The Phoenicians in West Europe: From Canaan to Cornwall & (?) Cork
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Perspective of Phoenician activities in the Mediterranean and Western Europe
by Harry Bourne

Please see, also: Facts that Prove the Connection between the Phoenicians and the Irish-Celtic and Britain, Phoenicia's Secret Treasure

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The Homeland

There is a general tendency to regard the area variously called Canaan/Phoenicia/Lebanon as Bronze Age/Iron Age/modern equivalents. While this may not be strictly so, this acts as a useful model. As long ago as the "The World of the Phoenicians" by Sabatino Moscati (1965), it was being suggested that what became the Phoenician cradle was originally home to several ethnic groups. In accord with this should be that DNA shows that at least some part of the antecedents of the Canaanites/Phoenicians came from Anatolia (= Asia Minor = most of modern Turkey) and only became Semiticised over the course of time.

This runs counter to the numerous theories of the remote past mainly giving the Phoenicians eastern origins on the Indian Ocean/Red Sea based largely on descriptions of Canaanites/Phoenicians as the "Red" People by Classical or Greco/Roman writers (esp. the Greeks). This is not as strange as might first appear. The Americas shows that the Amerindians or Native Americans can be described as Red Indians. Moreover, of the Greco/Romans, the Greeks consistently used Aithiopes (= Burnt-skins/faces) or Mauri (= Blacks = later Moors) of Africans.

Phoenicia/Lebanon was/is a small country surrounded by powerful neighbours so expansion was likely to be seawards. This took them into the Alexandria (Egypt)/Antakya (= Antioch, Turkey)/Athens (Greece) or A/A/A/-arc of the east Mediterranean. There was also the Messina (Sicily)/Marseilles (Med.-facing sth. France)/Malaga (Med.-facing east Iberia) or M/M/M-arc. There were also colonies established on the coast of the Magreb (= nth. Africa west of Egypt) that principally means Carthage (= Poeni/Puni in Latin, hence the term of Punic) near Tunis. Less famous is the best-known of the Phoenician colony in Iberia (= Spain & Portugal) of Gdr/Gadir (= Gades in Latin/Cadiz in Spanish).

It may have been something of a surprise to the ancients that Phoenician cities maintained their independence for as long as they did. This seems to have been because they were so useful for so long, in as much, they brought in precious metals, prestige items, maritime expertise, etc.

This much emerges from "The Phoenicians in the West" by Maria Eugenia Aubet (2002). My only real quibble with this book is that it is comprehensive for Phoenician, the transitional Phoenico/Punic plus Carthaginian activities on M/M/M and/or Atlantic coasts of Europe but has very little to say about what they did in west Africa. Otherwise, the Aubet the book will be the standard book on this subject for a good many years to come.

Egypt dominated the early Phoenician cities (esp. Gebeil/Byblos & Sor/Tyre) and during this time, it seems the Phoenicians were content with what in "Phoenicians in West Africa" was called brown-water (= inshore/coastal/riverine) sailing. Events of 1200/1100 B. C. apparently changed this. This period was to prove disastrous for the Hittite rule in Anatolia and that of the Mycenaean Greeks in mainland Greece plus the Greek islands of the Aegean.

The Hittite Empire in Anatolia was probably overrun by several non-Hittite Anatolian groups and the Mycenaeans by their close relatives called the Dorian Greeks. It also that this led to the dispersal of the dispossessed, as from "The Sea Peoples" by Nancy Sandars (1978), it seems that Anatolians plus Mycenaeans loom large in the motley groups lumped together as "The Peoples of the Sea" by the Egyptians. Elements of these Sea-Peoples allied with the western neighbours of Egypt called Libyans subjected Egypt to several serious attacks but this time, the native dynasty was up to the task and repulsed the Libyan plus their Sea-People allies.

It does appear that this led to a fundamental change for the Phoenicians. They now became very serious blue-water or out-of-the-sight-of-land (= ootsol) sailors. Just where some of what may have triggered these changes came from is discussed in "Phoenicians in East Africa" and will be touched on again below.

The Background in the Magreb

It may now be difficult to imagine that the area once defined as the lush and verdant African Aqualithic by John Sutton (Africa in History =JAH 1974; Antiquity 1977) is now the hyper-arid Sahara Desert but it is. It seems that the hunting-grounds of Afrasians plus smaller Africans met here and that all were labelled Aithiopes without exception by the Greeks.

Changes in the economy and mode of life forced on the inhabitants of the Aqualithic/Magreb/Sahara were painted or carved on rocks in parts of the Sahara. Tentative division of this rock-art based on claimed dominant motifs. An uncertain scheme runs Bubaline (based on buffaloes/wild cattle)/Bovidian (based on domest. cattle)/Equidian (based on horse-drawn chariots). Equally tentative is that of R.L. Smith (What Happened to the Ancient Libyans: Chasing sources across the Sahara from Herodotus to Ibn Khaldun online), thus eastern Equidian/Garamantes/Tuaregs, western Equidian/Gaituli/Mauri (= Moors) plus Bovidian/Tibu (= Tibbu/Tebu/Tebbu)

This provides a very long background against which to place ancient movement in the Sahara. Much of it seemingly stems from the Libyco/Berber reverses in Egypt leading to the attacks to the west that Michael Brass (The similarities & differences of the rise of complex societies in West & East Africa online).

Building the oldest ksour (plural of kour = walled-village) antedates the earliest of these attacks but an increase in kour -building seemingly coincides with these Libyco/Berber raids (esp. in the Dar Titchitt Culture area[s] of Mali/Mauretania/Senegal). It is a puzzle where the resources came from for the kour -building but clearly something took the unwanted attention of the raiding Berbers.

What that something was is at best uncertain but trade has to be a possibility but this is way earlier than is generally accepted for Trans-Saharan commerce. Also the lightly-built chariots hardly appear suitable for transporting heavy goods. Nor are the pack-horses that Herodotus(5 th c. B. C. Greek) describes with bags strapped to their bodies likely to have been very satisfactory.

Yet, the wherewithal for the walled-villages and whatever it was that attracted the Berber raiders came from somewhere. The Equidian/chariot-art already referred to very plainly does not belong to one period. Uncertain dates are provided by from the occurrence of the "flying-gallop" motif closely matched in Mycenaean Greece to the 4-horse chariots depicted at Zigza (Libya) and described by Herodotus Greek).

The eastern chariot-motifs seemingly stretch from Phazania/Fezzan (Libya) to the River Niger and the western Equidian/chariot-art reaches from the foothills of the Atlas Mountains of south Morocco to further west along the Niger. This indicates movement in the Sahara further shown by such as messrs. Parker (Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute =JRAI 1923), Meek (JAH 1960), Law (JAH 1967), Bovill (The Golden Trade of the Moors 1963), Winters(Atlantis in Mexico 2006), etc.

Having seen that neither lightly-built chariots nor pack-horses with water-bags were likely to be the answer for the pre-camel Sahara, there is the theory of Bovill (ib.) to consider. He has suggested ox-trains were used and notes that carrying capacities of oxen and camels are not dissimilar and that cattle can go eight days without water, as opposed to the 10 days of camels. So in the days when camels were not available for Magrebi traders in the Sahara and having seen that ox-trains and camel-trains were not too dissimilar, cattle may have been an answer. The more so if we were talking several generations of such who had become used to the extreme conditions and Bovill says that ox-trains are known from the rock-art. Where the camel scores is on speed, so replacement of oxen is no surprise.

The Nasamones are one of the Saharan tribes described by Herodotus. Meek (ib.) thought their name translated as "Negroes of Amon" and says Amon/Amun/Ammon are frequqent parts of African names The Nasamones and the Garamantes were neighbours and both harked to Garama as their ancestor-god. From what is said by Herodotus (5 th c. B.C.), Strabo (1 st c. B. C. Greek), etc, the Nasamones absorbed the Psylli who incorporate the Berber zel/sel (= clan) in their name (as do the Maesylli & Massasylli, also recorded by Herodotus).

Garamantes seems to be a word from an African language of the Mande/Manding group(s). Parker (ib.) says Wangara was an obsolete term for the Mande and it seems the word also meant trader. A list of towns taken from the Garamantes by the Romans was compiled by Pliny (1 st c. A.D. Roman) and their meanings were made explicable by Parker against Mande words. He held that this was proof positive that the Mante and Garamande were one and the same. Messrs. Snowden (Blacks in Antiquity 1974) plus Winters (ib.) show several words that translate as black/very dark for the Garamantes that many writers want to mean no more than that they were swarthy. However, the matter seems settled when we come across Ptolemy describing the Garamantes as black.

Herodotus also wrote that Garamantes in their chariots chased Saharan Blacks/Aithiopes and that the latter could outrun them. In like vein must be Ibn Said (8 th c. Arab) writing that Tuaregs on horseback again chasing Blacks/Negroes who again are said to be faster. Further are messrs. Lacroix (Africa in Antiquity 1998) and Smith (ib.) respectively saying that Garamantes means Wearers of the Veil and that Muleththamin is an Arabic term for the Tuaregs and means People of the Veil. This gives some support to the above-noted Smith sequence of eastern Equidian/Garamantes/Tuaregs. The report of Hanno that on the other side of the Sahara/Magreb, the Aithiopes that neighboured the Lixitoi were also faster than chariots presumably means the original of "Hanno" said the Lixitoi also sought slaves from amongst their Aithiope/Black neighbours.

Nor can it be objected that because Garamantes/Tuaregs and possibly Lixitoi/Lixitae chased their Black neighbours meant they were fundamentally different. Indeed, this cannot be so if those arguing that the Garamantes were ancestral to the Magrebi Blacks called Tibu are correct.

The Tibu named the Tibesti Mountains. According to messrs. Nachtigal (19 th c. German) and Herodotus respectively, the Tibu and the Atlantes/Atrantes shared the archaic feature of having no personal names. The Nasamones with their name seen to been suggested as meaning Negroes of Amon and to have absorbed a Berber tribe were related by Pausanias to the Atlantes/Atalantes now generally seen as the same as the Atrantes/Atarantes and who constantly complained of sunburnt skins so were Aithiopes in the Greek definition.

According to Pseudo- Scylax (= Ps.- Scylax), all the inhabitants of the coast of Atlantic-facing Africa from the River Senegal to beyond the Atlas Mountains were Aithiopes. Some of what is said by Ps.- Scylax (?5 th/?4 th c. Greek) is confirmed by Strabo saying that Aithiopes/Blacks held the coast right up to Dyris (= the Atlas region, Morocco) and this would include the Lixitae. Michael Skupin uses a translation of "Hanno" saying the Lixitae were a people of Aithiopia (= Af. sth. of Egypt) not of Libya (Af. west of Egypt on this definition). Gaituli may just mean "From the South" but even today, from the south in Africa still tends to mean from Sub-Saharan Africa, the more so if it is correct the Mauri were a leading component of the Mauri with a name meaning Black and leading on to the term of Moors.

West Africa seemingly seeking Aithiopian slaves has analogies in Ashanti selling fellow- Akans to Europeans. East Africa had a king sending fellow Africans down the River Limpopo to the Portugese to be bartered for linen shirts plus Tipu Tib whose treatment of the fellow Africans was so bad that it actually attracted European sympathy. The Biblical story of Joseph sold as a slave also tells us that his own family did so. Vatican records show popes allowed Venetians and Genoese to be enslaved because their merchants sold their co-religionists. Both English and Irish sources speak of English slaves sold to Irish merchants by fellow Englishmen.

Clearly, the Garamantes seeking slaves from amongst their own followed something highly international and very ancient. Further proving just how diverse the Saharan confederacies could be comes with Ptolemy (2 nd c. A.D. Greek) describing the Leukaithiopes (= Pale/White Africans) and Melanogetuli (= Black Gaituli); Ibn Hawkal (11 th c. Arab) saying the Sanhaja Tuaregs consisted of 22 Banu Tanamak (= Black) and 19 Sanhaja (= Berber) clans; the various definitions of Libyphoenician, etc

Quite apart from the location, it is very obvious that the Carthaginians tapped into what was going in what would become part of the hinterland of the city of Carthage. It has now been shown that there are traits apparently stretching both east-to west and north-to-south across the Magreb/Sahara. These are reinforced by tales of (a) Nasamones having crossed the desert said to have been captured by (?) Pygmies; Garamantes having to deal with troubles to the south of the Sahara; Romans (with & without Garamantes) crossing the desert.

Even closer to our subject is what may be is wrapped in the legend of Mago of Carthage having crossed the Sahara without water. Stripped of the fabulous element, it may be that there is some truth here to substantiate those writers wanting Carthage to have had overland trade-links with Africa south of the Sahara Desert but how direct is moot. Certainly, now that the so-called Carthaginian carbuncle should be termed the Garamantian carbuncle because it now seems this was a semi-jewel arising from desert-sands having been subjected to super-nova heat (?due to a meteorite) millions of years ago. They lay in what was Garamantian territory and Leo Frobenius (voice of Africa 1913) was convinced that they came to west Africa and were the originals of what have become known as aggrey beads (esp. in Nigeria) of uncertain material.

Atlantic Coasts: Arrival

Liby-phoenician could mean Phoenicians settled in Libya (esp. Carthage); the African allies of Carthage; the African subjects of Carthage, all three, etc. Among the things that attracted the Phoenicians to the location of Carthage were its location, the fact that there was already a Phoenician colony nearby at Utica, the already cross-desert trade just shown, etc. However, there were always some that wanting to move.

The figure that looms large in the minds of those writing about Liby-phoenicians leaving the Magreb is 30,000. Andrew Fear (Rome and Baetica 1996) cited Appian (1 st c./2 nd c. A.D.) as saying this was the number of them leaving Carthage for Iberia (but see the Knapp online review of this book by Prof. Fear). Livio Stecchini (online re. Hanno) says the story in Dionysius of Mytilene about 30,000 Amazons and 3000 captured prisoners really reflects Carthaginian military actions against Africans of Fulani and/or Mande groups influenced by the 30,000 migrants mentioned in "Hanno" (see also "Phoenicians in West Africa").

The figure of 30,000 emigrants was questioned in "Phoenicians in West Africa: from Djahi to Djahi) and by several expert opinions and will be further discussed in the next section. It is interesting that Basil Davidson (Lost Cities of Africa 1959 & 2004) notes that among the Saharan Blacks were the Sao "giants" (= ? Afrasians of the attenuated Nilotic/Cushitic type). This is because giants and Phoenician colonies come together in the Tenth Labour of Hercules.

The colony concerned is that founded by Phoenicians at Gdr/Gadir (= Gades in Latin/Cadiz in Spanish) and the giant is Geryon. This 10 th Labour has Hercules needing to steal the cattle belonging to Geryon. This he does and kills the giant and local tradition has it that he buried the head of Geryon under the Pharos (= lighthouse) at Brigantion/Brigantium (near Corunna, Galicia in n/west Iberia/Spain). The dangers of this particular spot on the Atlantic-facing coasts of Europe, the connections with legends about the heads of African giants plus their burial are discussed in "West Africa & the Sea in Antiquity" ("West Af.…online).

A west African connection that has direct relevance for us here is that argued for by Winters (The Proto-Saharan Religion online) plus Stephen Arts (see West Af. …). Clyde Winters (ib.) suggested that an early component of the religion of Africans just before the worsening climate in the Sahara referred to above was a half-fish/half-man deity called Maa and an identical one was "slain" by the equally half-fish/half-man Phoenician god called Melqart according to Pausanias and usually equated with Hercules by Classical Greeks. If this is taken as the symbolic passing of the old order to be replaced by another, this has great interest.

Arts regards the Tarshish of the Biblical writers is the Tartessos of the Classical writers and looked for west Africans providing most of went into the cargoes sent every three years from Tarshish/Tartessos to Israel ruled by Solomon. In "West Af. …" plus "Phoens. in West Af.", my argument was that this trade gradually came more fully into Phoenico/Punic hands by the time of Hanno of Carthage and that Tartessos (= ? Huelva at the western end of Andalusia = the whole of southern Iberia/Spain) also shows this change.

At some stage of uncertain date, a Celtic dynasty ruled at Tartessos and according to Herodotus, its most famous king was Arganthonios. This translates as Man of Silver but like the very much later Eldorado (= Man of Gold), is clearly a title not a name. That this was so becomes even clearer when it is realised that Herodotus tells us that Arganthonios reigned for 120 years. From this it will be obvious that kings of this dynasty got this title from their control of west Iberian silver.

When dealing with this matter, messrs. Cary and Warmington (The Ancient Explorers 1963) point to what they describe as the very ostentatious welcome given to the Greek Koliaos/Colaeus but even more spectacular must have been his departure. His ship we are told got to Tartessos by accident yet the next section may prompt us to wonder at that this but his going away saw his ship loaded with Iberian silver. This smacks very much of being a political statement. In short, with west Africans being phased out by Phoenicians/Carthaginians, enter a new set of possible rivals in the shape of the Greeks. If so, the Greeks did not reign very long and nor did the Celtic dynasty, as it seems that by c. 500 B.C. Tartessos was in Carthaginian hands but how this happened is unknown to us.

Atlantic Coasts: Ships & Boats

Phoenician merchants having arrived on the coasts of that part of the Atlantic-facing coasts of Europe once called Iberia but are now Spain plus Portugal, they were wanting to stay. As part of this, it can be seen that they had taken on new types of vessel with them when leaving their original homeland. Looking at such as the words from languages within the India to Europe or Indo/European (= I/E) spread (esp. Greek) to do with ships passing into Semitic (esp. Hebrew & Phoenician), this is very well shown.

Thus, I/E gaulois (= merchant-man/trade-ship/freighter) as Semitic golah; I/E kerkouris (= warship/galley) as Semitic kirkarah/gurgurru; I/E navis/anaji (= ship/boat) as Semitic oni/oniyath.

The Greek word of gaulois originally meant bathtub and became applied to merchantman because of their shape and Phoenician retention of vessels of this tub-shape apparently led to considerable Greek ridicule. On the other hand, the Phoenicians plus Carthaginians took their ships on to waters that the Greeks were very nervous about going on to say the least, as explained by sources cited in "Phoenicians in West Africa: Djahi to Djahi".

Clearly the golah represents continuation, whereas the kirkarah indicates changes. It is perhaps inevitable that the warship rather than the merchantman that takes the attention and the glory and good analogy must be Viking craft. The Viking longship or drakarr (= dragon-ship) is well known to most members of the public in western Europe, even to those with little interest in maritime matters. Rather less well known is that is the cog-like Viking merchantman literally did the business.

One of the most famous instances of Carthaginian kirkarah on Atlantic waters is recorded on "Hanno" but was shown by sources cited in "Phoenicians in West Africa: Djahi to Djahi" this account to be full of oddities. One is whether who is to apparently be seen as melkart/milkart (= ruler of the city) or sophet/suphet (= judge/magistrate) of Carthage could actually be spared for several months at a time to explore the coasts of Africa.

Further cause for cause for wonderment must be prompted by the number of ships said to have been taken, some 60 galleys of penteconter type. This would have been a considerable part of the naval strength of Carthage at the time. Nor are galleys particularly suitable for moving large numbers of people and yet "Hanno" says Hanno took 30,000 of his own citizens with him and given that a good many of them would have been young men and we may consider the effect this would have had on the military strength of Carthage.

Separately but hardly unrelated, the very number of 30,000 has to be questioned. Xenophon (4 th c. B.C. Greek) gives us glowing account of just how "there was a place for everything and everything in its place" (in an English phrase) aboard Phoenician ship. This matter of "A1 & Bristol fashion" (a British naval phrase from the days of when Bristol was a major British port) aboard Phoenico/Punic ships does not arise from fastidious neatness but simply from limited space on board. Yet "Hanno" says there were 30,000 would-be migrants, stores plus equipment and does not mention the crews on what is a type of warship. The mind further boggles at the thought of what might have happened if those warships actually had to fight with all those passengers on board.

It is not difficult to see where the notion of galleys for shipping would-be colonists came from. The Greek cities that sent out colonists (esp. from Ionia [now part of west Turkey]) usually did so in galleys but in nothing like the same numbers but presumably in the expectation of meeting possible trouble from rivals/enemies and/or hostile natives. It is really is difficult to come up with a coherent answer to this but that the Phoenico/Punic craft really were on Atlantic coasts is proven by the simple types recorded not by "Hanno" but by Ps.- Scylax and Strabo.

The kerkouris of Mycenaean Greece may have given rise to the Phoenician kirkarah and also helped the change from Phoenicians as coastal to ootsol sailors but the Phoenicians made significant contributions to the development of warships. It has long been recognised that the ship's-ram plus the moves towards more than one bank of oars aboard a galley occurred under the Phoenicians. Quite simply, in order for the ram to be effective, the greater the need for propulsion to provide more speed and more rowers provided that greater momentum.

Strabo was just seen to refer to "poorer sorts of ship" and this may accord with Pliny (1 st c.A.D. Roman) referring to "rafts" on the Indian Ocean. Even if these "rafts" were actually canoes with outriggers, they are still what Warrington Smyth (Mast & Sail in Eur. & Asia 1929) calls the "first efforts of the savage to stabilise his dugout". Yet, Robert Dick-Read (The Phantom Voyagers) could point to these "efforts by savages" as having taken whole families the 4000 miles of open sea between Nusantara (= the Islands [esp. Indonesia]) and Madagascar.

Dick-Read also refers to Polynesian forms of the Indonesian waa/waka for these canoes. This probably means a spread from Indonesia to yet more islands but this time in the Pacific. The waa/waka is basically a dugout-canoe with one or two stabilising floats or outriggers that are separately parallel to but tied by struts to the main vessel. A "dugout of savages" it may be but Paul Johnstone (ib.) shows them on even greater voyages across the largest of our oceans to the remotest corners of the Pacific, thus New Zealand, Hawaii, Easter Island, etc.

Nor need we dismiss ocean-going rafts, Richard Callaghan (Antiquity 2002) shows West-coast Amerindians regularly used rafts between Peru/Ecuador and west Mexico. They did so against adverse prevailing currents. East-coast Amerindians are also shown as trading over great distances by Douglas Peck (Yucatan: From Prehistory to the Great Revolt of 1546). However, the East-coast preference was apparently for built-up forms of dugouts that have prompted labels of small ships.

The skin-covered/skin-boat is another basis type but as the Inuit/Eskimo umiak plus kayak regularly plied the seas and the umiak was used in whaling. Celtic skin-boats or currachs are described as having trading Cornish tin near the southern end of the Irish Sea with foreign ships. Irish currachs are recorded as having traded at the northern end of the Irish Sea in the Glossary compiled by Cormac MacCulennain. This Cormac's Glossary seems to be of the 9 th c. A.D.

The trading vessel of west Africa was the dugout-canoe. It is one of the unifying factors of the Northwest Atlantic Culture defined by Leo Frobenius (Voice of Africa 1913) changed for reasons given in "West Af.…) to the West African Atlantic Complex. It is this type that on the home-leg from trading to the north went several hundred miles against adverse currents to get home. The type is recorded as having been taken successfully across the Irish Sea.

It is against this background that we place Strabo's ships of a poor sort. They were called hippoi. The name comes from the stern-post shaped like a hippos (= Gk. for horse) with this reinforced by the workhorse duties in harbours according to Paul Johnstone (Sea-craft in Prehistory 1980). Again it may have been for harbour/lighterage work and originally designed for the tideless Mediterranean but is recognised as having survived conditions on the decidedly tidal Atlantic, as when sailing for four days to reach the tunny -fishery off west Magreb. One of them seemingly almost circumnavigated Africa according to Strabo.

It is again Strabo that tells us the hippoi left Gdr/Gadir on the Atlantic coasts of Iberia (= s/west Europe en route to catching tunny plus other fish off the coasts of Morocco or west Magreb. A particularly salient point here is that in order to get from southwest Iberia to west Magrebi parts of Africa meant four days of sailing on the open Atlantic and it is worth repeating that (a) this was a vessel-form intended for the tideless Mediterranean not the Atlantic with tides; (b) the hippos was so adaptable that could cope with those often ferocious tides. Paul Johnstone (ib.) points out proving the hippos was known on the Atlantic coasts of Europe is that engraved on a jewel found at Aliseda (Portugal).

Lya and M. (Ships and boats depicted in the prehistoric rock-art of southern Spain in BAR 1984) cite the author of the papers on the rock-shelter at Laja Alta as saying that what is depicted there are ships from the important kingdom of southwest Iberia called Tartessos. An alternative seemingly entertained by the same author is that they represent the Tartessian type under Phoenician influence,. This theory has no harm done to it by those wanting Tartessos to also be Tarshish and here the Phoenician associations are not in doubt and also finds support in what is said by Johnstone (ib.) about another type also from west Iberia

Johnstone (ib) is describing another seemingly ancient sea-going type in the form of the saviero or xavego with southern relative in the meia-lua plus inland one called the moliciero that for convenience will be lumped together under the saviero label. They had/have no keels, flat bottoms, horizontal strakes, animal-shaped ends, mortice-&-tenons, rowers facing forward, etc. Other traits of the design are no true shell construction, no skeleton construction, hard chines, U-frames, where there was a mast this was athwartships, etc.

The first of these traits are thought by Johnstone to be of Mediterranean origin and likely to have arrived with the Phoenicians and the Carthaginians with this reinforced by the proximity of the Aliseda and true saviero/xavego classes. Also it seems that on Atlantic coasts, both were particularly as fishing-vessels.

The other traits are mainly those that are described as "Celtic" but are probably best labelled as Atlanto/Celtic. The Atlanto/Celtic connection seems reinforced by the fact that it seems the combination of the Mediterano/Atlantic features are also shared with the ships of the Celtic or Gaulish tribe of that part of Gaul (= most of modern France) that was Armorica/is Brittany called the Veneti.

These were the Venetic ponti that represent the high point of Celtic ship-building and were admired by no less than Julius Caesar (1 st c. B. C. Roman) as being superbly adapted for Atlantic conditions. If this is correct, clearly Phoenico/Punic shipbuilding was more influential than might be supposed. The Atlantic linkage continues with the saviero/xavega only rarely having sails and this is so for most of the Celto/Irish currach; both the saviero/xavego and the currach had oars retained on thole -pins not rowlocks and the saviero in Johnstone's Plate 8:8 plus the currach depicted on a slab at Bantry Bay (west Cork in s/west Ire.) are adorned with crosses at one end.

There are three other other vessels from find-spots in the British Isles that may just belong here. They are the boat-(?) bowl found at Caregwle (north Wales), the so-called "Monk's Boat" form Lough Lene (Westmeath, Ireland), the gold model of a boat from Broighter (Derry/Londonderry, Ireland).

The bowl or model of a boat/ship from Caergwle was for a very long time described as a bowl made from wood that was generally accepted as being oak, covered in gold leaf and repeating the dimensions of a currach. Recent studies have led to somewhat different conclusions. They have shown that under the gold-leaf covering is not an object of oak or any other kind of wood but shale. Also differing from past conclusions is Christopher Hawkes (cited by Johnstone ib.).

Hawkes (ib.) argued that the shape is not that of a currach but that of a Phoenician tub-shaped golah. If accepted, the attested Phoenic/Punic presence on the coasts of Portugal plus a possible analogy from north Wales in west Britain would closely parallel the 10 Greek ships proven by anchor-shanks from Setubal Bay (Portugal) and echoed by another again in north Wales but this time at Porth Felen. The Caergwle boat is of the Bronze Age but the anchor-stocks are said by Eric Boon (Antiquaries Journal 1975) to be of Iron Age date.

Another possible is the Broighter vessel according to Paul Ashbee (The Bronze Age Barrows of Britain 1960). The gold of the vessel has been attributed to gold from India, Ireland and Germany on various grounds. Now that the analysts of prehistoric gold at Stuttgart (Germany) have identified that the gold of the equally famous torc, boat model plus the other objects at Broighter are probably of Group-PC which is of German origin, we can now be reasonably certain of the date for the Broighter hoard. PC-group gold usually has an Iron Age date in Ireland and with the Broighter torc plus the boat-model being of gold from the same source and the torc being of the Iron Age, this self-evidently proves the boat is also of the same date.

Much the same argument about whether a wooden vessel or a currach is represented at Broighter as was seen to pertain to the Caergwle object. With it having been said that there are opinions regarding as likely that Venetic ships were known in the British Isles, John de Courcy Ireland (Ireland & the Irish in Maritime History 1986) would add to this by seeing the Broighter boat as a model of a Venetic ship. It is usually regarded as having the dimensions of a currach but if de Courcy Ireland could be proved to be correct and given possible Phoenico/Punic influences on the ancestral Venetic form, there might be the linkage sought by Ashbee (ib.) but at rather more remove in time than he thought was the case.

The boat from Lough Lene may just belong here. The boat has been variously placed in the in the Irish Iron Age, a date equivalent to the Roman period in Britain or the Medieval period (hence the epithet of Monk's Boat). The earliest possible interpretation of the C14-date with calibration may just lift it into an era possibly relevant for us here. If so, the fact of Mediterranean traits seen above as of probable Phoenico/Punic origin included use of mortice and tenon joints, those of the Lough Lene boat may just belong here too.

Atlantic Coasts: Voyages

There were several voyages made by sailors originating in the Mediterranean Sea that includes Phoenicians, Carthaginians and Greeks. The Greek term of periploi is usually translated as voyage but apparently more strictly means account.

Greek periploi/voyages on Atlantic coasts appear to have been as early as the first Phoenico/Punic ones but the difference seems to have been that the Greek pioneers were never really followed up. They include Euthymemnes who may gone along the Atlantic coasts of west Africa at about the same time as the writer of what became known as the Massiliote Periplus but the date at best remains moot. However, this has to have some time after c.600 B.C., which is the universally accepted date for the foundation of Massilia (= Marseilles) by Greeks from the Greek city on the coast of Ionia (now part of west Turkey) called Phocaea.

Phocaean Greeks are amongst those that Herodotus says were the first to barter for Iberian metals. Herodotus also says that Koliaos/Colaeus was the first to obtain Iberian silver (see above). Pliny adds Midacritas was the first to obtain Iberian tin and it too is a Greek name.

Rather more famous are such as Eudoxus plus Pytheas who are another Greek pair respectively exploring west Africa and west Europe at about the same period. More than that, it seems very probable they were also Massiliote Greeks. Eudoxus will be seen again shortly but the rather better known of the pair is Pytheas.

Yet another pairing but this time, Carthaginians are Himilco and Hanno. They are said by Pliny to have been sent by the city elders of Carthage at the time of the greatest power of the city. The pair may be even closer than generally assumed.

Livio Stecchini (Hanno article online) suggests that Hanno and Himilco were brothers but does not say why he thought this. Jona Lendering (Hanno article online) wrote that Himilco comes from the Punic Chimilkat and that it means "My brother is milkat" but that we do not know what milkat means. Having seen that milkart/melkart means ruler of the city, it seems very plausible that milkat is just another of the non-standard spellings of the same word and with the same meaning.

Here we have before us, the title(s) borne by Hanno. There are titles in the Semitic languages meaning judge/magistrate but evidently used in the sense of (appointed) ruler, notably Akkadian sapitum, Hebrew shophet, Punic spt, etc (as per Aubet). It is well known that the original text of "Hanno" has long been lost and that what we now have is a single text much copied and abridged from a text by a Greek who apparently had access to the original.

In that Greek text, the copyist evidently took the Semitic word to only mean King/Ruler and equated it with the Greek basileus (= king). So there may be substance to the Stecchini statement after all and that this closer connection with Himilco and that the name Himilco really meaning that "my brother is [the] ruler". As always, it is useful to illustrate things with historical parallels and Ireland provides one but it is not identical. According to Cogadh Gaedhel re Gallaibh (= Wars of the Irish & the Danes (?11 th/?12 th c. Irish), the aged High-king Brian Boru was slain in his tent at Clontarf (in 1014) by a Viking known to us only as Brodar (= brother).

Unfortunately, this tends to make Himilco even more anonymous than ever and does not really allow him to come out from brother's rather more famous shadow. It will transpire that Herodotus may have known something about him. Pliny in the 1 st c. A.D. seemingly also knew something of him when saying that Carthage sent "Hanno plus Himilco beyond the Pillars of Hercules to respectively explore the coasts of Libya (= all Africa) & the outer shores Europe".

A text of The Periplus/Voyage of Himilco was possibly still extant in the days of Rufus Avienus. He may have been a Romanised Celt from Gaul (= mainly France) of the 4 th c. A.D. He appears to have had access to sources mentioning both what has become known as the Massiliote Periplus because some otherwise unknown Greek settler from Massilia (Marseilles) seems to have written it plus the Periplus of Himilco. He seems to have copied just a few lines from the original text(s) for his poem about the coasts of Europe called Ora Maritima (= Sea-coasts). This he did some 1000 years later than the originals and in adapting them to the needs of Late Latin poetry, so garbled them that Cary/Warmington (ib.) could describe that what he had written is nearly gibberish.

There will be a little more about Himilco in the next section but otherwise it is back to the Phoenico/Punic vessels that the Greeks called hippoi for the reasons given above. More specifically those that Strabo says were operating on the coasts of western Europe from Gadir/Gades/Cadiz.

It has already been seen that hippoi of the Gaditanians (= Phoenicians & their descendants settled at Gadir/Cadiz) sailed for four days to get from Gadir to west Magreb to exploit the rich fishing-grounds there (in passing, it is worth noting that if the Moroccan tunny had the size that legend attributes to them, landing one in so small a vessel as a hippos must have been interesting).

A Gaditanian hippos seemingly out-sailed most of the others and came to grief on the coasts of southern Africa and came to rest as a wreck on the east African coast at what is generally accepted as being Cape Delgado on the border of what are now Mozambique and Tanzania. Here it was found some time later by the above-noted Greek named Eudoxus on one of his many jaunts on to the Indian Ocean (it does appear that it was he & not Hippalus who was truly responsible for being the 1 st European to utilise the monsoon-system).

Eudoxus seems to have been wrecked himself and on being rescued, evidently he took the figurehead of the Delgado wreck back to Alexandria with him. Here it was identified as a hippos of Gaditanian origin that had probably sailed too far. Felix Chami (The Unity of African Ancient History 2006) preferred to regard it as an example of a Phoenico/Punic voyage that would have otherwise have gone unrecorded. He also suggested that such voyages would have been rather more frequent than the meagre records that we now have would indicate.

Here it can be observed that Carthaginian penetration overland is hinted at by the sources cited above (esp. witness those of Mago) and whilst these too may have been rather more frequent than the surviving might suggest, it is obvious that sea-voyaging was the preference of the cities that made up the geographical region anciently known as Phoenicia and of their colonies, the chief of which was Carthage.

Knowledge of the Cape Verde Islands reached Carthage with Hanno, if the theories linking "Hanno" with islands off west Africa combine with the erupting volcano to identify with Fogo (= Portugese for fire & the most westerly of the Cape Verdes) can be proven. If so, the information was lost.

Messrs. Lacroix (Africa in Antiquity 1998) and Stecchini (The African Interior online) are among those saying that Ptolemy confused the Cape Verde and Canary island-groups and that the position given to the Canaries is really that of the Cape Verde archipelago. There is also the suggestion that west African fishermen had seasonal-fishers but no permanent population on these islands. This accords with the islands that Idrissi (12 th c. Arab) says had buildings but no people that are frequently seen as the Canaries but cannot have been so, because the latter archipelago had a permanent population and had done so for millenia.

This would mean the Canary Islands cannot have been what the Greeks called Ton Makaron Nesoi (= the Fortunate Isles) which Ptolemy placed in the position we now know were occupied by what are now called the Cape Verde Islands. The author of the article dealing with "Phoenician Ships, Navigation and Commerce" (online at suggested Phoenician ships called in at the Canaries for stopovers because of the benign natives of the Canary Islands usually called the Guanches.

The same author contrasts what is said by Hanno about the formidable people(s) of the mainland and the peaceable nature of the indigenous inhabitants of the Canaries (although it was to take Spain nearly 150 years to take the islands from the islanders having only Stone Age weapons). This part of the mainland is the west Magreb opposite the Canaries and this can be added to when we realise that both Hanno and Herodotus described the west Magreb as also full of wild animals. It may also be wondered if the growing aridity of the western parts of the Sahara/Magreb was not a factor here. Besides this there is the impoverishment and prosperity reported by Alvise da Cadamosto (15 th c.) either side of the Senegal. On this view, the Canaries were little more than places for the collection of water plus ship-refits.

Madeira was rather more distant but was apparently more attractive as places of permanent settlement than were either the Cape Verdes or the Canaries. Our earliest known report of this archipelago is from a 1 st c. historian known as Diodorus Siculus (= the Sicilian Greek, from his being from one the Greek colonies on the island of Sicily). He tells us that a Carthaginian ship sailing along the west African coast was caught up in a storm. Unlike the Phoenico/Punic vessel that Eudoxus (via Strabo) reports was swept round the African coast to Mozambique (as above), this one was swept out on to the Atlantic.

Diodorus tells us the Carthaginian crew discovered an island that had an equable climate, was well-wooded, had fertile plains plus navigable rivers. Max Cary and Eric Warmington (The Ancient Explorers 1963) wrote except for the absence of any large rivers, this almost reads like Madeira itself. At about this time, Etruria and Carthage were almost joined at the hip from the description of Sabatino Moscati (ib.) and the Etruscans wanted to settle the island. It might be thought that when Frobenius argued for Etruscan influences on Yoruba (Nig.) death-masks, this may suggest all this happened. Unfortunately for this opinion, Carthage stopped any attempt at the Etruscans expanding west of the Pillars of Hercules/Straits of Gibraltar.

Discovery and colonisation of the Azores is thought by Cary/Warmington (ib.) to be less probable than that of Madeira. Yet perhaps ironically, there is what has been seen by some writers as very strong evidence that the islands of the Azores group had been colonised by the Carthaginians. In "Carthaginians in the Azores, Patricia and Pierre Bikal (online) note Damian de Goes (16 th c. Port.) has a story about a statue of a horseman with "Moorish" cloak plus arm pointing westwards showing (?) go on or (?) do not. This fits with Carthaginian coins said to have had Azorean find-spots.

The coins are said not to be fakes but the find-spots are more uncertain but in like vein must be that the islands appear on maps long before they are supposed to have done so. The name of Azores supposedly came from the Portugese word of acor for a kind of goshawk but Robert Santos (Azores Islands online) says Pre-European Azorean ornithology knows not the goshawk and more likely is some form of a Semitic word still to be seen as Arabic raka (= bird of prey). As to name, Corvo is not only where the statue plus coins were found but the name occurs in the form of Corvinius long before any supposed Portugese discovery of the islands.

Atlantic Coasts: Amber

The material called amber has been associated with the Phoenicians for a very long time. The Greek poet named Homer has several references to the same material in the long epic poems called the Iliad and the Odyssey.

Homer tied this very firmly to the Phoenicians. They are treated very much as the crafty Semites still being written about in European literature by such as William Shakespeare (16 th/17 th c. English), as when he describes Shylock the Jew in Merchant of Venice. Just how early this began is uncertain but many writers want Homer to have been as early as the 10 th c. B.C. If so, this means that the Phoenicians were trading amber before that date.

The question can be posed as to just how the amber reached the Phoenicians? The article on "Welcome to Lithuanian Amber: Gold of the North" (online) shows Baltic words for amber include guintaras (Lithuanian), dzintas (Latvian), yantar (Russian), gyantar (Hungarian), jantar (Polish) and then comes yaintar (Phoenician).

The east Baltic connection will be immediately self-evident from this but how did it get to the Phoenician homeland? Trade along the Bug and Dneistr river-systems has been going on for a very long time and was still the route used by the Vikings that the locals called the Rus (=? Red [as in red-haired] & hence Russia) who went beyond this to become Varangian bodyguard of Byzantine Emperors.

Michael Skupin (The Carthaginian Columbus online) refers to a place on the Black Sea that he says was called Karambis and that without the k-prefix, would read Arambis/Arambys and underlines the Phoenico/Punic association with the name by emphasising that Arambys/Arambis is one of the places resettled by the Carthaginians according to that most famous of all Carthaginian documents, The Periplus of Hanno.

It is not generally realised just how much larger the one-time Urartu as a kind of Greater Armenia actually was. It once ruled large parts of the Anatolia that now provides easily the bulk of modern Turkey and at various times, Armenia itself was very larger than is the ex-Soviet republic bearing that name today. There is also something of a puzzle about the term of Nisaean in that Nisaea was strictly always part of the territory of whoever was ruling Persia.

However, Strabo tells us that Nisaean horses were greatly prized in the ancient world and that they came via Armenia to Phoenicia. To the Classical or Greco/Roman source that is Strabo is added what is said by the Biblical writer that is Ezekiel. The something that was written by Ezekiel was that Armenian asses were also greatly prized and that they too were exported to Phoenicia. This clearly is in addition to the other information provided by "Ships, Navigation & Commerce" (ib.) and gives us another possibility as to routes by which east Baltic amber reached the Phoenicians.

Early studies of so-called "Amber Routes" were by sources quoted in messrs. de Navarro (Geographical Journal 1925) and Hawkes (8 th Myres Lecture = Pytheas: the Greeks and Ancient Europe 1975). They trace it through middle Europe to "caput Adria" (= head of the Adriatic Sea). Here were the Veneti and they in turn bring us to the origin of the name of the Veneti.

Across Europe are what philologists describe as Q-tongues in which a hard c/k/q-sound precedes that of p/b in closely related languages. Examples include Q-tongued Ionic Greek, as opposed to P-tongued Doric (esp. Attic) Greek; Q-tongued Venetic as oppsed to the other more usually P-tongued Illyrian; Q-tongued Latin, as opposed to the P-tongued Umbro/Oscan; Q-tongued Goidelic, as opposed to the other Celtic that is usually B/P-tongued.

Not only is Venetic the most westerly of the Illyrian languages but is also considered the most Celticised of the Illyrian tongues of mainly what are now Slovenia/Croatia/Serbia. With Veneti also seen as the name of a tribe of Celts of what was Gaul/is now France, it may be that readers may want to join with Hubert Butler (Ten Thousand Saints 1973) in linking them across Europe.

On the other hand, sources cited by Johnstone (ib) have sought a route signified by Phonice/Finice/Finike place-names across the Mediterranean and what lay behind the emergence of the city of Venice originated as one of these places. This would indicate that if amber came by way of Baltic coasts/central Europe/the Adriatic Sea to Phoenicia, presumably this was closed off with the defeat of the Etruscan allies in 480 B.C. at Cumae and the virtual disappearance of the Etruscan fleet as a naval threat to anyone.

Herodotus tells us that amber and tin came from the "the West" but this has been taken by many writers to indicate that Herodotus really knew very little about what was happening in the Atlantic-facing parts of Europe. This is primarily because Herodotus does not specify where these materials originated from.

Joannes Richter (Spelling Thee, U and I 2006 & online) is probably the most comprehensive and up-to-date study of the ancient European trading in amber. It is very likely that it will remain the standard work on the subject for a while to come. He demonstrates that on distributional grounds, amber and tin in west Europe can be coupled. Even if Richter's lists are a little too full, this serves to illustrate that what Herodotus says on amber plus tin coming together from Atlantic-west Europe.

That amber came by way of the coasts of Europe is surely confirmed by the Greek term of elektron seemingly applied to the Frisian Isles as the Electrides. The native name of Glessum for the same islands was apparently known to the Romans as Glessaria: presumably, the Romans were after the same material.

It will be remembered that Himilco and Hanno were sent by the elders at Carthage to beyond to explore the outer shores of Europe and coasts of Africa. When Herodotus wrote about Baltic amber, he did so in the 5 th c. B. C. and antedated the Periplus of Pytheas by a century or more. This makes it probable that the source of the information reaching Herodotus came from Himilco.

Atlantic Coasts: Tin.

It has long been a puzzle where the tin used to make the tin-bronze of the east Mediterranean came from. There have been recent suggestions that the tin was available from somewhere in Anatolia (= Asia Minor = most of modern Turkey). However, it seems unlikely that it was ever exploitable by the technology available to the contemporary tin-workers in sufficient quantities to make it viable. A surely even simpler point is that if Anatolian tin was so freely available, why would the Phoenicians make such strenuous efforts to obtain tin from places so far away?

Equally, there are many arguments that the Erzebegirge deposits of the Czech Republic and Germany were exploited by miners of the Bronze Age forwards but Roger Penhallurick (Tin in Antiquity 1984) has raised doubts about whether the prehistoric technology could have done so.

Sources of tin are relatively scarce and there are various suggestions as to where those were from whence came the tin that came to the Phoenicians and after them, the Carthaginians. African sources that have suggested are Uganda by John Dayton (Central Africa as a Source of Phoenician Tin online), Nigeria overland to Carthage by John Sutton (Oxford Journal of Archaeology 1983), Nigeria by sea to Carthage by John Taylor (Oxford Journal of Archaeology 1982), etc.

The latter at least brings us to Atlantic coasts but of Africa but it is Atlantic Europe that has easily the most famous of all the places held to have provided tin for the Phoenicians and/or the Carthaginians. These include what has been said about west Iberia, west France and southwest Britain.

Tin in Iberia (= Spain & Portugal) is known from several places but that in the northwest of Iberia in that province of northwest Spain that is Galicia has easily the most the most deposits and the best quality of all those in Iberia/Spain. A major difficulty in establishing Phoenico/Punic connections with Galician tin is that Phoenico/Punic finds in Iberia are increasingly scarce north of the River Minho that being in mid-Portugal approximates to halfway along the west Iberian coast.

There is a very ancient pattern of evidence of contacts between southwest Iberia and northwest Iberia being fairly meagre. In this respect, those between the Phoenico/Punic southwest and the Celtic northwest repeat just this. From within the Urnfield (= Proto-Celtic)/Hallstat (= Early Celtic)/La Tene (Late Celtic sequence, Urnfield Celts had apparently been quietly penetrating northern Iberia since about 1000 B. C. This was not the rapid military-based expansion that was to see apparently P-speaking Celts spread to Russia to the east and to Ireland in the west. It was also seen that they had spread to Tartessos/Huelva in the southwest and that here they may been trying to play various sets of rivals off against each that included Phoenico/Punics.

On the other hand, contacts between the southwest and northwest do exist but they lie outside the remit of these pages and in the case of Phoenico/Punics recorded north of the Minho in west-mid Iberia, there is strong literary support. This in the form of the Periplus of Himilco known only from the fragments seen to be contained in the Ora Maritima by Rufus Avienus when Himilco (via Avienus) tells us that sailed for four months along the "the coasts of Outer Europe" and this was to take him well past Galicia and probably up to Armorica. Solinus (2 nd/3 rd c. A.D. Greek) seemingly wrote that Tartessians plus Carthaginians sailed together to at least Armorica/Brittany.

Timaeus (? 5 th c. B.C.Greek), Diodorus Siculus (1 st c. B.C. Greek), Strabo (1 st c. B. C. Greek), etc, wrote of the Cassiterides (the Tin Islands). Some modern authors woefully misinterpret what is said by these Greeks and want Breton islets to be the Cassiterides. Many others want to indicate variously that the Cassiterides means all of Britain, that part of Britain that is Cornwall, that part of Cornwall that is Penwith (inc. Land's End) or the islands off Cornwall called the Isles of Scilly.

All too frequently, ancient historians are remarkably vague about details or lead on wilful misreading of what they say but these Greek authors very specifically indicate that the Cassiterides were none of the above. There is also more than enough to confirm that it is not the Isles of Scilly that were the Cassiterides. Strabo very specifically wrote that the Cassiterides were 10 in number, whereas Scilly was always insulam Syllina/Sillae (= Island of Scilly) not insulae Syllina/Sillae (= Isles of Scilly) and did not became the Isles of Scilly till after Post-400 A.D. sea-flooding. To be noted that under their differing spellings of Scilly, Pliny (1 st c. A.D.), Sulpicius Severus (2 nd/3 rd c. A. D.), Sulpicius Severus (4 th c. A.D.), etc, all refer to the single island and it is does appear that the first literary mention of more than one island is in the Orkneyingsaga (12 th c. A. D. Norse) referring to Syllingar (= Isles of Scilly).

In any case, Strabo is specific enough when stating that the Cassiterides were islands opposite the coast of territory ruled by Celts of the tribe called the Artabri. The Artabri were Celts of what is now Galicia. It cannot be claimed that these islets do no not produce tin as the Scillies do not do so either. This means that the Cassiterides were places where tin was stored till it was collected by the traders and they are likely to be have been islets in Vigo Bay. Something else that will noted very shortly is that they met a very specific Phoenico/Punic need.

Armorica/Brittany emerges as candidate here note merely because of vague details that can and have just been shown to be capable of being interpreted whatever way you want. From our main literary source that is the Periplus of Himilco, we learn that it seems that the Tartessians plus Carthaginians sailed from southwest Iberia to at least as far north as the Oestrymnides as partners. If the pattern suggested above about west Africans gradually being eased out of the Tarshish/Tartessos trade are correct, we may be sure that the Tartessians became the junior partners very soon until they were eased out completely.

The Oestrymnides are not only included amongst the claimants for being the Cassiterides but have prompted claims that that most famous place attaching to Atlantic tin called Ictis was here too. What has been said about that the Cassiterides can only have been off the Iberian coast opposite Galicia ruling them out as being anywhere else is even more applicable to the Armorican islets than it is to those referred as being off the Cornish mainland.

The islets off the Armorican coast plus one them possibly being Ictis smacks more of later importance being wished on to prehistory. However, it was seen that one of those snippets of history from times long gone passed on to later writers was noted as attesting the Phoenico/Punic presence in Armorica/Brittany where Penhallurick shows tin was coevally exploited. The book by Roger Penhallurick on "Tin in Antiquity" (1986) is probably the most important one on this subject in the English language in recent years and unlikely to be replaced very soon.

Armorica/Brittany is also where Corbo/Corbilo (=? Nantes) was situated and there was an overland or Corbo/Narbo route taking tin overland to the Mediterranean. As Corbo/Corbilo may have been Nantes in Atlantic-facing France and Narbo is definitely Narbonne in Med.-facing south France, this route may have been devised to avoid the Phoenicians and/or the Carthaginians. If the last, it would appear to indicate that Phoenico/Punic ships still dominated trade on Atlantic-west coasts of Europe.

There is a famous story quoted by Strabo about how determined the Phoenicians were to hold on to their market in tin plus other minerals. It tells us that a Phoenician ship was en route to trading and its skipper perceived that a Roman ship was shadowing him. Rather than give Phoenician trade-secrets away, he deliberately wrecked his ship and was compensated by his city: the Roman ship was also destroyed on the same rocks. What tends to be overlooked is that much that is said by Classical writers about the tin-trade is confirmed by what is said about or by Celts. In this respect, as determined as our Phoenician ship's-captain was the Celts of the Breton tribe we have seen were called the Veneti. They so wanted to maintain the status quo that they went to war with Rome to protect their interests but lost.

Ictis was the place most closely associated with British tin by Classical authors writing about the tin-trade and aspects of this receive some confirmation from Celtic sources. Diodorus Siculus wrote that somewhere called Ictis was where the tin was brought to and that it was odd that Ictis was an island at high tide but a peninsula at low tide. Old-Irish literature is the third oldest in Europe after that of Greek and Latin and the earliest in west Europe and from it comes the story told by Daphne Pochin Mould (The Irish Saints 1964). It is of an island called Inis Aird na gCeaorac (= High Sheep Island at high tide and Aird Mor Declain (= Headland of Declan = Ardmore, Wexford) at low tide.

Timaeus, Julius Caesar, Lucan, Solinus, Pliny, Avienus, Sidonius Appolinaris, etc, are the amongst the ancient writers telling us about the British leather/skin-boats called currachs and it is Pliny plus Avienus who attach this to the British tin-trade. Traders at sea using currachs is confirmed when James Hornell (Mariner's Mirror 1936) cites a story from the Brito/Welsh tale-cycle called the Mabinogion called "Branwen" saying the King of Ireland stopped all vessels trading between that part of Britain called Wales and Ireland. Patrick Joyce (A Social History of Ancient Ireland 1903) cites Cormac's Glossary ((see above) saying that the 150 currachs trading between Ulster (= north Ireland) and Scotland (= north. Britain) of the fleet of Breccan was destroyed in the whirlpool that was called Coire Breccain (= Corryvreckan = Cauldron of Breccan).

These are just a few of the instances where Classical (esp. Greek) sources are confirmed by Celtic (esp. Irish) ones. Some past scholars have wanted the Phoenico/Punic presence to Ireland to be more directly attested. A valiant attempt was made by Marcus Keane (The Towers and Temples of Ancient Ireland 1838). Unfortunately for Keane's theories they were effectively answered by George Petrie (The Ecclesiastical Architecture of Ireland 1845). Petrie may have effectively shown that the round towers of Ireland were buildings of the Early Christian period and not the fire-towers of Persia coming to Ireland with the Phoenicians but many writers still want to connect the Phoenico/Punic Baal with the Celto/Irish bel occurring as part of several Celtic god-names.

Donald Harden's article on "Phoenicians in West Africa" (Antiquity 1941) came down quite hard on the theories of Frobenius (ib.) but Harden (The Phoenicians 1963) was of the belief that Phoenicians reached Ireland. This was also the opinion of Joyce (ib.). They felt this was proven by Himilco (via Avienus) referring to gens Hiernorum (= Ireland) plus insula Albionum (Britain). They might have added that this pattern of emphasis on Ireland at the expense of the larger island of Britain is repeated all the way down to Orosius (4 th c. A.D. Latinised Iberian Celt) and in the case of Orosius, the linkage with Ireland presents no difficulty but as this takes us into the realms of such as Kuno Meyer, Eoin MacNeill, etc, this goes beyond my brief.

The 10 th c. Irish poem of Oenach Carmain (= Fair of Carman) may throw some oblique light on this. It mentions Grecraige (= "Greeks") coming to Oenach Carmain trading fine cloth for Irish gold. Eoin MacWhite (Zeitschrifte fur Celtische 1956) says that the word of Grecraige is inserted to maintain the metre of the poem in Irish. Also writers wanting the site of the great Fair/Market to have been at Wexford because the Old-Irish for Wexford was Loch Garman/Carman are rejected by those arguing that Oenach Carmain happened on the plains of Kildare called the Curragh.

However, staying with the official translation from Irish into English done at the behest of the Royal Irish Academy (by Stephen Gwyn (1912), this poem was felt by Gwyn to identify "Greek" traders coming Late Bronze Age/Early Iron Age Ireland. The term of "Greek" in Old-Irish literature tends to mean "From the Mediterranean" unless something specific is being identified.

Some of the problems with the poem have been outlined but in general, the ancient Greeks are not particularly noted for their exports of any cloth, let alone "fine raiment" but the Phoenicians were. Not only does it appear that the word of Canaan had something to do with dyed cloth but that it was equated by the Greeks with one of their words with a like meaning and hence our word of Phoenician. An interesting sidelight on this is that if those arguing for the ex-Mycenaean motifs occurring as those of Archaic/Classical Greece to Greece as designs on Phoenician cloth are correct, they also tell us of exports of Phoenician fabrics to Greece.

Even if this example of Pre-Classical motifs coming back to later Greeks as designs from Phoenicia, indicates Phoenician exports, it has to be said that Phoenicia was a lot closer to Greece than is Ireland on the far side of Europe. However, the gap is more than adequately bridged by the intervening colonies that include ones on the Atlantic coast of west Europe, the fact that Himilco is recorded as having reached Oestrymnis (=? north Armorica/Brittany) and Old-Irish literature is replete with stories about with connections in Atlantic Europe.

From this it will be obvious that it cannot be insisted on that there were Phoenicians in Late Bronze Age Ireland. There is also the matter that if we are dealing with fine raiment, then what could be the equally prestigious goldwork that could accord with this looms large. Here the articles on the "Sintra Gold Collar" and "The Sintra Collar & the Shannongrove Gorget: Aspects of Late Bronze Age Goldwork in the West of Europe" by messrs. Hawkes (Prehistoric and Roman Studies ed. G. de Sieveking 1971) and Powell (North Munster Antiquaries Journal 1973/4) respectively are of great interest. They both argue that Iberia plus Ireland exhibit Phoenician-type flower ornament but that appear in form(s) naturalised to their respective countries and cultures.

However, it does appear that what Prof. Hawkes (ib.) is suggesting is rather more direct in the Iberian Peninsula where a Phoenico/Punic presence is proven. Whereas, what Prof. Powell (ib.) is arguing for is somewhat more indirect than direct, so would probably represent not presence but influence.

Whether it will ever prove possible to more directly connect the proven cats of Iron Age date in Britain (as at Danebury [Hants] & sites in Wiltshire & the Scillies) plus another possible in Ireland at Crannog No.1 at Ballinderry (Offaly) remains moot. However, it is worth recalling what was said by the sources cited in "Phoenicians in East in East Africa: From the Med. To the Red" about the way the cat spread and closely this coincides with Phoenician ships. Also observe in passing, the prominent role of cats in the Brehon Code (= the law-corpus of ancient Ire. & the most comprehensive of ancient west Eur.) not just as pets but for the practical vermin-catching qualities that may have decided whether a family would survive a harsh winter or not

The direct Mediterrano/southern linkage is presumably strengthened by the find of a skull of Barbary ape (the type well known to us in Britain via those at Gibraltar) at Emain Macha (close to Armagh) as part of an apparent ritual deposit of the "wing of bat/eye of newt" more familiar to many of us from the "hubble, bubble, toil & trouble" scene attaching to the three witches in the play by Shakespeare called Macbeth. It may well be imagined that enterprising captains came with pets that appealed by their novelty and were given as presents to the local to encourage trading and the Phoenico/Punic desire for tin might be relevant for the cat-bones already said to have been found in the Isles of Scilly.

That small pets were quite acceptable as presents to rulers and/or their queens is amply proven by the story of how the first lap-dog came to Ireland quoted in that encyclopaedic compendium of all things ancient and Irish, Cormac's Glossary.

© Copyright, Harry Bourne

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Phoenicia, A Bequest Unearthed -- Phoenician Encyclopedia

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