Maps of the Antique
Arts and ceramics
Language and Writing
PHOENICIA: ARTS AND CERAMICS
General public knows little about Phoenician art. It however has definitely identifiable features, although it was often deeply influenced by the exchanges with the neighbouring countries (Egypt, Middle East, Aegean) and the material they provided. Some seals, pendants, amulets, sarcophagi are very clearly of Egyptian inspiration, others (anthropoïd) are typically Phoenician.
Phoenician craftsmen produce fabrics (using of course the purple which ensured their renown), work wood, glass that they colour extremely skilfully, as well as ivory and metals, making elegant jewels.
The architecture, of which remains well little, is little known. On the other hand, stone steles, statues and altars reveal original features.
Glassworking is undoubtedly what is best known: Phoenicians blow glass and, around flasks of simple shape, like to wind stretched and coloured filaments, spread colourful molten glass with a great virtuosity.
The small masks of molten glass which were placed in the tombs, highly coloured, are particularly attractive (and eagerly sought for…).
Pottery and ceramics are used for daily life artefacts, but are generally not very sophisticated: neither their shape, nor their decoration shows a special creativity.
Among typical artefacts, we can mention amphoras, wincing terracotta masks, religious items (statuettes, steles…).
As for jewellery, Phoenicians export all kinds of ivory, bronze or gold ornaments, decorated with stones or molten glass.