The Phoenicians: have they been there or not. This survey tries to give an answer to it. Will it succeed?
Islands of the dogs.
Still, the Phoenicians must have had some knowledge of the islands. From Mogador, although it is still about 600 kilometers to Tarfaya, but Phoenician ships going along the mouths of the oued Massa, oued Noun, oued Draa and Puerto Cansado would have been able to come there. It is also possible from Mogador to make a direct shorter crossing through the Baja-Blanco Dacia and the Islas Salvages to
King Juba II was not only a vassal of
First of all to Mogador, which he called the purple islands (there were up to even two at that time!). And another one to the
Barely 100 kilometers off the continental coast of Tarfaya lies
Ptolemy (c.150 AD) draws on the most far away
Ptolemy comes with the following names for the various islands.
- Lanzarote : Inaccesa Iunonia Autolala
- Gran Canaria : Canaria
- Fuerteventura : Pluvalia
- La Palma : Capraria
The promotories on the mainland getting from him the following names:
Pliny incidentally has again different names.
Pomponius Mela (III 102) knows in any case to make a fantastic story:
"Across [the Atlas] lie the Happy islands with an abundance of fruits that naturally arise and because they always grow after eachother, thus the people feed themselves without the care needed to the fruit and people are happier than anywhere else and they live in cities , in which one operates carefully agriculture. One of these islands is very famous for its unique character from two wells: Who from one taste laugh themselves to death: if you are hit by this, there is only one remedy and that is drinking from the other well. "
In fact Pomponius Mela knows only the islands by name, and he invents only a story around it. We are now in the land of fables. It is time to return to some facts.
This is possible through the 4th conference of the CEFYP Los Fenicios y el Atlantico (2008). That contains several articles concerning the Canaries in the context of antiquity.
POMPONIUS MELA Kreuzfahrt durch die Alte Welt. The chorographia libri tres. Kai Bodersen. Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft
4th conference of the CEFYP Los Fenicios y el Atlantico (2008):
La navigazione antica lungo le costa atlantiche dell'Africa e verso le Isole Canarie Stefano Medas for instance, highlights the following issues:
1.De graffito on the rock of El Cerado (Garafia) on the
Now is hereby given a chronological indication of "Mycenaean-Archaic," but it just seems to me to be Phoenician ships, also called “horses”. Perhaps from Gadir.
The indigenous people apparently sees two types of vessels surfacing for their island. Actually, exactly as is displayed on the Assyrian relief of Luli in the
Los Fenicios Y EL ATLANTICO R.Gonzalez Anton, F.Lopez Pardo, V Pena Romo. Centro de estudios y Fenicios Punicos, Madrid 2008.
2. See the following drawings: Las Naves the kerné (II). Navegando por el Atlántico durante la proto historian y la Antigüedad / Victor Ayuso M.Guerrero.
Graffito to Barranco Hondo (
Petroglyph "La Negrita".
Drawing of the rock image to Adonai (!),
Again we see ships in these drawings, that belong to the
3.La Explotacion de la sal and los mares de Canarias durante la Atigüedad. Las
Who have been here working? Guanchen, Phoenicians, Romans or Punics?
The research focuses on two locations:
- Rasca (
- El Rio (
This study is especially botanical research. A real stance on the presence of a Phoenician and Punic settlement, as one dares not explicitly.
4.Such a stance comes to Pablo Atoche Peña in his "Las culturas Protohistóricas Canarias en el contexto del Desarollo cultural mediteraneo: Propuesta the fasificación."
1st stage discovery, colonization and offices
1a. Phoenician phase (10th-6th century BC): Colonization of La Palma and Lanzarote
1b. Punic phase (6th-2nd century BC): Atlantic trade expansion
Gap and abandoning
1c. Roman phase (1st century BC - 3rd century AD): Economic intensification
Integration of agricultural and fish production
The Phoenicians have a temporary settlement in Lanzarote. Almost simultaneously also settle tribes from the mainland to the islands. The Phoenicians seem to have even been the instigators of this migration. In the Punic period there are Liby-Phoenicians involved. Rubicon on Lanzarote is permanently in use.
In the second half of the 2nd century BC collapsed the fragile Punic colonizationsystem and Guanchen are for a short time all alone, Then the Romans will take over the whole establihment.
5.Pesquerias Punico-gaditanas y romanas republicanas the tunidos: el Mar de Calmas de las Islas Canarias (300-20 BC) / Alfreda Mederos Mantina + Gabriel Escribano Cobo.
The last contribution to the 4th conference of the CEFYP in 2008 deals with fishing (tuna) around the
They also went ashore and that happened mostly in Buena Vista (Tenerife) and Cueva de las Palomas (
The book "Canarias y el Africa Antigua" by Antonio Tejera gives us even more information, such as the natives who came from the
El Hierro? ← Caprariensis from
La Gomera ← Ghmara from Metagonia
Tenerife ← Cinithi (Chinet) from
Gran Canaria ← Canarii from
Fuerteventura ← Abanni (Erbania) from
Lanzarote ← Maxies (Maoh) from Byzacium)
If so, then they came largely from areas controlled by
The so-called Tanit sign has already been recalled from Pozo de la Cruz (Rubicon, Yaiza, Lanzarote). The "sign" is not quite normal with respect to the base, but it is definitely the so-called Tanit sign. The head is separate from the body and that occured to my knowledge, nowhere else. This could well be the key, why the sign does not represent Tanit, but something entirely different.
CANARIAS Y EL AFRICA ANTIGUA
Antonio Tejera Gaspar, Maria Esther Chavez Alvarez, Marian Montesdeoca. Taller de Historia 41. Gran Canaria, April 2006.
A borderline case. Lanzarote is Tenésera found Libysch-Canaanite alphabet of the "Bu Njem". Previously we have seen that the Maxyes (or at least a portion thereof) from Byzacium moved to Lanzarote. Now is Bu Njem in neighboring Tripolitania and from which region the Cinithi came to
There then there are several memorials (with native characters and figures), the mountain shrines and sacrificial sites and botanical arrangements, indicating relations with the mainland,
On several islands Guanche several former Numidian stone pictographs and strange spiral figures bequeathed. A relationship with the Phoenicians is, however, not been demonstrated thereby.
Book 314: CANARIAS Y EL AFRICA Antigua Antonio Tejera Gaspar, Maria Esther Chavez Alvarez, Marian Montesdeoca. Taller de Historia 41. Gran Canaria, April 2006.
Overall, there are too many clues and even some evidence that the Phoenicians and Punics indeed the Canaries have known. There is even talk of a settlement in Lanzarote, whether or not permanent. And then I'm just very cautious in my conclusions. Because we will not meet a mature Phoenician / Punic settlement with a sanctuary, harbor, etc. Even a necropolis is not granted to us so far. However, it is indisputable that they have exploited the islands in different ways. It is not clear how their relationship with the indigenous population to the extent that was present. In any case, the Guanchen-language has very little connections with the Phoenician language writing. Except for fish, salt, moss, resin, wood and food there was not more to get there. That was good enough, but on the mainland the possibilities were still bigger. Hence, they also went on there.
They were probably some paltry contacts between the Phoenicians and the Guanches. Perhaps the Guanches are also later degenerated. In knowing the 15th / 16th century AD they are not able to navigate at sea (anymore). They also have no proper ships then.
They appear only to bake pottery by hand. The amphorae found in antiquity were brought there by others either they were then also handmade by the Guanches. It may also be that the Guanches the turntable method for pottery then still had learned from the Phoenicians, but that knowledge in the course of time has been lost.
Finally, go back to the role played by Juba II to the rediscovery of the Canaries. This king of