8 December 2010

Punic pendants in the form of bearded heads

"Phoenicia was an ancient civilization with an enterprising maritime trading culture that spread across the Mediterranean during the period 1550 BC to 300 BC. Their civilization was organized in city-states.  Each city-state was an independent unit politically, and they could come into conflict and one city could be dominated by another city-state, although they would collaborate in leagues or alliances."

"The first civilization that developed within the city's sphere of influence is referred to as Punic (a form of the word "Phoenician") or Carthaginian. The city of Carthage is located on the eastern side of Lake Tunis across from the centre of Tunis. According to Roman legend it was founded in 814 BC by Phoenician colonists from Tyre under the leadership of Elissa (Queen Dido).  It became a large and rich city and thus a major power in the Mediterranean."

The origins of the Punic pendants below in the form of bearded heads date from 3rd or 4th century BC.  In current day Tunisia, these replicas are used as souvenir items for tourists.

Figure 1:  Replicas of Punic pendants in the form of bearded heads.
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