The Phoenicians

The Phoenicians came from the eastern Mediterranean port of Tyre, in what is now Lebanon. They were great maritime traders and established a series of staging posts along the North African coast on the way to Spain, where they traded silver and tin. These pit stops, where the sailors could rest overnight and get supplies, were about 35 km apart. The first in Tunisia was established at Utica around 1100 BC, followed by Sousse, Bizerte and Tabarka. Carthage was founded much later, around 814 BC. These settlements grew and prospered, none so much as Carthage, which by the 6C BC had become the dominant power in the Mediterranean.