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At the dawn of history in the Middle East, a people of Semitic origin migrated into a very narrow, coastal strip of the Fertile Crescent, which is now known as Lebanon. These ancient people were known as Canaanites, or Armorites, but were later called Phoenicians by the Greeks. Phoenicia comes from the Greek word for purple because of the rare purple dye that they exported. As a result of Phoenicia’s small area, they depended …

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…colonize many distant areas in the known world. They were the first civilization that ever create a condensed alphabet, using symbols to represent sounds instead of the Sumerian and Egyptian representation of objects. This alphabet was the foundation of the alphabets used in Western civilization. Without the Phoenicians contributions, modern society might be a very different place. A different form of sea navigation might be used and a different kind of writing might be used.