Around 3000 B.C., a group of individuals migrated from the Arabian Peninsula into the land of Canaan. Canaan is located between Egypt and Syria. These people were known as the Phoenicians.
By 1200 B.C., the Phoenicians controlled a narrow strip of land that bordered along the Mediterranean Sea in northern Canaan where they built a number of cities and villages. These cities were bound to one another by culture, but were governed independently as separate city-states.
The Phoenicians were masters of the sea. Their economy was based on trade. Rather than moving goods over the land in massive caravans, the Phoenicians built large sailing ships.
It is believed by many historians that the Phoenicians may have traveled to lands as distant as Great Britain and Spain. This is a tremendous feat considering the level of technology at the time.