Finding Canaan: Ancient Roots of the Lost Phoenician Civilization

Finding Canaan: Ancient Roots of the Lost Phoenician Civilization

Of all the seafaring civilizations who, to our knowledge, first explored the vast oceans, none are more mysterious than the ancient Phoenicians. How far did their voyages take them? What lands did they discover and explore? How did they navigate? What forgotten influence did they have upon the history of the world? And most importantly, where did they come from?

Map of Phoenicia- late Bronze Age (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Map of Phoenicia- late Bronze Age (CC BY-SA 3.0)

In the early texts of the Bible they are called Canaanites, although there is a subtle difference between the two terms. Phoenicia generally refers to what is now called Lebanon. Canaan is a broader term that included present day Israel, Syria and Jordan. But they were collectively a Semitic people and it was their written language that was the basis for first the Greek and then the Roman alphabet from which the English language is derived.


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