Redating the sphinx
Redating the sphinx
Around 1200 BC, a series of poorly-understood events weakened and destroyed the adjacent Egyptian and Hittite empires.
In terms of archaeology, language, lifestyle, and religion there was little to set the Phoenicians apart as markedly different from other residents of the Levant. It is difficult to ascertain which meaning came first, but it is understandable how Greeks may have associated the crimson or purple color of dates and dye with the merchants who traded both products. In the Amarna tablets of the 14th century BC, people from the region called themselves Kenaani or Kinaani.
The high point of Phoenician culture and sea power is usually placed c. Archaeological evidence consistent with this understanding has been difficult to identify.
A unique concentration in Phoenicia of silver hoards dated between 1200 and 800 BC, however, contains hacksilver with lead isotope ratios matching ores in Sardinia and Spain.
This theory was accepted by the 19th-century German classicist Arnold Heeren who said that: "In the Greek geographers, for instance, we read of two islands, named Tyrus or Tylos, and Aradus, which boasted that they were the mother country of the Phoenicians, and exhibited relics of Phoenician temples." The Dilmun civilization thrived in Bahrain during the period 2200–1600 BC, as shown by excavations of settlements and Dilmun burial mounds.
However, some claim there is little evidence of occupation at all in Bahrain during the time when such migration had supposedly taken place.
The rise of Macedon gradually ousted the remnants of Phoenicia's former dominance over the Eastern Mediterranean trade routes.
Phoenician culture disappeared entirely in the motherland. It oversaw the mining of iron and precious metals from Iberia, and used its considerable naval power and mercenary armies to protect commercial interests.Rome finally destroyed it in 146 BC, at the end of the Punic Wars.Following Alexander, the Phoenician homeland was controlled by a succession of Macedonian rulers: Laomedon (323 BC), Ptolemy I (320), Antigonus II (315), Demetrius (301), and Seleucus (296).Alexander was exceptionally harsh to Tyre, executing 2,000 of the leading citizens, but he maintained the king in power.He gained control of the other cities peacefully: the ruler of Aradus submitted; the king of Sidon was overthrown.Phoenicians and Canaanites alike were called Sidonians or Tyrians, as one Phoenician city came to prominence after another.