Phoenician and Punic Communities
Throughout the 9th and 8th centuries BC, the original inhabitants of the Mediterranean Levant settled in various territories on the shores of the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. They chose areas such as Cyprus, the Maghreb, Sicily, Sardinia, Ibiza and the Iberian Peninsula. They built new settlements or established their communities alongside the native populations in local towns.
The western Phoenician communities were the result of the diaspora of Levantine peoples and their interbreeding with local groups and other Mediterranean peoples. From the 5th century BC, the descendants of these western communities were known as Carthaginians. At that time, Carthage, one of the first cities established by groups of Phoenician immigrants in the west, became a great political power in the western Mediterranean. The Roman conquest and domination during the 2nd century BC signified the end of those communities.
The arrival and establishment of Levantine groups in the West, with their urban lifestyles, saw the birth of new ways of life in those territories. Various studies of mitochondrial DNA for Phoenician and Carthaginian contexts show that Levantine women took part in the migratory movements that led to the formation of the Phoenician communities in the West. More information
From a social and economic point of view, the Phoenician and Punic communities were heterogeneous and unequal. The basic structure of their economic and social life was the family group. There were families of merchants and traders, seafarers and mariners, peasants and artisans. They produced goods and crafts previously unknown to those territories and ushered in a new type of production and consumption.
The domestic groups were characterised by collaborative-type economies, in which the work carried out by men and women, young people of both sexes and children was essential for the wellbeing of the families and communities to which they belonged.
General picture: Daily life. Phoenician and Punic communities. Illustrated by ªRU-MOR
Map: The Phoenician-Punic area of influence on the Iberian Peninsula and the Balearic Islands
Proyecto de Investigación HESTIA: Comidas, cocinas y prácticas de consumo en espacios coloniales mediterráneos (HAR2015-69842-P). Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad.