The sailors from the other side of the Mediterranean
The Phoenicians lived on a coastal strip which today corresponds to Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and Israel. At the time it was called the country of Canaan and its inhabitants, Canenes ('Phoenicians' is what the Greeks called them). They were mainly engaged in maritime trade. From at least the beginning of the first millennium before our era, and especially from the 8th century BC, they established colonies on the southern and southeastern coasts of the Iberian Peninsula to protect their fleets, which carried silver from Tartessos in exchange for objects brought from all over the Mediterranean.
When its most important city, Tyre, fell to the Neo-Babylonian Empire in 574 BC, this empire fell apart; over time its Carthage colony (in the current Tunisia) replaced it as the capital of the Phoenician Empire, since then called Punic.
The Phoenicians brought to the West the olive tree, the wine, the potter’s wheel, the iron forge and the alphabet; customs such as the cremation of the deceased and other cultural novelties that transformed the indigenous people into Iberian civilization.
The archaeological interventions in the necropolis of Vilajoiosa have revealed the presence of Phoenician pieces in the tombs, as well as Phoenician burials, which show that the 8th known Phoenician colony in Spanish territory was located here. This gives us a collection of both properly Phoenician objects and pieces brought by them from all over the Mediterranean, and particularly from Egypt. Probably, Vilajoiosa became an important commercial settlement, that to its geographical position as the last port before heading to the Balearic Islands.
Photography: Excavation of a Phoenician tomb in the Casetes necropolis, Jovada sector.
This Punic (Carthaginian) pendant, made of glass paste, appeared in a large pit used as a dump in 1st c. BC, excavated near the road that communicated the Iberian city of Alon (called Alonís by ancient greeks) with the valley of Alcoy. People who dug this pit destroyed some ancient tombs, and this amulet must have been inside one of them. The amulet fell at the bottom of the pit, as if it had been waiting there for us archaeologists to find it, two thousand years later, refusing to disappear when it was separated from the remains of its owner.…
This piece is an engraved and painted ostrich eggshell. It is clipped from one of the poles. It has a 2 cm diameter hole, displaced in relation to the center, surely to empty the content. It appeared as trousseau inside a rectangular chamber tomb in the Phoenician cemetery of Casetes.
This ostrich eggshell was part of a funeral trousseau in the Phoenician cemetery of Casetes. It appeared inside a rectangular chamber tomb, lined with fire-resistant clay.
Ostriches were very frequent in the steppes and on the desert margins of the river valleys of Syria- Mesopotamia, Egypt and North Africa. Therefore,…
This medallion, which was found in a tomb of the Casetes cemetery (Villajoyosa), belongs to a necklace with five pieces of gold and one of blue glass, dated in late 7th -6th century B.C. It was considered a powerful amulet. It is a solid piece, stele-shaped (gravestone), and very few…