Slimbridge Dowsing

SLIMBRIDGE DOWSING GROUP REPORTS (No. 120)

The Phoenicians: their influence on ancient and modern culture - Liza Llewellyn*


You don’t hear much about the Phoenicians these days, but we have much to thank them for.

According to our speaker on 24th October, Liza Llewellyn, home to the Phoenicians was Canaan and Lebanon, notably Byblos, their capital, Tyre and Sidon, and they were sometimes referred to as Canaanites or Lebanese.

The Phoenicians came to the fore in 5000 BC and are best known for the simplicity of their alphabet, which enabled the common man to learn to read and write. It replaced Cuneiform, a system of writing first developed by the ancient Sumerians of Mesopotamia c. 3500–3000 BC. The Hebrew alphabet evolved from there, and later the Greek alphabet too.

The Phoenicians were big on language, architecture, building and technology, and had a magnificent library, since destroyed. Their capital, Byblos, gave its name to the word ‘Bible’, meaning book.

They were so knowledgeable, and so far ahead of their time, theories abound as to where they originated. Were they descendants of the Atlanteans who escaped Atlantis as their island sank beneath the waves? This would certainly account for their large and solid buildings, including pyramids.

Assyrian warship (probably built by the Phoenicians) with two rows of oars, relief from Ninevah, c. 700BC Assyrian warship (probably built by Phoenicians) with two rows of oars, relief from Nineveh, c. 700 BC

Sarcophagus of Eshmunazor II, Phoenician King of Sidon found near Sidon, in southern Lebanon Sarcophagus of Eshmunazor II, Phoenician King of Sidon found near Sidon, in southern Lebanon

* Guest speaker


Map of Phoenicia Map of Phoenician trade routesPhoenicia and its Mediterranean trade routes

On the other hand, were they originally Druids, with whom the Phoenicians appear to have a lot in common? Both were keepers of sacred knowledge, astronomers, sea-going people with remarkable navigation skills using the stars. They were passionate about trees, which they used in plenty, especially the cedar, but they replanted and created sustainable forests long before we thought of it.

Similarly, the Druids were considered men of oak, and held the yew tree sacred. They met in groves of yew trees, and it is because of them we have holly and ivy to decorate our homes at Yuletide (Christmas) to this day.

Alternatively, instead of the Druids coming to us from Constantinople, and influencing our Irish and Welsh cultures, was it perhaps the other way round, and the Druids moved from Britain to Mesopotamia, and took their skills and love of trees with them?

Liza ended her talk by pointing out that there is probably a huge amount of leys and energy lines in the region, which together create a massively influential power point that concentrates and strengthens the energies to be found there.

Sarcophagus of Ahiram in the National Museum of Beirut Sarcophagus of Ahiram in the National Museum of Beirut

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