Lumbermen and Shipwrights: Phoenicians on the Mediterranean Coast of Southern Spain

Brigitte Treumann

in Colonial Encounters in Ancient Iberia

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780226148472
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226148489 | DOI:
Lumbermen and Shipwrights: Phoenicians on the Mediterranean Coast of Southern Spain

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This chapter examines the evidence and nature of interaction between indigenous peoples and Phoenicians and Greeks who colonized the Iberian Peninsula during the first millennium BC. It discusses the trans-Mediterranean demand for wood and makes the case for the importance of timber in explaining Phoenicians' interest in the Andalusian coast of Iberia, thereby challenging the traditional emphasis on metal resources as the defining vector in Phoenician colonial ventures in Iberia. It suggests that the ever-growing demand for wood and its eminently transportable byproducts was a prime mover in the establishment and existence of the west Phoenician communities on the Mediterranean coast of Spain, where the immediate hinterland offered many woody species but no precious metals to speak of. Further, the chapter argues that these settlements with their specialized industrial activities and output (shipwrighting prominent among them) may have had strong economic (and perhaps administrative) ties with the great western colonial hub of Gadir for local and long-distance trade networks, transport, and distribution.

Keywords: indigenous peoples; Phoenicians; Greeks; Iberian Peninsula; Spain; timber; Gadir; trade; settlements; Mediterranean

Chapter.  7644 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ancient History (Non-Classical, to 500 CE)

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