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Home Paleolithic HISTORY OF SEX
Activism & Sex Cave Peoples
Arts & Sensuality TIME LINE Phoenician Empire:
Commercial Sex Mesopotamia Minoans of Crete 14th century BC-200 BC
Contraception Ancient Egypt Myceneans of Greece
Disabilities/Illnesses Ancient India The Phoenicians originated
Dysfunctions Ancient China Etruscans of Italy in the Middle East by Canaan.
Human Body Early Biblical Sicani/Siculi of Sicily They share most of the
History of Sex Early Mediterranean Iberians/Celts of Spain original Canaanite deities.
Law & Sex Ancient Greece From there the Phoenicians
Love & Intimacy Incan Empire Dorians: South spread out across Southern
Paraphilias Aztec Empire Aegean Islands Europe along the coast over
Pleasures of Sex Mayan Empire Ionians: North Aegean to the Iberian peninsula in
Pregnancy Native Americans Amazons Spain and across the other
Relationships Roman Empire side of the Mediterranean
Religion & Sex Middle Ages Phoenician Empire across North Africa. As the
Research Renaissance/Reformation Phoenicians spread across
STDs Puritans Persian Empire the Mediterranean in
Societies Victorianism different directions, we
Variances Adolf Hitler see their deities and
Violence Kinsey - 1950s culture change with
Sex Revolution-60s acculturation of the
peoples in those regions.

Originally, the Phoenicians had near identical religious and sexual practices to the Canaanites. Their main deity
was El (called Baal) and Astarte or Baalat (equivalent of Ishtar to the Babylonians). It was Astarte or Baalat
that changed the most as the Phoenicians migrated across the Mediterranean.

In Byblos, Astarte became Baalat for lady or Baalat Gebal or Baalat of Byblos. She was the mother earth, the
fertility goddess and the genetrix of the gods, men, plants and animals. Adon appears here as a newer god
of death and vegetation associated with the mother goddess. Soldiers worshipped their own Baal Addir dedicated
solely to war.

In Sidon, Astarte was the predominant deity and even Kings and Queens claimed to be her priests and priestesses.
In 14th century Sidon, Astarte was a complete cult of prostitution. In Kition, men would shave their heads to
worship the goddess. The pottery depicts female dancers and feasts. Within the sanctuaries each altar had an
asherah which resembles a small version of the Washington monument, to signify fertility where offerings
of animals were made. Mother goddess figurines of women pregnant or with a child are to be found everywhere.
By the 7th century BC a new god appears to the Phoenicians in Sidon called Eshmun, a god of the dead. Also
appears Melqart, a counterpart to Astarte. But neither of these deities surfaced until the Greeks which seems
to be an acculturation between the two cultures.

In Wasta, walls of the temple of Astarte have grafitti decorations of female genitalia.

In the cave areas, caves that belonged to Astarte cults, later became Virgin Mary cults c. 400 BC.

Across Northern Africa, each town had its own version of the Astarte mother goddess. Carthage became the most
unique. In Carthage, she was called Tanit. Female statues in the temple show women holding their breasts.
She gains a new symbol of her own, very similar to the Egyptian ankh. Her counterpart became Baal Hammon.
According to all historical records and also to archeological findings, this particular Tanit and Baal cult
did practice human sacrifice. Children were sacrificed in the temple to Baal Hammon. Parents willingly did
this and during the human sacrifice of their child, they were not to weap, nor shed a tear. A tomb in Carthage
dating to 200 BC also suggest that Tanit was a separate deity from Astarte. The tomb says that the statue
was erected for "Astarte and Tanit of Libano." They referred to her as Tanit Pene Baal of Libanon with the
ankh-like symbol of a crescent moon and disk associating her with the moon. This could possibly mean an
acculturation between a Libyan deity and the Phoenicians.

For Further Readings on the Phoenicians:

Harden, Donald. (1962) The Phoenicians. London: Thames and Hudson.
Markoe, Glenn. (2000) Phoenicians. Los Angeles: University of California Press.
Moscati, Sabatino. (ed) (1988) Phoenicians. Milan: Gruppo Editorale Fabbri.
Moscati, Sabatino. (1968) The World of the Phoenicians. New York: Frederick A. Praeger.
Rawlinson, Canon. (1896) Phoenicia. London: T. Fisher Unwin.

Phoenician Links

1200 B.C.: The Phoenicians
A Bequest Unearthed: Phoenicia
A Distant Mirror: Philistines and Phoenicians
Ancient Carthage
Ancient Phoenicia
Ancient Phoenicians: Lebanon
Phoenicians: An Overview
Temple of the Clitoris

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Last updated 12.7.2014