Phoenician (Scope note)

The Phoenicians were the direct descendents of the Canaanites of the south Syrian and Lebanese coast who, at the end of the second millennium BC, became isolated by population and political changes in the regions surrounding them. The name derives from the Greek, Phoinikes, referring to the purple coloured dye which the Phoenicians extracted from the murex shell, and with which they produced highly prized textiles. By the late eighth century BC, the Phoenicians had founded trading posts and colonies around the entire Mediterranean, the greatest of which was Carthage on the north coast of Africa (present day Tunisia).