Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Phoenicians on a Sicilian Island

PHOENICIAN WATCH: Homesick Phoenicians Imported Plants, Animals to New Sicilian Island Home 3,000 Years Ago. DNA analysis of seeds and bones unearthed on the tiny island of Motya show that they came from the ancient Levant, brought by the Phoenicians to Sicily (Philippe Bohstrom, Haaretz).
Over 3,000 years ago, as the Phoenicians spread west from the Levantine coasts of the Mediterranean to Sicily and beyond, it turns out they had not only animals on board, but plants and tableware too, bringing with them the taste of home.

Archaeologists excavating a village the seafaring Phoenicians established on the tiny island of Motya, on the western tip of Sicily, found plant seeds and animal bones that they had brought from home, possibly the coast of today's Lebanon.

The Phoenicians seem to have first landed on Motya, an island with protected anchorage and with access to mainland agriculture, sometime in the 10th to 11th century B.C.E. By the late 9th century B.C.E., they had developed it into a proper colony, thanks to no small part to the safe harbor.

Pottery and inscriptions to their gods, among other things, seal the case that the town was Phoenician. 

There are many interesting finds at this site. Cross-file under Archaeology and Material Culture.

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