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Mediterranean Civilizations
Chapter 2, Section 4
City of Tyre
• While the great empire of Hammurabi was
rising and falling, the people of a poor city
on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea were
getting rich by gathering snails.
• Snails that washed up the shore produced
rich purple dye.
• Highly valued by wealthy people throughout the
Mediterranean region
• Ships from Tyre sold the dye at extremely high
prices became a wealthy and active city
City of Tyre
The Phoenicians: Sailors of the
• Tyre  major city in region called
• Outlook was toward the west, the
Mediterranean Sea and surrounding
growing cities
• Had settled in a land with dense forests of
cedar trees
– Sold the wood along with snails to neighbors
The Phoenicians: Sailors of the
• As trade grew, the Phoenicians looked to the
sea to increase their profits
– Became world’s largest trading empire
– 1100 B.C. – 800 B.C. = great sea power
• Ships sailed all over the Mediterranean Sea
• Sailed out into the story Atlantic
– Sailors came back and shared stories of sea
monsters  to keep competitors away from
The Phoenicians: Sailors of the
• Trade brought rich goods from lands
around the Mediterranean Sea to the
Phoenician cities of Tyre and Sidon.
• Bazaars swelled with foods brought from
faraway places
– Figs, olives, honey, spices
– Merchants sold strange animals  giraffes
and warthogs from Africa; bears from Europe
The Phoenician Alphabet:
One Sound, One Letter
• Needed simple writing because they had so
much trade
• Cuneiform = too complicated
• Found a way to write using 22 symbols
• Phoenician alphabet set of symbols that
represented the sounds of the language
• Forms the basic alphabet that people in the USA
and other countries use today
• Each of the 22 letters stood for one consonant
The Phoenician Alphabet:
One Sound, One Letter
• Easier to learn than cuneiform
• Many more people could learn to write
besides scribes
Phoenician Alphabet
The Rise of the Israelites
• Hebrews (later known as Israelites) 
small band of people settled along the
shores of the Mediterranean
• Made a deep impact on our civilization even
though they never built a large empire
• Traced beginnings to Mesopotamia
• For hundreds of years, lived as shepherds
and merchants who grazed their flocks
outside Sumerian cities
The Rise of the Israelites
• According to the Bible, Abraham led his
people to a belief in one God  monotheism
• God promised Abraham that his people
would have their own land if they would
follow his word
• 1900 B.C.  Abraham led the Israelites
from Mesopotamia to a new home in Canaan
– 1800 B.C.  famine spread across Canaan
• Time when there is so little food that many people
• Caused the Israelites to flee south to Egypt
The Rise of the Israelites
• Lived well in Egypt for about 600 years
• Enslaved when an Egyptian king grew
jealous of their wealth and suspicious of
their power
Return to Canaan
• Moses, an Israelite hero, led the enslaved
people out of Egypt
• Wandered the desert of Sinai for the next
40 years
– God have the Israelites the Ten
• Returned to Canaan and eventually began
to build their own cities
Map of Canaan and Egypt
Conquest of Canaan
• Israelites faced opposition as they moved
further north into Canaan
• Conquered Canaan after several fierce
• Two kings led them to victory
– Saul  first king of the Israelites
– David  next king who united the 12 tribes
into a single nation; established his capital at
the city of Jerusalem
Conquest of Canaan
• Solomon, David’s son, inherited the
– Grew prosperous through trade
– Developed a sea trade with neighboring lands
• First voyage = brought back more than 13 tons of
Conquest of Canaan
• Solomon transformed Jerusalem into a
magnificent capital.
• Most prized monument = temple in the
center of the city  became the central
place of worship for the Israelites
Jerusalem Temple
Jerusalem Temple
Jerusalem Temple
Conquest of Canaan
• Solomon’s building projects were very
• Country faced hard times and after his
death, divided into 2 kingdoms
– Northern = Israel
– Southern = Judah
• Assyria, the dangerous neighbor, was
gaining power in the divided kingdom.
Conquest of Canaan
• 722 B.C.  Assyrians seized the kingdom
of Israel
– Punished the Israelites by exiling thousands
to distant parts of the empire
• Exile  force a people to live in another country
• About 135 years later, Judah fell to the
Chaldeans and they were exiled as well.