Ancient Civ’s Phoenecian Essay – Rough Draft
Mr. M Harris
May 22, 2014
The Phoenicians were a tranquil society that chose a lifestyle of peace and mutual wealth over war and conquest; a trait that was out of place in the violent and war-stricken ancient world, but undoubtedly lead to their ultimate success and prosperity. The Phoenicians were a unique and diverse culture that made many developments and advancements in the ancient world, particularly in the development of sea travel – creating ships that could travel farther and faster than any other ships of the time period – craftsmanship in the form of speciality dyes using advanced techniques as well as the creation of blown glass, and the advancements in the trade system by mainly exporting products that were created with an intended buyer in mind.
Of the many advancements the Phoenicians made in the ancient world, the most well known and prolific was the development and enhancement of sea travel. Although they did not reach the height of their power at sea until after 1000 B.C.E., over five hundred years after the true beginning of the Phoenician empire circa 1550 B.C.E., it is obvious that the Phoenicians were the true power at sea in the ancient Mediterranean. They were best known for their cargo ships, which were spacious so as to carry more goods at a time, and by 600 B.C.E., the Phoenicians had advanced the classic cargo ship so it no longer had one, but two masts which supported a square sail that was intended to make the steering of the ship easier.
Although largely a peaceful society, the Phoenicians were in the possession of long, narrow war ships that were powered by oarsmen called galleys. These galleys were often equipped w...
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...tions to trade. For example, the Phoenecians used sand from their beaches and advanced techniques that were the first of their kind to create blown glasswork that has been said to even rival the
Egyptians in terms of its beauty and craftsmanship. In addition, the Phoenecians also realized they could extract purple dye, a colour that would eventually come to represent royalty and wealth, from the Murex, a sea snail found along their shores. They purple Phoenecian dye was so popular throughout the ancient world, the Phoenecians eventually drove the Murex to extinction and had to find other methods of creating their popular and well known clothes. Because of the cedar forests that surrounded their land, the Phoenecians were also excellent carvers, creating trinkets as well as day-to-day items, such as bowls, that would be put up for sale around the Mediterranean.