Today's episode is straight from the "mother of invention" files. The Phoenicians were shipbuilders and traders whose routes took them to nations that all spoke different languages and used incompatible writing systems. Needing a way to track all their transactions, the Phoenicians came up with a systematized way to break words into sounds and record those sounds using symbols.
Contrary to the emails we've received on the subject, Israel was not left out of the description of where Phoenicia was to make a political point: It was an unintentional omission.
For more knowledge: How did language evolve?
Episode link: The Phoenician Alphabet
- Ager, Simon. "Phoenician/Canaanite." Omniglot. http://www.omniglot.com/writing/phoenician.htm
- Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Phoenicians (1500-300 B.C.)" Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/phoe/hd_phoe.htm
- McGovern, P. E. and R. H. Michel. "Royal Purple: The Dye of Gods and Kings." Patrick E. McGovern Biomolecular Archaeology Laboratory. http://www.penn.museum/sites/biomoleculararchaeology/?page_id=80
- McKenzie, Sheena. "Transatlantic Crossing: Did Phoenicians beat Columbus by 2000 years?" CNN. March 5, 2013. http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/28/world/americas/phoenician-christopher-columbus-america-sailboat
- Phoenician International Research Center. "The Phoenician Alphabet." http://phoenicia.org/alphabet.html
- Phoenicia: The Phoenician Ship Expedition. http://www.phoenicia.org.uk/index.htm
- Pritchard, James P. "The Phoenicians in Their Homeland." Expedition. Fall 1971. http://www.penn.museum/documents/publications/expedition/PDFs/14-1/The%20Phoenicians.pdf
- Rincon, Paul. "DNA Legacy of Ancient Seafarers." BBC News. Oct. 31, 2008. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7700356.stm
- United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. "Spotlight on Memory of the World Heritage: Languages Lost and Found." http://www.unesco.org/new/index.php?id=49522