. I thought you were stating that Egyptian culture was over 17,000 years old, but you are referring to Herodotus. The same exaggeration of the passage of time applies - only more so - in this, imo. It was important for Egypt and their prestige that they be seen as predating all other civilisations, so I think a bit of creative license by the teller of this tale to Herodotus is warranted in this instance.

It would not be beyond probability, also, that the one who told Herodotus of Heracles being an ancient Egyptian god was simply enagaging in 'one-upmanship' by co-opting the Greek hero and god and implying the god was already known to them. I can't find any reference to a Heracles in ancient Egyptian mythology, except during and after the Hellenic period. There is an Egyptian god, Heryshaf, who was later identified (loosely) with Heracles, but identifying one cultures' god with a god of another culture happened all the time. it does not mean Heracles was worshipped by the ancient Egyptians.

No worries. Here's the thing, Manetho also placed the Gods as being around for 36,000 years...are we to understand these people were just pulling these times out of the air?

In the Bible we have the Flood, ok, and prior to that we have the 'men of old, men of renown' Noah etc, very old men, aged 900 years and so, Methuselah comes to mind, what does this all mean, are all these ages just pulled out of the air and wrong to boot, or should we take a bit more notice and thought about it all...

In the Gehenna thread I am going on about Moloch, what that did was make one immortal, Demeter is caught out trying to do it to Demophon, Triptolemus' brother, he of the Eleusian Mysteries, the one Demeter taught agriculture to. Are we just unaware of how this worked in todays age? Achilles mother is knowledgable about it too.

These people are very old and we just cannot comprehend it, the Flood wiped all knowledge of this out, whether there was a Flood doesn't matter, the allegory is there, at some point in time this practice was stopped and that is what the Flood in the Bible is representing. The sons of God and the daughters of men, it's all relative to it..were we at one time able to be immortal, seems quite irrational NOW....but I wonder.

Edited by The Puzzler

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I think that the Phoenicians were way ahead of their time with seafaring and wordly travel. I believe they were mining and refining ores in other shores centuries before the New World was found. I also believe their trademarked Dye reflects their actions and characteristics. The dye called Tyrian was highly prized by nobility as it reflected their bloodlust and warmongering (in my opinion). I just get a wierd feeling about the Phoenicians, their history seems vague at best, they were one of the first to utilize the alphabet, their seafaring knowledge was unsurpassed, they had cities and port towns all over the mediterranean and most likely beyond~

I've always heard that the Phoenicians eventually became the Venetians or Black Venetians but have not looked into that at all. I realize their people must have garnished quite the amount of money from their travels and trade and I hope it was put to good use, but something tells me~ nope.

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I think that the Phoenicians were way ahead of their time with seafaring and wordly travel. I believe they were mining and refining ores in other shores centuries before the New World was found. I also believe their trademarked Dye reflects their actions and characteristics. The dye called Tyrian was highly prized by nobility as it reflected their bloodlust and warmongering (in my opinion). I just get a wierd feeling about the Phoenicians, their history seems vague at best, they were one of the first to utilize the alphabet, their seafaring knowledge was unsurpassed, they had cities and port towns all over the mediterranean and most likely beyond~

I've always heard that the Phoenicians eventually became the Venetians or Black Venetians but have not looked into that at all. I realize their people must have garnished quite the amount of money from their travels and trade and I hope it was put to good use, but something tells me~ nope.

I have that same weird feeling...........

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I'm assuming you put an extra '0' in 1,700 by accident when referring to how long Heracles had been an Egyptian god!!! :blink:

Regarding the dating of the founding of Tyre by Herodotus - I would be a little wary of the figure given. While I am not familiar with the calendric system in use in Phoenicia it is likely the priests quoted a date to Herodotus based on previous royal or high priestly personages and the length of their reign, rather than give him a date based on exact knowledge of founding based on calendar. As such, given the propensity of those in the ancient civilisations to exaggerate the length of rule of important or dearly held royals etc we should look more towards hard evidence of the founding - and the first monumental mention of Tyre as a city is in 1300BCE, we also have the Amarna letters of 1350BCE (source). Interestingly, the Amarna (Tyre) letters seem to have been written by a mayor - not a King. An indication Tyre was, at that time, not important enough to rate a royal presence?

We might allow a century or two before that for it's founding, but I'd be skeptical of a date of double that without real evidence.

I'm baaaack...

Did some research on Tyre:

At Tyre, a very thorough archaeological excavation was performed in 1974 which went all the way down to bedrock.[xi] This produced clear evidence of a founding date for this city occurring in the first part of the third millennium B.C. This was confirmed by Herodotus, often called the father of history, who traveled to Tyre around 450 B.C. He gave us the following report in The Histories (2:44).[xii]

“I wanted to understand these matters as clearly as I could, so I also sailed to Tyre in Phoenicia, since I had heard that there was a sanctuary sacred to Heracles there, and I found that the sanctuary there was very lavishly appointed with a large number of dedicatory offerings. In it were two pillars, one of pure gold, the other of emerald which gleamed brightly at night. I talked to the priests of the god there and asked them how long ago the sanctuary of the god was founded, and I discovered that they too disagreed with the Greek account, because according to them the sanctuary of the god was founded at the same time as Tyre, which was 2,300 years ago, they said.”

When we add 2,300 years to the date of Herodotus’ visit (450 B.C.) we get 2750 B.C. As it turns out, this falls exactly in the range given to us by Bikai’s archaeological evidence. We can therefore have a reasonably high degree of confidence in this beginning point for Tyre.

http://www.phoenician.org/origin.htm

So, there you go. When is anyone gonna believe Herodotus? Good thing I do.

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None of the Christian Lebanese-Americans of my acquaintance show the slightest sign of Ethiopian ancestry. I'm a light-skinned Northern European but they are lighter-skinned than I. Their complexion is very nearly bluish-white.

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So, there you go. When is anyone gonna believe Herodotus? Good thing I do.

Right about the time he's more right than wrong...

--Jaylemurph

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No worries. Here's the thing, Manetho also placed the Gods as being around for 36,000 years...are we to understand these people were just pulling these times out of the air?

As far as I can research, Puz, Manetho does not place the gods as having reigned for 36,000 years. That figure is from the Turin Papyrus which, dating from around 1200BCE, predates Manetho by nearly a millenium.

Manetho (via Eusebius) is quoted as having the gods of Egypt reign for 13,900 years, with another 11,000 or so for the demigods and Kings. However, it is likely he derived his dates from the Turin Papyrus (or another document of the same ilk). If the orginal was composed of figures based on sacred numerology (which is very possible) then Manetho's would as well, so you simply have a case of one source based on an erroneous other.

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As far as I can research, Puz, Manetho does not place the gods as having reigned for 36,000 years. That figure is from the Turin Papyrus which, dating from around 1200BCE, predates Manetho by nearly a millenium.

Manetho (via Eusebius) is quoted as having the gods of Egypt reign for 13,900 years, with another 11,000 or so for the demigods and Kings. However, it is likely he derived his dates from the Turin Papyrus (or another document of the same ilk). If the orginal was composed of figures based on sacred numerology (which is very possible) then Manetho's would as well, so you simply have a case of one source based on an erroneous other.

Yep, my error there, no worries, does not take away from my thoughts on it, Manetho is not overly reliable. He places Apollo as Horus , which I find to be incorrect anyway.

The Turin Papyrus has the Gods being very old at any rate.

What did you think of my evidence showing that Tyre could have been settled back when Herodotus said it was?

At Tyre, a very thorough archaeological excavation was performed in 1974 which went all the way down to bedrock.[xi] This produced clear evidence of a founding date for this city occurring in the first part of the third millennium B.C. This was confirmed by Herodotus, often called the father of history, who traveled to Tyre around 450 B.C.
Edited by The Puzzler

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Right about the time he's more right than wrong...

--Jaylemurph

I have shown that Herodotus has been correct on many occasions, I linked a site that showed it was possible to put into place the huge granite megaliths inside the pyramid by using short cubic wooden blocks in the method Herodotus tells us the Egyptians told him. I have just shown Leo how Herodotus is correct in his placement of the foundation of Tyre at 2750BC.

I have also just provided info in my Atlantis Discussion Thread that the earliest Athenians that had the names of Gods were Egyptians. These people are not the Mycenaeans or the Pelasgians but earlier than both of them. When they married into the Pelasgians they lost their Egyptian identities but they are easily found in the Greek myths. All the Greek Gods except for a few are originally Egyptian ones. Heracles included, which I will attempt to show kmt in my ADT thread, just gathering my info. The trouble is kmt is looking for someone called Heracles in Egypt and that you will not find.

Edited by The Puzzler

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Also herodotus says he SAW the Colchians and that they were Egyptian looking and did practice circumcision, which was practised in Egypt way before the Jews started it. So if he saw them himself why would one not believe that they were indeed Egyptian.

As for Phoenicians being not of African stock, that debate could go on forever and my opinion is that they were originally. It doesn't take many generations to wipe the black out of you OldTime Radio, I have many Aboriginal friends that are now white, unless my best friend told me she had Aboriginal in her I would never had guessed it. Usually the women are the black ones and the men whom the DNA tests show their origin were the white men who raided or took over these places, so therefore Y chromosome DNA tests are useless for determining origins imo. The indigenous women were usually raped by the invaders with all traces of that origin being wiped out. Just because people of Sidon and Tyre show no signs of being black once is no sure-fire answer to the 'fact' that they weren't. In Tasmania here no test will show the original inhabitants were black Aboriginals, they are all gone.

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What did you think of my evidence showing that Tyre could have been settled back when Herodotus said it was?

It was good research. I read the article and found it compelling and believable. With respect to the topic of the thread, though - why does the founding of Tyre have any meaning if Byblos was the 'original' Phoenician city? The artcle implied Byblos (and thus the Phoenicians) being Canaanite in origin and made no reference to any other possibility of ethnicity of the peoples of the city. Knowing the date of it's founding is only relevant if you can show this area wasn't inhabited by indigenous peoples (Canaanites) at that time and so must have been a 'colony' city of another culture. Neither does knowing the founding dates of these cities have any meaning for the origin of the Canaanite peoples themselves (imo).

Edited by Leonardo

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It was good research. I read the article and found it compelling and believable. With respect to the topic of the thread, though - why does the founding of Tyre have any meaning if Byblos was the 'original' Phoenician city? The artcle implied Byblos (and thus the Phoenicians) being Canaanite in origin and made no reference to any other possibility of ethnicity of the peoples of the city. Knowing the date of it's founding is only relevant if you can show this area wasn't inhabited by indigenous peoples (Canaanites) at that time and so must have been a 'colony' city of another culture. Neither does knowing the founding dates of these cities have any meaning for the origin of the Canaanite peoples themselves (imo).

It is my opinion and there are some archaeological evidences for Byblos (Gebel) to have been an Egyptian colony. As part of Canaan it was also a place they practised human sacrifice, which ties in also to my thought that the Hebrews in the Bible are not in Egypt but in the areas of what became Phoenicia. The Bible has been written in a way that makes them seem to be in Egypt but I don't believe they are, Egypt is used as reference to them being controlled by Egyptians and to hide the fact they were actually still in their own land rebelling against their own religious practises. How else can Moses have his meeting with God where he doesn't sacrifice Isaac at Mt Moriah which is under the Dome of Jesrusalem if he didn't get to the 'promised land'?

The Phoenicians when they were Canaanites were not Phoenicians, so what made them Phoenicians, I believe it was a combined culture of the Egyptians entering it around 2500BC in the times of Khufu, Egyptians knowing sea faring. This same time period is when archaeological evidence can be shown at Byblos as being a town. The Egyptians being the new comers had to accept the human sacrifices practises there but it also developed a new seperate culture distinct from the inland Canaanites. They kept Baal and human sacrifice but that's about it. They developed into the Phoenicians only when the Egyptians came. The city Gods of Byblos and Tyre were Egyptian Gods, Eshmun and Heracles/Melqart. This is also why Phoenicians practised circumcision, that was bought in from the Egyptians.

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The Phoenicians when they were Canaanites were not Phoenicians, so what made them Phoenicians

I'll have to research the idea of Byblos beginning as an Egyptian city (rather than just having some Egyptian influences later on as trade developed) but the point I've quoted above is fairly easily addressed. What made the Akkadians Akkadian, but the Assyrians, Assyrian? Both are derived from the same root of peoples from the same region- so did they have to have an external influence to become separate cultures?

No.

Cultures can spring out of other cultures without any external influence having to be involved. It could have been internal dissent, an opportunity (such as trade monopoly) for a strong leader to undertake some of his or her own empire-building, or simple geographic separation that made the Phoenicians develop their own culture derived from their Canaanite cousins/forebears. We need no imagined African/Egyptian instigation of this. No doubt there was some influence from Egypt due to the trade, and this may have spurred their separation from other Canaanite tribes/cultures, but not because the Egyptian brought this culture to the Canaanites, imo.

I would also suggest records from the time are not clear enough in knowing from whom the initiation of trade was made. You suggest the Egyptians under Khufu were the instigators by sailing to the Levant, but the article you linked to earlier suggested the Phoenicians of Byblos would have had a fairly well developed culture by this time (if Byblos was founded around 6,000BCE as the author attests). In fact, the author provides evidence trade between the two cultures was happening around the time of the Egyptian Pharaoh/King Narmer circa 3100BCE. But is this when trade first began? Not enough evidence, I would suggest and there is also not enough evidence to say whether it was the Egyptians or the Phoenicians who instigated the trading relationship.

Edited by Leonardo

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I'll have to research the idea of Byblos beginning as an Egyptian city (rather than just having some Egyptian influences later on as trade developed) but the point I've quoted above is fairly easily addressed. What made the Akkadians Akkadian, but the Assyrians, Assyrian? Both are derived from the same root of peoples from the same region- so did they have to have an external influence to become separate cultures?

No.

Cultures can spring out of other cultures without any external influence having to be involved. It could have been internal dissent, an opportunity (such as trade monopoly) for a strong leader to undertake some of his or her own empire-building, or simple geographic separation that made the Phoenicians develop their own culture derived from their Canaanite cousins/forebears. We need no imagined African/Egyptian instigation of this. No doubt there was some influence from Egypt due to the trade, and this may have spurred their separation from other Canaanite tribes/cultures, but not because the Egyptian brought this culture to the Canaanites, imo.

I would also suggest records from the time are not clear enough in knowing from whom the initiation of trade was made. You suggest the Egyptians under Khufu were the instigators by sailing to the Levant, but the article you linked to earlier suggested the Phoenicians of Byblos would have had a fairly well developed culture by this time (if Byblos was founded around 6,000BCE as the author attests). In fact, the author provides evidence trade between the two cultures was happening around the time of the Egyptian Pharaoh/King Narmer circa 3100BCE. But is this when trade first began? Not enough evidence, I would suggest and there is also not enough evidence to say whether it was the Egyptians or the Phoenicians who instigated the trading relationship.

I'm just off to bed now Leo but will add at the end of the link it says:

Although the evidence supporting 2750 B.C. is very strong, it may yet be best to take a conservative position at this time since we are breaking new ground here. In this vein, we review all the surveyed texts and look for the one statement which most accurately reflects the emergence of the Phoenicians as a major player in the affairs of nations in the Mediterranean. In doing this, we see that the statement in Traditions & Encounters most truly reflects the facts and evidence in front of us:

“By about 2500 B.C.E. Phoenician merchants and ships already dominated trade in the Mediterranean basin.”

Since this statement is fully consistent with the information we have in our hands today, it is recommended that it be adopted in all future editions of textbooks and references as the most accurate description available for the origin date of the Phoenician empire.

It is my opinion that the Phoenicians as we know them started around this date, with the Egyptians being settled into Byblos by this time. Just because there is evidence at Byblos for people 6000BC does not mean they were Phoenicians by then, still just Canaanites. An event had to happen to make them Phoenicians and not just Canaanites and my opinion is that it is the arrival of Egyptians settling there, rather than just trading there. If Egyptians had been going there for 600 years prior (since Narmer) it would only be logical they would soon leave people there. Only then did they become more advanced into sea faring Phoenicians. Byblos is Greek for papyrus, to trade so much papyrus from there would imo mean Egyptians were in charge of trading.

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.

Edited by The Puzzler

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It is my opinion that the Phoenicians as we know them started around this date, with the Egyptians being settled into Byblos by this time. Just because there is evidence at Byblos for people 6000BC does not mean they were Phoenicians by then, still just Canaanites. An event had to happen to make them Phoenicians and not just Canaanites and my opinion is that it is the arrival of Egyptians settling there, rather than just trading there. If Egyptians had been going there for 600 years prior (since Narmer) it would only be logical they would soon leave people there. Only then did they become more advanced into sea faring Phoenicians. Byblos is Greek for papyrus, to trade so much papyrus from there would imo mean Egyptians were in charge of trading.

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.

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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.

The willingness to make these sort of assumptions and hold to them is a sort of bellwether at UM. While I respect the ingenuity and research behind these assumptions, I don't always feel they (necessarily) lead to any sort of truth, the way that theses with more solid evidence do. I feel like they end up being a sort of advanced "What If" game with a considerably greater amount of time invested in them than with a children's game, but (regrettably) not enough truth in them to be of substantial value until -- if -- more data allows them to be verified. It's somewhat a manner of self-discipline to say "I can go this far with proven facts and no further"; for every degree of assumption without fact there's a concomitant degree of ego being gratified. I think most of the more unpleasant affairs on UM owe more to that relationship than arguments over facts.

Which is to say Leo: I agree completely with what you say, but think about carefully where you say it, to whom, and to what effect.

--Jaylemurph

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The willingness to make these sort of assumptions and hold to them is a sort of bellwether at UM. While I respect the ingenuity and research behind these assumptions, I don't always feel they (necessarily) lead to any sort of truth, the way that theses with more solid evidence do. I feel like they end up being a sort of advanced "What If" game with a considerably greater amount of time invested in them than with a children's game, but (regrettably) not enough truth in them to be of substantial value until -- if -- more data allows them to be verified. It's somewhat a manner of self-discipline to say "I can go this far with proven facts and no further"; for every degree of assumption without fact there's a concomitant degree of ego being gratified. I think most of the more unpleasant affairs on UM owe more to that relationship than arguments over facts.

Which is to say Leo: I agree completely with what you say, but think about carefully where you say it, to whom, and to what effect.

--Jaylemurph

takes a big person to admit that they aren't the schiznitz they pretended to be and that their game is just that... a game. good for you jay

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takes a big person to admit that they aren't the schiznitz they pretended to be and that their game is just that... a game. good for you jay

Well, I have said before that by and large, I don't have much of a pony in most the races in this forum, since my own area of specialisation hardly ever comes up. I think -- think -- that's a good thing, except when one of those *#@$ "Shakespeare wasn't Shakespeare" threads comes up and I get het up out of proportion. I feel I comment a lot more on linguistics than anything else, these days, but each time I do so, I should remember that post, since my knowledge in that only goes so far.

I also feel like that post was far more accusatory than it should have been -- I admit I do have one person in mind about it, but not anyone active on this thread (or any thread other than s/he starts...), and certainly (!) not the one to whom Leonardo's post was addressed.

--Jaylemurph

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Well, I have said before that by and large, I don't have much of a pony in most the races in this forum, since my own area of specialisation hardly ever comes up. I think -- think -- that's a good thing, except when one of those *#@$ "Shakespeare wasn't Shakespeare" threads comes up and I get het up out of proportion. I feel I comment a lot more on linguistics than anything else, these days, but each time I do so, I should remember that post, since my knowledge in that only goes so far.

I also feel like that post was far more accusatory than it should have been -- I admit I do have one person in mind about it, but not anyone active on this thread (or any thread other than s/he starts...), and certainly (!) not the one to whom Leonardo's post was addressed.

--Jaylemurph

oh my lord. i am not on ignore. you've just taken away 76% of my fun. how diabolical.

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