5 Day Phoenician Study for Kids
This week I’ll be sharing our 5 day Phoenician study with you. The focus will be on Phoenician art- especially their contributions to the textile trade, and of course, their famous purple dye. The week’s line up looks like this:
- Phoenician Study ( You are here.)
- Timeline Figures, Books and Resources
- Make Phoenician Purple Dye
- Art Project- Phoenician Batiks Part 1
- Art Project- Phoenician Batiks Part 2
When learning about the Phoenicians, most history texts focus on the fact that they were excellent sea farers and traders. The Phoenician alphabet is also of great importance. It’s pretty easy to find hands on activities and crafts for kids on Phoenicia such as building ship models, but I want to concentrate on art as part of my Art Around the Ancient World series.
Phoenicia was a confederation of city states- modern day Lebanon. It’s main cities were: Byblos, Tyre, and Sidon. It’s trade routes and colonies reached extensively throughout the Mediterranean and included Carthage.
Turns out Phoenicia had many skilled artisans for just about every trade in the Ancient world- wood, glass, pottery, metals, ivory, stone, and of course, textiles! Their art was highly influenced by the several civilizations around them, primarily Egypt, Greece, and Assyria. And so, many of the artifacts we looked at would be hard to distinguish from much of the art produced by those civilizations.
Glass Blowing & Murex Dyes
The cedars of Lebanon were a major resource from which the Phoenicians produced furniture and built their ships. However, I want to focus on the one thing Phoenicians are named after: their production of purple Murex dyes. It’s also important to mention the glass trade. Many Ancient civilizations were also making glass at this time, but it was the Phoenicians who crafted blown glass pieces with swirls of color in elegant designs. They produced both transparent glass and porcelain- like finishes. View an excellent collection of phoenician glass images.
How Did the Phoenicians produce their expensive purple dye?
How did they do it? They boiled thousands and thousands of these sea creatures in order to get just a small amount of purple dye for fine textiles. This meant it was very costly to do. Only the richest people could afford this purple colored clothing. Thus, purple was a color in the Ancient world associated with royalty.
Phoenician Unit Study Vocabulary:
Check out a full list of interactive vocabulary on Phoenicia from Quizlet.
Linked up with Trivium Tuesday and iHomeschool Network: