The Phoenicians believed in many gods, a triad of deities, which were connected to nature worshiping them on hills and under trees. Later they built temples composed of an entrance hall, a main hall, and a holy place, where priests would make sacrifices at a stone altar in the temple. Their primary god was El, protector of the universe, but often called Baal. Astarte was linked with mother goddesses of neighboring cultures, in her role as combined heavenly mother and earth mother. Cult statues of Astarte in many different forms were left as votive offerings in shrines and sanctuaries as prayers for good harvest, for children, and for protection and tranquility in the home. The Phoenicians lacked enough arable land for farming, many turned to the sea building their strong fast ships from timber from the cedar forest. They were excellent sailors and would sail all over the Mediterranean trading with all types of cities using the sun and the stars for their voyages. They were also famous for their colored cloths made from indigo, glass objects, and elegant jewelry for precious metals. They’re greatest achievement was their alphabet. They were the first civilization to use just 22 characters, each character representing a consonant sound, but no vowels. The reader would mentally supply the vowels in the proper places. Also the Phoenicians had many occupations that other civilizations didn’t. They had sailors who would sail and trade amongst civilizations along the Mediterranean. They also had talented artisans that would color cloths and make jewelry to trade. They were also skilled traders and businesspeople that could keep track of complex business deals because of their simple alphabet which didn’t require them to bring specially trained scribes to keep records.
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