The history of the eastern Mediterranean is an amazing mixture of different cultures, peoples and states, which for many hundreds of years struggled for dominance in this territory. As a center of trade, cultural exchange, and numerous routes, the Mediterranean played an enormous role in the development of all Western civilization.
The eastern Mediterranean region included land from the foothills of the Taurus to Egypt, including a narrow coastal strip. In ancient times much of this region was called Canaan, and included Syria, Phoenicia, and Palestine.
These lands were not characterized by many waterways. The largest rivers were the Jordan and the Orontes, while the smaller rivers filled with water only in the rainy season and dried up almost completely in the dry season. As a consequence, agriculture could not flourish in this region because of its geographical location and dry climate. Mostly olive trees and grapes were grown here.
The Mediterranean region was rich in natural resources: deposits of iron and copper ores, forests, among which the most valuable was the Lebanese cedar. Such a generously endowed region quickly attracted the attention of the two powerful ancient kingdoms of Egypt and Mesopotamia.
As a result of the active intervention of these states, a unique culture of the Eastern Mediterranean began to form, which became a bizarre fusion of the Mesopotamian and Egyptian cultures.
The inhabitants of the Eastern Mediterranean mastered many useful crafts: weaving, jewelry and pottery, glass-making, construction, and so on. But the most interesting was the production of expensive purple paint. It was made from special mollusks which lived at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea. A barrel was stuffed with them, ground, poured with water and heated. Cloth was dipped into the obtained solution and acquired a luxurious shade of purple.
In ancient times, the Eastern Mediterranean region included three states:
Phoenicia. A small coastal country where the overland trade routes ended and the sea routes began. Already in ancient times port cities were built here, which were notable for their convenient location.
The natives were excellent shipbuilders and seafarers, and in these matters they knew no equal. They traded in precious Lebanese cedar wood and slaves, and they were not squeamish about maritime robbery.
Syria. It was located in the northern part of the Eastern Mediterranean. This country is notable for the fact that it was here where statehood first emerged: in the 23rd century BC on this site was the majestic city-state of Ebla.
Palestine. A small country with fertile lands and a comfortable climate. Cattle breeding was especially well developed in Palestine, and the local pastoral tribes were constantly wandering in search of rich pastures. Among the local tribes were also the ancient Jews, the Jews, who had come over.
The tales of the ancient Jews were written down in special books, which were later incorporated into a single corpus called the Bible. It means "papyrus," the material on which texts were written in ancient times. The Bible is the holy book of Christians all over the world.