History's Mysteries: Ancient Phoenici...

History's Mysteries: Ancient Phoenician City 'Relocated'

There are 3 comments on the Fox News story from Aug 12, 2010, titled History's Mysteries: Ancient Phoenician City 'Relocated'. In it, Fox News reports that:

A map of the Phoenician civilization's common trade routes around the Mediterranean Sea.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Fox News.


Saint Cloud, FL

#1 Aug 12, 2010
surprise, surprise. fox can't get their facts straight on ancient history any better than they can on modern history. phoenecia was never a country (it was a culture). it didn't exist in the area of modern israel between 1500bce and 300bce (israel did). and they were not the originators of the alphabet (israel was). the greeks were taught the hebrew alphabet by phoenecian sailors (about 1,000 years after it was originated).
very disappointing reporting, but hardly surprising.

Quincy, MA

#2 Aug 12, 2010
You are mistaken. historical consensus shows that the phoenician alphabet predates ancient hebrew.
this is only one of hundreds of links.

Saint Cloud, FL

#3 Aug 13, 2010
larry, i am not mistaken. the most ancient alphabetic writings discovered are in the sinai around the mines at timna, and along the wadis on the route from there into egypt. they are variously dated between 1500bce and 1800bce and are referred to as either proto-hebrew, or proto-canaanite. all of the messages written in this proto alphabetic are hebrew language messages. the only thing that keeps them from being universally referred to as hebrew, is that hebrew is solely the language of israel and because of issues relating to the archaeological layers that would corrrespond to the start dates of israel or of hebrew ethnicicty, the term canaanite is substituted by those who would rather that israel had never existed.
the ONLY reason that alphabetic writing was ever reffered to as phoenician, is because greek historians wrote that alphabetic writing was taught to them by phoenician sailors. greek historical writings formed the backbone of the 'classical-historical' education of 18th century europe, and as such, have continued to influence modern perception, regardless of innacuracies in them or misperceptions brought on by careless reading of them.
no nation or people in ancient time claimed to have created alphabetic writing. the only means of determining the origin of that writing is through archaeology, and so far that evidence all points firmly to hebrew speakers as the originators of the style.
there are writings from the area of southern turkey/syria that utilize different characters, and a different method (stylus on clay), that might be considered as alphabetic, although they are currently considered as a dead-end. they may be determined to be relevant to the development of the hebrew alphabet later, although at the moment there are major issues regarding the interpretation of the chronologies of anatolia compared to those closer to egypt that hinder more precise understanding of the exact relationship between the cultures of the areas.
extant 'phoenician' writing from before the rise of ancient israel (tyre, sidon) is in egyptian style hieroglyphic. there are letters from the kings of tyre that mention proudly their use of egyptian style hieroglyphic writing, apparently as opposed to other styles in use in their area.
there is plenty of correct information out there, it's just fairly recent. if you are interested in the topic, do some searches on proto-sainaitic, proto-canaanite, or proto-hebrew and start reading.

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