Researchers from the University of Otago in New Zealand and the Lebanese American University studied the remains of ancient Phoenicians and found out that they were explorers, not conquerors. The team compared Phoenician, pre-Phoenician, and Sardinian genes with modern Lebanese DNA and focused on mitochondrial DNA. According to
, the researchers deduced that the “ancient Phoenicians had fraternized and integrated with ancient indigenous Sardinians.” Pierre Zalloua, who is a corresponding author, said that the history of the Phoenicians is unclear since most of the historical record about these people came from their enemies: the Romans and the Greeks. Documents written by the Phoenicians about themselves were either destroyed or have not been found yet. The DNA tests show that Phoenicians who traveled abroad integrated into the new civilizations. The reason why Phoenicians traveled was to gather zin to pay taxes to the ancient Assyrians. Mitochondrial genomes are inherited from the mother’s side. This genetic evidence suggests that the Phoenicians traveled with their wives, thus, wanted to explore, not conquer. Professor Matisoo-Smith explained that mitochondrial DNA tells a lot about the history of women in the population.
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