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Colonial Encounters in Ancient IberiaPhoenician, Greek, and Indigenous Relations$
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Michael Dietler and Carolina Lopez-Ruiz

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780226148472

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226148489.001.0001

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Tarshish and Tartessos Revisited: Textual Problems and Historical Implications

Tarshish and Tartessos Revisited: Textual Problems and Historical Implications

Chapter:
(p.255) Ten Tarshish and Tartessos Revisited: Textual Problems and Historical Implications
Source:
Colonial Encounters in Ancient Iberia
Author(s):

Carolina López-Ruiz

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226148489.003.0010

Within the framework of a new discussion of Phoenician and Greek colonization in the Iberian Peninsula, the question of the possible identification of the protohistoric culture of Tartessos in the mentions of a legendary Tarshish in the Hebrew Bible is quite relevant. The correlation between the Tartessos of the Iberian Peninsula, mentioned by Greek authors, and the Tarshish of the Hebrew Bible was first suggested in a late lexicon. The dual enigma of the identification of Tarshish and Tartessos has since sparked the enthusiasm of both biblical scholars and archaeologists of the Iberian Peninsula's protohistory. Should the identification be proven correct, the culture of Tartessos would leave the shadowy land of semi-mythical imagination where Herodotus and others had placed it and would gain a more prominent position in Mediterranean history. The appearance of Tartessos in the Hebrew Bible would both provide a written proof of the important connection of Tartessos with the Levant and reinforce the theory of an early date for the first arrival of the Phoenicians in the West.

Keywords:   Phoenicians, colonization, Iberian Peninsula, Tartessos, protohistory, Tarshish, Hebrew Bible, Levant, Mediterranean

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