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Skills as Tribute: Phoenician Sailors and Shipwrights in the Service of Neo Assyria.

Athena Lynn Trakadas
Thesis: December 1999
Dr. Cemal Pulak
Nautical Archaeology Program

Presently, there are no known Phoenician texts that refer to ships or seafaring. As a result, nautical scholars interested in Phoenician maritime matters have been limited to the study of iconography and texts of other contemporary groups, such as the Assyrians, that depict or mention the renowned seafarers and their vessels. Conversely, Assyriologists have remained unaware of the importance to nautical history the Neo Assyrian palatial sculptures that portray Phoenician vessels and texts that record Phoenician maritime matters.

The extension of Assyrian hegemony, and its expansion into the Neo Assyrian empire in the first several centuries of the first millennium B.C., led to contact with and eventual subjugation of the Phoenician peoples who occupied a portion of the Syro Palestinian coast. The social and economic relationship that ensued between these two groups has been previously analyzed by scholars. However, through this analysis of the available Neo Assyrian textual and iconographical sources, the unique role the Phoenicians' skills as shipwrights and seafarers played in this socio economic association with Assyria can be better reconstructed.

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