Lead was largely furnished to the Phoenicians by the Scilly Islands, and by Spain. It has not been found in any great quantity on Phoenician sites, but still appears occasionally. Sometimes it is a solder uniting stone with bronze; sometimes it exists in thin sheets, which may have been worn as ornaments. In Phoenicia Proper it has been chiefly met with in the shape of coffins, which are apparently of a somewhat late date. They are formed of several sheets placed one over the other and then soldered together. There is generally on the lid and sides of the coffin an external ornamentation in a low relief, wherein the myth of Psyche is said commonly to play a part; but the execution is mediocre, and the designs themselves have little merit.
CHAPTER IX—SHIPS, NAVIGATION, AND COMMERCE
Earliest navigation by means of rafts and canoes—Model of a very primitive boat—Phoenician vessel of the time of Sargon—Phoenician biremes in the time of Sennacherib— Phoenician pleasure vessels and merchant ships—Superiority of the Phoenician war-galleys—Excellence of the arrangements—Pataeci—Early navigation cautious—Increasing boldness—Furthest ventures—Extent of the Phoenician land commerce—Witness of Ezekiel—Wares imported—Caravans— Description of the land trade—Sea trade of Phoenicia—1. With her own colonies—2. With foreigners—Mediterranean and Black Sea trade—North Atlantic trade—Trade with the West Coast of Africa and the Canaries—Trade in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean.
The first attempts of the Phoenicians to navigate the sea which washed their coast were probably as clumsy and rude as those of other primitive nations. They are said to have voyaged from island to island, in their original abodes within the Persian Gulf, by means of rafts. When they reached the shores of the Mediterranean, it can scarcely have been long ere they constructed boats for fishing and coasting purposes, though no doubt such boats were of a very rude construction. Probably, like other races, they began with canoes, roughly hewn out of the trunk of a tree. The torrents which descended from Lebanon would from time to time bring down the stems of fallen trees in their flood-time; and these, floating on the Mediterranean waters, would suggest the idea of navigation. They would, at first, be hollowed out with hatchets and adzes, or else with fire; and, later on, the canoes thus produced would form the models for the earliest efforts in shipbuilding. The great length, however, would soon be found unnecessary, and the canoe would give place to the boat, in the ordinary acceptation of the term. There are models of boats among the Phoenician remains which have a very archaic character, and may give us some idea of the vessels in which the Phoenicians of the remoter times braved the perils of the deep. They have a keel, not ill shaped, a rounded hull, bulwarks, a beak, and a high seat for the steersman. The oars, apparently, must have been passed through interstices in the bulwark.