Around 1100 BC, the most powerful traders along the Mediterranean were the Phoenicians
. Phoenicia is now the area now as Lebanon. The Phoenicians never united into one country. They had a number of weathy city-states around the Mediterranean instead.
They developed a writing system that was phonetic. The Phoenicians also produced a purple dye from the murex, a type of snail. The phoencians were amazing shipbuilders and seafares.