dinsdag 21 oktober 2014


The Phoenicians provided the North-African coast with dozens of strongholds and anchorage places. One of them was called Rašgun or Akra. Nowadays it is named aš-šakur or Argikule.
Ps.Scylax (111) mentions in the 4th century BC: “facing the river (=Sigi), the island of Akra, a large city and a harbour”.  This must be the island of Rašgun, distant 1700 metres from the shore in front of the river Tafna in western part of Algeria. The island rises 64 metres above the sea. The source of Ps.Scylax – the writer assembles information from others – only translates the first element of the toponym, since Rašgun appears as a corrupt form of Ra’š-šigan (Cape of Siga). Originally this was the name of the promontory of the Moorish Tower that protects the mouth of the Tafna river from the northeast. Phoenician-Punic remains contemporaneous of the insular settlement were found there and suggest an early occupation of the site by people living on the island. In the course of time the name of this cape (Akra) was extended to the island. The real Phoenician name of the island could have been ’y-r’š-sgn (=island of the majestic cape). This would be the same as Rusguniae (Cap Matifou in the middle of Algeria). The Phoenicians are using sometimes the same name for different places. The only site on the island that could be regarded as a harbour is a creek the water-plane of which measures 20 by 15 metres that is accessibly by a channel only 1.8 metre large and 0.6 metre deep. This recess on the seashore looks like an ancient Phoenician “cothon”. These small measures are not exceptional. In Motya and Toscanos we see comparable measures for the “cothon”. Only small boats could in this way reach the island. Greater ships must have been anchoring in the mouth of the river Tafna. Excavations in the “Necropolis of the lighthouse” have uncovered noth cremation and inhumation burials with early Punic material, witnessing also connections with the Phoenician settlements on the Iberian Peninsula. There were 114 graves uncovered. Memorial stones (with inscriptions) are lacking. Jars with shoulder, funerary urns, dishes with a large rim, datable to the 7th century BC, were found mixed with handmade pottery, abundant in this burial context. On a scarab we find the hieroglyphs nb nfr sw (-shou, son of Râ) from the 7th century BC. The graves also yielded a number of weapons, like spearheads, amulets and silver jewellery from the 7th-6th century BC. Child burials were found as well: the small bodies were placed in natural cavities of the rock, the head always covered with a large stone. This habit has a similarity with some burials in Phoenicia where the diseased got a golden plate on the mouth. Soundings in the southern part of the island uncovered parts of dwellings, coarsely built in roughly broken rubble-stones bonded in mortar. Most walls were 0.50-0.55 metre thick and the preserved height hardly exceeded 0.50 metre. It was not possible to establish the plan of an entire house, but a disposition of rooms in file was observed, as well as the presence of windows and benches in stone. The use of baked bricks was limited for clay had to be brought from the mainland. No sanctuary or tofet was found on the island so far. For the water supply one was dependable on boats coming from the mainland, or the residents used the water from cisterns on the northern edge of the island. Like in the cemetery, the oldest material can be dated from the mid 7th century BC, while nothing seems to postdate the first part of the 5th century BC.  For some unknown reason at first sight, the settlement was then abandoned. Some occupation traces might remain in parts of the island which have not been investigated. When ps.Scylax refers to a large town it seems he got his information from an early 5th century BC source. However, fragments of Punic amphorae from the 5th century BC found on virgin soil, indicate that the use of the river-harbour at Siga on the river Tafna started in the final occupation period of the Rachgoun Island. The situation on the mainland must have felt save enough for the residents of the island in order to move to the river-harbour, which was called Takembrit in this period.
See: G.Vuillemot, Réconnaissances aux échelles puniques d’Oranie, Alger, 1962.
See : E.Lipinski, Itineraria Phoenicia, OLA 127, Studi Phoenicia XVIII, Leuven, 2004.

zondag 19 oktober 2014


Tell Abu Hawam is situated within the bay of Akko in the delta region of the river Kishon and the wadi Selinan. Some scholars think that this was ancient Akshap, but that is not probable. Akshaph should be situated at Tell Keisan a little bit further to the north. I follow the view of Shmuel Ahituv in his Canaanite Toponyms in ancient Toponyms in ancient Egyptian Documents (Jerusalem/Leiden 1984), that Tell Abu Hawam is LBNT (Libnath), which is mentioned by Ramesses III in Medinet Habu (XXVII:71, XXIX:9). The name Lib(i)nat is most probable preserved in the Biblical compound Shihor-Libnath, the name of the lower part of the Kishon river.
Libnath should therefore be located at Tell Abu Hawam on a former outlet of the Kishon river close to the sea. This identification and location are favoured by the mention of Libnath in the vicinity of Beth Dagan (XXVII:72), which should be located at Tell el-Far also in the plain of Akko. The name LBT appears on Phoenician city-stamps.
Moreover we know some Phoenician inscriptions, who mention the town of Qerumin. One of thos inscriptions (EH 102) says: “Abdešmoen, son of Me’edder, a Canaanite of Qerumin, a citizen of the island of trees.” Qerumin is also a alternative name for the river Kishon. In Judges (5:21) the place is called Kqdwmym. The Romans and Byzantines much later called it Qr(y)mywm.
It looks like that Tell Abu Hawam was named in antiquity by two names: Libnath and Qerumin. The meaning of LBT is stone-quarry. It is highly probable, that town is called Libnath and the river and harbour: Qerumin .
The ancient settlement, which originally bordered the beach (it is now located roughly 1.5 kilometers inland), covered at least 4 hectares (10 acres). In antiquity the town was blessed with three harbour facilities: a natural bay to the north, a lagoon (between Mount Carmel and the tell) to the south-west, and the Kishon estuary to the east.
Tell Aby Hawam was served by two neighbouring cemeteries: a rock-cut necropolis to the west on the slopes of the Mount Carmel in the Persian period and a maritime cemetery of the Late Bronze Ages located along the ancient coastline.
The earliest Tell is occupied in 1500-1400 BC with a protective wall. At that time it covered at the most 1 hectare with a Canaanite temple within. Some Mycaean pottery was found here. Following its destruction at the end of the Late Bronze Age, Tell Abu Hawam was reoccupied c.1100 BC. The early Iron Age settlement (Iron I), which revealed Phoenician Biochrome pottery, was marked by a new building orientation and the appearance of the three-room house type. Following its destruction (by whom?), the city was resettled in the early tenth century BC. This Iron II settlement was characterized by a dense urban arrangement of modestly sized rectangular rooms. During this period the river Kishon estuary replaced the lagoon as the city’s primary harbour facility. Following the third destruction (by the Assyrians?) in the second half of the eight century BC, Tell Abu Hawam lay abandoned for two centuries until the Persian period, when the city re-emerged as a strategic stronghold and regional maritime commercial centre. The city saw major urban redevelopment in the fourth century BC. The acropolis was levelled and crowned with a casemate wall and stone glacis, while the lower settlement, newly fortified, was rebuilt according to an axial grid plan (hippodamic streetplanning).
The former texts are for a part an adaption of the text of Glen.E.Markoe, Phoenicians, Berkeley, 2000.
In the fourth century we see the appearance of Attic and Tyrian coins. In this time the whole region of the plain of Akko was under the control of Tyre. In the meantime the alluvium of the coastal deposits goes on and in the second century BC the harbour activities are moved to Shiqmona (Sycaminium).
Who lived in Libnath-Qerumin? It was a mixture of Philistines, Phoenicians, Jews, Arabs, Persians and Egyptians. It was a cosmopolite town, who had to endure at least three destructions, but every time the town re-emerged out of the misery. For almost 2000 years this town existed with intervals. It is buried now under the outskirts of Haïfa in Israël.
At the moment the Israël Antiquity Authority and in the University of Haïfa are doing more excavations (Uzzi Ad + Amani Abu Hamid) in corporation with the Yefe Nof Transportation and Infrastructure Company and the Israël Electricity Company.



Uit: Cyprus, Boek 248. Expert.
De stadstaat Idalion uit de Bronstijd is een van de vele lokaties, waar volgens de legende de beeldschone herdersjongen Adonis, die iets te vaak flirtte met Aphrodite, aan zijn eind zou zijn gekomen door de slagtanden van een wild zwijn, dat gezonden werd door Hephaestus, de woedende echtgenoot van de godin. Het is moeilijk om deze Griekse mythologie in verband te brengen met de karige restanten van Idalion, die nog boven de grond liggen op deze lokatie. Het ligt 19 km ten zuiden van Nicosia en is nauwelijks opgegraven. Toch zijn er restanten ontdekt van de tempels van Aphrodite en Athene, evenals grote blokken hardsteen van de stadsmuren, die de stad beschermden tot die rond 400 v.C in verval raakten.
Naam: ‘dyl (fen), E-di-(‘-)il/al/li (akk) of Idalion (gr).
Tegenwoordig heet de plaats Dali. De opgravingsplaats ligt net ten zuiden van Dali.
Idalion in:
Boek 162.Prehistoric Greece and Cyprus, H.G.Buchholz+V.Karageorghis, Phaidon 1973.
Op blz 123 staat een kaart met de plaatsen uit de late bronstijd.
Afbeelding 1653 laat een Askos ringvorm van een vogel zien uit ‘Late Cypriote III’ van ‘Proto White-Painted Ware’.
Idalion in:
Boek 231.Les anciens Chypriotes, V.Karageorghis, Armand Colin.
Blz 68 opgraving te Alambra (ten westen van Idalion) met grote rechthoekige zalen.
Blz 107 genoemd op een Egyptische inscriptie van Medinet Habu (1e kwart 12e eeuw)
Blz 115 De Eteocyprische en Griekse beschaving vloeien ineen tussen 950 en 850 v.C.
Blz 129 Op een prisma van Esarhaddon (673/2) komt een koning Eléandre(?) voor uit de archaïsche periode (725-600).
Blz 149. Munt nr.5. Koning Stasikypros en een gevleugelde leeuw.  Voorts is er in de tempel van Athena een plaquette (ICS 217) gevonden, dat het ‘brons’ of het ‘tablet’ van Idalion wordt genoemd. Het betreft een clandestiene opgraving in c.1850 en werd in 1862 door de graaf de Luynes aan het ‘Cabinet des Médailles’ te Parijs gegeven. Het bevindt zich nu in de Bibliothèque Nationale te Parijs. De 31-regelige tekst (Cyprisch+Grieks) bevat een overeenkomst tussen enerzijds de koning en stad van Idalion en anderzijds de dokter Onasilos en zijn broers. Hij moet de gewonden verzorgen na de veldslag tegen de Perzen en de Feniciërs (ergens tussen 479 en 450 v.C). Hij krijgt daarvoor een salaris en een grondstuk. Als de stad het grondstuk weer terug wil, dan krijgt hij daarvoor een talent zilver.
Blz 150. afbeelding van de plaquette van 21,4 x 14 x 4,6 cm.
Blz 152.In 470 v.C wordt de tempel van Athena verwoest door de Feniciërs.
Blz 176.In de Ptolemeesche tijd verrijst er een tempel van Arsinoé (een vermenging met Aphrodite?).



Map 67:
De plaats in de oudheid lag nabij en in de huidige stad Larnaka op de zuidkust van Cyprus. Kition (gr) of Citium (lat) of kty (fen) of Kittim (bijbel) bezat een binnenhaven en had de beschikking over een zoutmeer. In het binnenland lagen kopermijnen. Het koper daarvan werd vooral via Kition uitgevoerd. De oudste ruïnes stammen uit de 13e eeuw v.C. Omstreeks 1050 v.C werd de stad getroffen door een aardbeving. In 1000 v.C verplaatste het centrum van de stad zich meer naar de zee, omdat het binnenmeer waarschijnlijk aan het dichtslibben was.  In het midden van de 9e eeuw staat de plaats onder het bestuur van de Feniciërs. Op den duur geraken Tamassos en Idalion binnen de machtssfeer van Kition.
De archeologische vondsten concentreren zich tussen de omgevingen van de Chrysopolitissa kerk en de Chrysogalactoussa kerk.  De contouren van de oude stadsmuur zijn zichtbaar. Daarbinnen vinden we ook de fundamenten van een Astarte tempel (36 x 22 meter). In 800 v.C werd de tempel verwoest, maar daarna diverse malen opnieuw opgebouwd. In 312 v.C werd de tempel definitief door Ptolemeus I  met de aardbodem gelijk gemaakt. Deze vermoordt en passant ook de laatste Fenicische koning Pumiathon.
- Kition, die erste Kolonie der Phôniker auf Zypern, V.Karageorghis, Bergisch Gladbach 1976.
- Excavations at Kition, I.Tombs, V.Karageorghis, Nicosia 1974.


woensdag 15 oktober 2014

Contents ARWAD

Table of contents of the history of Phoenician ARWAD.



Attentive readers may have noticed, that I put in an excerpt summarily the impressive history of ARWAD on facebook. It is an excerpt of a book in Dutch, which I made already in 1999. The paragraphs are in this following order:


1.Arwad before the Phoenicians

2.The beginning of the golden age of Arwad

3.The golden centuries

4.The plundering expeditions of the Assyrians

5.Mattanbaal I of Arwad

6.For almost a century there is no news from the eastern front

7.Dominion of Arwad becomes a Assyrian province

8.Arwad’s policy of non-interference

8a. Yakin-el of Arwad and his sons

9.A short Egyptian intermezzo around Arwad

10.The Neo-Babylonian period of Arwad

11.The Persian period of Arwad – the beginning

12.Arwad revival under the Persians

13.Arwad in the 1st half of the 4th century BC

14.To the end of Phoenician Arwad

15.Greek Arados?

16.Some open unsettled questions about Arwad


This completes my contribution on the story of Phoenician ARWAD.

Questions ARWAD

Some open unsettled questions about ARWAD.
a. Why is a place called Arada in the Africa Proconsularis according to the list of bishops from 482 AD? Is it an Aradus in Africa? It seems to be identical to Henchir bou Arada. See: A.Beschaouch, Sur trois cites de lÁfrique chrétienne: Gunela, Aradu et Middica, CRAI 1983. See : N.Ferchiou, Une zone de petite colonisation romaine à l’époque julio-claudienne : le centre-ouest de l’Africa vetus (région d’Aradi, Avitina, Dj.Mansour, Siliana), Africa romana, 3, 1985.
b. Close to Arwad lies Tall Qarnun (4 km from Tartus). This was called Carné in antiquity. It means “horn”. The fame of the seamen of Carné is great Lycrophon speaks in jealousy of the “dogs of Carné”. The navigator Hanno along the West-coast of Africa speaks also of a “horn”, which he calls it Cerne/Kerne. Is there a connection? Did the seamen of Carné took part in the expedition of Hanno? Ps.Skylax speaks also about Cerne, where the Phoenicians (not the Punic) were trading. Were they earlier there than Hanno? See: S.Segert, Phoenician Background of Hanno’s Periplus, MUSJ 45 (1969) p.501-518.
c. Plinius calls in NH IV 61 Arados as an island in front of the coast of Crete. Where exactly is that situated? In front of Ithanos?
d. The most intriguing question is the mention of classical authors of Tylos and Arados in the Persian Gulf. It is known, that there is a small island now with the name of Arad. Coincidence? On the other hand we know, that Dilmun was in antiquity a famous land around what we now call Bahrein and that there is a classical tradition, that the Phoenicians came of the south. There are at least four possibilities for solving the question:
- Arwadians came from Bahrein in the Persian Gulf;
- In the Hellenistic period some Arwadians did go for trade to Bahrein;
- Both movements took place;
- Arad at Bahrein has nothing to do with Arwad/Arados, because some classical authors learned about the existence of some islands in this sea and simply gave them the name of the islands in the Mediterranean, which they already knew: Tyros and Arados.
See: Strabo XVI 766,784, Ptolemeus VI 7,47, Stephanus of Byzantium.
Another time I will explain more about the four possibilities>>>>>>>

dinsdag 14 oktober 2014


In the Hellenistic period Arados extends his maritime power and trade power. The Phoenician trader disperses in all directions as they have always done. We encounter people from Arados in Abydos in Egypt (a guy named Abdo), or in Demetrias in Greece (Hieronimou Aradios), where we can also read the message that three men came to Demetrias and left behind one Phoenician. They use Greek names, but they came from Sidon, Arados and Kition. Another example is Asklépiades, born in Arados, who left his signature behind in Delos on a mosaic in the house of the dolphins. Delos had at a specific moment 333 residents from the East, of which were 120 Tyrians and some out of Arados and Marathos. Jason of Arados is a money-lender at Delos and his son (or father) possesses there in 274 BC a fleet of round ships. In the 2nd century a counting is made of youngsters from eastern origin: 10 Tyrian, 7 from Berytos, 5 from Arados, 2 from Marathos, 3 from Sidon and 2 from Ascalon. In an inscription is Héraios named, a son of Philostratos from Arados and he is the boss of a Kléopatra of Marathos. Another Philostratos from Arados exploits a profitable trade in silver in the 1st century BC. In a word there exists a close relationship between Delos and Arados.
Was Arados becoming all Greek? No, the upper-class to a certain degree, but the common people stayed for still a long time Phoenician as we can see from the inscription where most names can easily traced back to Phoenician.
From the year 259 BC Arados issues a new series of coins, when probably the institution of kings is abandoned. These coins are coming from workshops in Carné and Marathos. We can see on the coins the images of Tyche, Poseidon, Nike, a palm-tree, a bowsprit, a stag, a bee and Greek letters. Seleucus, the king of Seleucia, gives to Arados a remarkable right of asyl (Strabo 754). Arados is allowed to take in fugitives, who are then bound to the island. Arados has of course a preference for rich fugitives (Polyb.5.68). Marathos on the opposite coast is getting more important and in the end it will be more important than Arados. In 218 BC Arados makes a treaty with Antiochus III of Seleucia. A conflict with Marathos is settled. In 191 BC the town provides Hannibal ships for a sea-battle against the Rhodian fleet. Slowly the amount of news around Arados diminishes, In 64 BC the Romans take over the town and then Aradus slips away in oblivion. Antaradus takes over the dominant position of Arados.

maandag 13 oktober 2014

To the end of Phoenician ARWAD

To the end of Phoenician Arwad.
When the end of Phoenician Arwad is approaching there is an increasing amount of inscriptions. In the middle of the 4th century appears a healer-god Shadrapa on a memorial stone: “This is the memorial stone, which was dedicated by Pilles, son of Abday to his lord Shadrapa, because he has heard his prayer.” On a seal we can read the name of the dual god Melqart-Rešep: “Belongs to Baalyaton, the man of god (’š el), dedicated to Melqart-Rešep.” On coins Dagon is replaced by the head of a male deity, possibly Baal-Yam (Lord of the Sea), the equivalent of the Greek Poseidon or Roman Neptune, who wears a pointed beard represented by lines, while his hair and whiskers are represented by pellets. On the reverse below the waves, a hippocamp or a dolphin is sometimes added, while above the galley, the Phoenician letters MA standing for Milk Arwad sometimes appear. These coins continued in circulation until Alexander captured Arados in 333 BC when a new mint was established by Alexander, at which coins of Alexander were struck with the monogram of Arados.
With the arrival of Alexander the Great in 333/332 BC Arwad is governed by Geraštarte. His son Abdaštarte is the commander of the fleet. Arwad is the first of the Phoenician cities to surrender to Alexander. Arrianus (II,13) tells us that the whole kingdom from Marathos to Sigo and Marriamme is given to Alexander after his victory at Issus over Darius. Abdaštarte is the successor as king of Arwad with the name Straton until 323 BC. Tyros is the only Phoenician town who is imprudent to make demands on Alexander with the consequence of a siege of many months. The fleet of the other Phoenician cities is ordered to block Tyros by the sea and Arados contributes to that fleet. It is the first and only time that Arados is so evident acting against Tyros. They must have done that sick at heart, but they must have thought, that they had no other choice. 
When Alexander conquers also the eastern part of the Persian Empire we learn from Arrianus (VI 22,4) that the Phoenician pedlars are following his army. All the way to Gedrosia they load on their pack-animals Arabic-gum and nard. It is the caravan-trade in which the Phoenicians also excel. Very probable the Arwadians were responsible for this, because they hold from ancient times the trade route to Mesopotamia and further on. Aristobulus accompanies Alexander on his journey to the east and he writes down that Alexander found at Babylon the fleet that had sailed with Nearchus up the Euphrates from the Persian Sea. In addition a fleet from Phoenicia consisting of 47 ships had been brought to Babylon to meet him. Alexander intended to colonize the Persian Gulf, because he thought that it would become just as prosperous a country as Phoenicia. Undoubtedly Arwad has participated in this new fleet on the Euphrates. The colonization-project never came to execution, because Alexander dies. After the death of Alexander Arados belongs most of the time to the empire of Seleucus, while southern Phoenicia is most of the time under the Ptolemaic state of Egypt.
Seleucus treated Arados with caution because it was his only important harbour in the Mediterranean and it possessed a considerable fleet. The Aradians, moreover, had a flourishing sea-trade and it was not in the interest of Seleucus to endanger their cooperation by inconsiderate interference in their affairs. So, Arados became pretty much independent and prosperous in this period around 300 BC.
See: Seleucus I and the foundation of Hellenistic Syria, H.Seyrig in WARD p.59.

zondag 12 oktober 2014

ARWAD: one of the three cities

ARWAD (the 1st half of the 4th century BC).
The relationship with the Persian empire is progressively worse. On Cyprus Evagoras is trying to follow a more independent course in the beginning of this century. In the south of Phoenicia Sidon is the promoter of several uprisings in c.366 BC and c.351 BC. It seems that Arwad can keep aside of all these struggles. Characteristic for this situation is that Arwad and Cyprus stick to the Persian standard on coinage, while Sidon and Tyrus change to their own Phoenician standard (See: Markoe, the Phoenicians, p.98-101).  Meanwhile the Phoenician towns are more and more influenced by the Greeks. Slowly the name Arwad is changing into Arados.
Ps.Scylax describes in his itinerary (par.104) the situation in the middle of the 4th century BC as follows: “After Cilicia there is the Syrian nation. In Syria, the Phoenician nation inhabits the region of the seacoast and lives in a narrow tract of land, which extends less than forty stadia from the sea, although in some places the breadth is not even ten stadia from the sea. Beyond the river Tapsaḥ lies Tripolis of the Phoenicians, the island and harbour of Arados with a royal residence of Tyros, distant about eight stadia from the mainland and on the peninsula there is another city Tripolis, which belongs to Arados, Tyros and Sidon: there are three cities at this location and each has its own circuit of walls……”
Diodoros (XVI, 41,1) confirms the (re?)founding of Tripolis:
“After Orthosia and the Eleutheros river one arrives at Tripolis, which got her name only by the fact, that it was founded by the three cities Tyrus, Sidon and Arados.” The three quarters are separated by one stadion (125 footsteps or c.183 meters). Tyros, Sidon and Arados have met each-other in a common project. It looks like a confederation or perhaps the first Phoenician parliament. It is however remarkable, that Byblos is not participating.   
Itineraria Phoenicia, E.Lipinski, p.285:
“We can assume that one of them was the island called Gazirat al-‘Amud (Isle of the columns) by al-Idrisi. It must correspond to the Gazirat al-Baqar (Cattle island) of more recent maps. It is distant precisely by 250 meters from the Borg aš-šayh ‘Affan, close to the ancient lighthouse. The latter was probably the site of another city quarter. The third one might tentatively be located about 250 meters to the east, on the promontory where a stockade of the harbour is indicated on 19th century maps.” Which quarter was occupied by the Arwadians is hard to say.
Arados is very active on the mainland. Just as Tyros and Sidon control the complete Palestine coast in the south, is Arados controlling the whole Syrian coast to the north. It has also far away in the Jabal an Nusayriyah important sanctuaries as Mariamme (Miriamma or Meriamon) and Sigo (Sahiyoun or Sayhoun). On the coast several old harbours are used again such as Shukshu (T.Sukas), el-Bassit, Ras ibn Hani and Al Mina (Iskeule Keui). Shukshu is re-installed in c.380 BC. In Al Mina are 51 inscriptions found on vases out of the period, of which 30 were Phoenician and 7 in Aramaic. On the gulf of Issus the Phoenicians are exploiting the harbours Rhossus and Myriandros. Xenophon tell us in Anabasis (I,4) that there is a great fleet of cargo-ships in front of Miryandros (c.400 BC). Pomponius Mela (I,68) mentions only the town of Marathos (Amrit) which he describes as a not-unimportant town (urbs non obscura).

vrijdag 10 oktober 2014

ARWAD revival

ARWAD revival under the Persians.
In the beginning of the 5th century the Ionians on Cyprus and Asia revolt against the Persian domination. This revolt is beaten down first in Cyprus and next in Asia. Then follows a victorious advance of the Persian fleet, in which Arwad participate, to the Aegean Sea. A sea-battle is won against the Ionian Greeks in front of Milete near the isle of Ladè (494 BC) and the complete coast of Asia returns again under the supervision of the Persians. We are perhaps aware of a king of Arwad (=Agbaal) in this period, because Herodotos mentions in 480 BC a squadron of Arwad under Merbalos (Maharbaal), whose father is Agbalos (Agbaal). Between 490-480 BC the Phoenicians participate in the Persian fleet, who tries to subdue the whole of Greece. There are amongst others the famous battles of Marathon and Salamis. After the lost sea-battle of Salamis (which was in reality more or less a draw, because the Greeks lost also a great number of ships) things are going wrong in the good terms between Persians and Phoenicians. The Persian king Xerxes is not satisfied with the performance of some Phoenician ships and let the captains of those ships be beheaded. This was not accepted by the Phoenician squadrons and they sailed immediately home. As a result of this Xerxes had to pull back the rest of his fleet, because that was no match any more for the Greek fleet. The co-operation between the Persians and Phoenicians came however not to an end. The Phoenician fleet participated in sea-battled before Kition on Cyprus, in the Nile-delta and at Eurymedon on the south-coast of Turkey against the fleet of Athens.
In an economic way the Persian period is very prosperous. The great temples and monuments are going to be completed. The Ma’abed will have a surface of 8700 m2 surrounded by porticos with pillars. In the middle there is a small mausoleum on a podium of 5x5m. On a damaged inscription by the end of the 5th century BC on a statue of Amrit on can read: “This is made by Achim (son of) Abdanat in the honour of his lord Ešmun, because he has heard his voice.” The inscription has been damaged. So another possibility (given by E.Puech) is: “This is the statue, which has been dedicated by Abdešmun (?) to his lord Ešmun (because he has been favourable to him and) because he heard his prayer.
See: ‑Les inscriptions phéniciennes d'Amrit et les dieux guérisseurs du sanctuaire,  E.Puech in : Syria LXIII Paris 1986.
Sometime late in the 5th century BC the most important Phoenician cities started minting their own coins. These coins circulated in each city and in their dependencies. The earliest coins of Arwad were decorated with the following devices: On the obverse there is the figure of a marine deity (Dagon), moving towards the right; the deity is human to the waist, bearded and with his hair dressed in long plaits; the lower part of his body is fish-like, with a bifid tail and dorsal, pectoral and ventral fins, covered with scales; in each hand the deity holds a dolphin by the tail. On the reverse of the coin there is a galley moving towards the right; the rudder protrudes downwards from below the stern; there is a row of shields along the bulwark of the galley and a curved uncertain ornament and a standard over the poop; below the galley, waves represented by wavy lines, are sometimes added.
See: La Phénicie et Chypre à l’époque achemide. A.Destrooper-Georgiades. OLA 22.
See : Phoenicia and the Phoenicians, D.Baramki.

woensdag 8 oktober 2014

ARWAD - the Persian period - the beginning

The Persian period of ARWAD – the beginning.
Under Nabonidus of Babylon slackens the grip of the New-Babylonians on the Phoenician towns can breeze more freely. In 539 BC Cyrus of the Medians and the Persians conquers Babylon and he inherits the complete New-Babylonian empire. The Phoenician towns accept without any problem the new rule and even Tyre does not resist. The Phoenician fleet is helpful to the Persians in conquering Egypt, but when Cambyses, the successor of Cyrus, wants to advance to Carthage in 525 BC, the Phoenician fleet refuses the co-operation to that project. Herodotos III 19: “Kambyses …… orders the fleet to take course to Karchedoon, but the Phoinikians refuse to do so, because they felt bound by an oath and they declared, that it would be a godless act for them to fight their own children. Without the co-operation of the Phoinikians was the rest of the fleet not strong enough for the battle. In this way the Karchedonians escaped the domination by the Persians, because Kambyses thought it was not desired to use force against the Phoinikians, because they freely subjected to the Persians and his complete sea-power was dependable from the Phoinikians……” The domain of the Phoenicians was the sea, as proverb says in a Aramic message of Elefantine (ANET 430): “Show no Arab the sea and no Sidonian the desert, because their work is different.”
Presumable the Phoenician fleet existed of four squadrons (of Tyre, Sidon, Byblos and Arwad). This is not certain, but later we see those squadrons reappear in other battles. If there was an Arvadite squadron in Egypt in 525 BC, then the seamen of Arwad feel the same tribal affinity to Carthage, Therefore they have also their children in Carthage as well!
Another fragment of Herodotos (I, 143) is within this framework also important: “Of the Ioonians the Milesians were without danger, because they had made a treaty and also the residents of the islands had nothing to fear, because the Phoinikians were not yet subordinate to the Persians and the Persians for themselves were no sailors.” Milete is situated on the west-coast what we now call Turkey. The word “yet” is important. Only when the different Phoenician squadrons are joined together in a combined battle-fleet under Persian command, then it will get its aggressive character. The Greeks are going to experience that in the 5th century BC.
For the present a breathing time dawns in which Arwad becomes a part of the 5th Satrapy (Phoenicia, Syria and Cyprus). This region pays relatively less tribute, because the Persians think that region as an ally and the defence of the coast is dependable on the Phoenician fleet. Nevertheless the Persians strengthen the coast with fortifications. One of them we can see 30 kilometers north of Arwad at Banyas (Balaneion). This fortification lies 2 kilometers from the sea. The relicts are 500 x 250 meters in circumference. The walls are 5 meters high and 5-7 meters wide.
See: La défense du front Mediterranéen de l’empire Achemide, M.Dunand, Beyrouth, 1967.
See: Arados et sa perée aux époques grecque, romaine et byzantine, J.P.Rey-Coquais, BAH vol.XCVII, 1974.

dinsdag 7 oktober 2014

NeoBabylonian ARWAD

The Neo-Babylonian period of ARWAD.
From the beginning of the 6th century BC most Phoenician towns recognize the rule of Neo-Babylonia. Egypt struggles with that outcome, but Nebukadnezar II (605-562 BC) restores order in his new province. Arwad maintain his connections with Egypt as can be seen by many Egyptian statues of this period. Tyre and Israel resist firmly, but the Jews are getting deported and Tyre has to endure 13 years of blockade. Most Phoenician cities keep their own kings (ANET p.307 and inscription Wadi Brisa), but has to accept a Shandubakku (supervisor), who controls everything in the towns. Nebukadnezar is a builder. He needs a lot of wood and many cedar-logs are transported to Babylon. Nebukadnezar needed also skilful craftsmen: 190 of them came from Tyre and only 3 from Arwad. It is a difficult period for Arwad, because the traditional trade-markets on Cyprus, Cilicia, Pamphylia and Caria are getting lost due to the colonization of the Greeks in those areas. Even on the mouth of the Orontes there is now a combined Greek/Phoenician settlement (Al Mina). Arwad changes his policy and draw his attention more and more to the west. This can be seen by grammatical details in inscriptions that appear in and around the line North Phoenicia – Cyprus – Sardinia – Etruria. The trade of Arwad concentrates on the northern flank of the great Phoenician exploration-route to the west. In doing this they made use of the colonies of Tyre and Sidon, who are developing to independent towns in this period.
See: “La politica estera di Nabucodonosor in Siria-Palestina”, E.Arcari, Roma, Rivista di Studi Fenici XVII, 1989.
From the second half of the 6th century there is an inscription of Amrit (Ma’abed). There is some discussion about the translation.
P.Bordreuil =
One gives to Ešmun -----
and his two brothers, sons of Gadnubu [son of]
Bodmelqart, to [their] lord, [to]…
because he has heard [their] voice…
E.Puech =
Those [who are] the ----
have made for Ešmunadon, the Arvadite
and his brothers, to [their] lord Rešep, because
he heard the voice of [their] prayer, bless them.
See: “Les inscriptions phéniciennes d’Amrit et les dieu guérisseurs du sanctuaire, E.Puech, SYRIA LXIII, 1986.


maandag 6 oktober 2014

Egyptian intermezzo for ARWAD

A short Egyptian intermezzo around ARWAD.
In 612 BC the Assyrian empire collapses. The Phoenician towns will have a short period of freedom and prosperity. Egypt is however eager to fill up the empty gap. In 609 BC already pharaoh Necho advances to Hamath in the hinterland of Arwad. A few years later in 605 BC his advance stops in Karkemish where he is severely beaten by the New-Babylonians. Pharaoh Necho is not only a warrior, but he undertakes several other projects in which the Phoenicians participate. He starts the digging of the first Suez-canal and he orders Phoenician sailors to circumnavigate Africa. It is not known whether Arwad participate in these projects. From this period there are no names of Arwadite kings available. The successor of Azbaal is not known. We know very little of Arwad out of this and the coming New-Babylonian period, but on the mainland there are a lot of activities taken place. Arwad must have retaken his former possessions on the mainland, but that was not easy, because the population there is now more a mixture of Phoenicians, Syrians and others as a result of the Assyrian deportations. In this period with no full domination by a superpower it is not surprising that the Greeks can make a colony on the coast of Syria. We find it in Shukshu (Tell Sukas) between Gabala and Paltos. We are aware of a Phoenician/Greek sanctuary of the 6th century BC. The Greeks entered in an existing Phoenician settlement.
See: “The North East Sanctuary and the First Settling of Greeks in Syria in Syria and Palestina”, P.J.Riis, Copenhague 1970.
The successors of Necho are not satisfied with the independent course of the Phoenician towns and they try to bring them more under the Egyptian influence, if we can believe Herodotos:
Book II, 161: “….. Apriès commanded an army against Sidon and made a sea-battle against the Tyrians.”
Book II, 182: “….. Amasis was the first person who conquered Kypros and made the island pay him tribute.”
It looks like, that Arwad is not involved in these troubles. That is going to change when the New-Babylonians are knocking on the door in the year 598 BC.

zondag 5 oktober 2014

Yakin-el of ARWAD

YAKIN-EL of ARWAD and his sons.
The last powerful Assyrian king Assurbanipal (669-629? BC) is already concerned with Arwad, when he was not a king, but the crown-prince. In a letter (992) from the royal library of Niniveh he tells us, that Ia-ki-in-lu-u tried to harm the Assyrian trade. Ships, who are in or going to the “karu” of the Assyrians, are decoyed to the own harbours of Arwad. The crown-prince Assurbanipal asks his father and king Esarhaddon if it is necessary to sent the high official (rab mugi) Nabu-šarru-uṢur to Arwad. There is even talking about damage on a ship inflicted by Ia-ki-in-lu-u. There is also an Assyrian governor in Arwad (on the island or in a harbour at the coast?). Yakin-el is going to be imprudent, despite the fact that his name means: “Peace prevail by El”.
However, Yakinlu managed to be in charge of his city in the period c.670-c.650 BC. During the first campaign of king Assurbanipal the town Arwad pays obedient his tribute, just like most of the Phoenician cities and the Kyprian cities do (ARA 876). In the third campaign of Assurbanipal however follows a complete submission. ARA 780:
“Iakinlu, king of Arwad, who dwells in the midst of the sea, who had not submitted to the kings, my fathers, I brought under my yoke. His daughter, with a large dot, he brought to Niniveh, to serve as my concubine, and kissed my feet.”
Apparently the former king Mattanbaal III stays independent, but Yakin-el has to except the yoke of Assurbanipal. When Yakin-el dies around 650 BC his sons are obliged to go to Niniveh, because Assurbanipal wants to point out the new king by himself.
ARA 783: “After Iakinlu, king of Arwad died
Azi-baal (Azbaal=Baal is strong)
Abi-baal (Abibaal=Baal is my father)
Aduni-baal (Adonbaal=Baal is my lord/master)
Sapati-baal ((Shipitbaal=Baal rule!)
Budi-baal (Bodbaal=in the service of Baal)
Baal-iashupu (Baalyasop=Baal add to him/you/me)
Baal-hanunu (Baalhanno=Baal be gracious)
Baal-maluku (Baalmilk=Baal reign!)
Abi-milki (Abimilk=Milk is my <divine> father))
Ahi-milki (Ahimilk=Milk is my <divine. brother)
The sons of Iakinlu, who dwelt in the midst of the sea, came up out of the sea, and with their rich gifts came and kissed my feet. I showed favour to Azi-baal and installed him as king of Arwad. Abi-baal, Aduni-baal, Sapati-baal, Budi-baal, Baal-iashupu, Baal-hanunu, Baal-maluku, Abi-milki (and) Ahi-milki I clothed in splendid garments, put rings of gold upon their fingers, and caused them to stand before me.”