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HOME : Biblical Antiquities : Phoenician Artefacts : Phoenician Terracotta Ewer
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Phoenician Terracotta Ewer - PF.2219
Origin: Sidon, Lebanon
Circa: 1200 BC to 900 BC
Dimensions: 7.5" (19.1cm) high x 5" (12.7cm) wide
Collection: Biblical
Medium: Terracotta

£4,200.00
Location: UAE
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Description
The Phoenicians were one of the most important civilisations of the ancient world, and flourished from around 1500 to 300 BC. Their world was centred on Northern Israel, Lebanon and Syria, while their sphere of conquest and influence extended throughout the Mediterranean and even beyond the Pillars of Hercules (the Straits of Gibraltar) and into the Mediterranean-Atlantic. Their power was due primarily to their mastery of seamanship – which they developed to a whole new level during their pre-eminence – and extremely well-organised administration which was strengthened by extensive use of the alphabet. Indeed, it was the Phoenicians who introduced the alphabet to the Greeks, who in turn passed it onto the rest of the Western World. They were essentially Canaanites, to whom they were identical in sociocultural and material terms, the only difference being the massive range over which their cultural remains and heritage can be found. Phoenician society was comparatively stable when compared to the changeable fortunes of other Eastern Mediterranean cultures, primarily due to its broad royal, political and religious foundations. The town of Byblos became a major hub for trade all over the Fertile Crescent, followed by Tyre and Sidon; overseas territories notably included Carthage (founded 814 BC), but they either took over or culturally dominated trading ports from Cyprus to Malta, Spain, Portugal and Sardinia. They traded in purple dye (“Tyrian Purple”), textiles, luxury ceramics, silver, tin (with England) and glass, explored down the west coast of Africa as far as the Gulf of Guinea, and may even have circumnavigated Africa in around 600 BC.

It is astonishing that the simple beauty of this ewer is as appealing to modern sensibilities as it no doubt was to ancient ones. When the trading empire of the Phoenicians was at its height, such a vessel might have contained oil or wine. As we grip its elegant handle today, we recognize that our gestures echo those of its ancient owners. Though centuries have passed, what dreams and emotions might we share in common with those ancient lives? As our hands rest where theirs did, we are connected in an intimate way with their vanished world. - (PF.2219)

 

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