Gaulos

The Phoenician cargo par excellence, the Gaul (or Gaul) was the perfect compromise between the Greek and Egyptian influences.

The emblematic Phoenician ship is undoubtedly the Gaulos / Gaoul, a symmetrical ship with clean and well-defined characteristics. When the Phoenicians founded Tire, (Biblos, much earlier, dated back to 7000 BC), they soon had contact with Crete and the brilliant Minoan civilization that resided there. The latter then built ships without holding ropes between the prow and the stern, denoting a much more rigid construction than the standard vessels of the time, those of the Egyptians. The latter, the flexible ships, were dependent on small timber and planks sewn. The Minoens seem to be the first to have replaced the string reinforcements with a rigid structure by itself, with a wooden keel on which intermediate pieces were laid on which were laid the plating made of large planks arched thanks to Heat or their own flexibility. This revolution, the Phoenicians welcomed him with eagerness, being for a long time under the control of the Egyptians.

The Gaul, in some respects, still had an Egyptian appearance, with its round hull, its prow and bow raised, its woven sail held between two supple yards. But it had no rope for holding, and for good reason: The planks and the structure were made of cedar of Syria, of massiveness and solidity which had no equivalent in the Levant. When the Phoenicians emerged from the Egyptian orbit, during the Middle Bronze Age and its contacts with the city-state of Ugarit, it allowed it to benefit from a technology that benefited its commercial extension, Current Lebanon to the columns of Hercules and beyond (traces of trade with the Celts of south-east England, Cornwall), perhaps even a trading post in the Azores and on the American coast. Innumerable counters were only intended to allow any vessel coasting the day along the coasts to find a haven for the night. Only one true colony was founded, Carthage, which established a new milestone between the Asiatic part and the western part of the Mediterranean, in a crossroads of sea lanes making it impossible to circumvent.

Around 1100 BC, the relative freedom enjoyed by the Phoenicians was due to the decline of the great antagonistic empires of the region, Hittites and Egyptians. The Assyrians did not threaten them, and in general the Phoenicians formed a sphere of coprosperity with the "peoples of the sea". The Gaulos played a prominent role in this exchange: it was sized enough to carry a large load of amphorae (including its deck in galleries to store amphoras vertically, covered by a canvas tent) , And at the same time with a modest draft and a relatively flat bottom in the manner of the Egyptian ships allowing it to anchor almost everywhere and even to ascend the rivers. Finally, the Gaulos was characterized by a figure of prow often in the form of head of horse, and a figure of stern in fish tail.

The very name "Phoenician" was a Greek invention to designate peoples of similar culture; in reality they themselves were defined as Sidonites, Byblonians (Giblites), or Tyrians. It drew its origin from the phoenix, a divine bird of the Levant symbolizing the sun rising to the east. But about 800 BC. JC., An early decline began with the gradual seizure of the Assyrians over Tire and Sidon. The Phoenicians being a peaceful people, they subdued and gradually lost their freedom of commercial action. The Persians in 540 BC. JC. Were therefore seen as liberators. The latter, faithful to their confederal policy, left much greater autonomy to the three great cities, but gradually, Carthage began to gain importance and to detach itself from its Phoenician origin to become fully independent. Around the Gauls: Arwad (Syria), Tarsus (Asia Minor), Kition, Paphos (Cyprus), Knossos (Crete), Malta, Hadrumet (South Coast of Carthage, Numidia), Cirta (Inland Numidia), Rachgoun (Current Morocco), Lixus (Atlantic Coast, Morocco), Mogador (Mauritania), Cádiz Seeing Marseilles, it is a colony of Asia Minor ...), Tharros and Nora in Sardinia, Motye in Sicily (near Mytilene).