The next few stops my main character makes on his journey is along the North African coastline. Why? 1: I wanted to learn more about the Phoenicians, and 2: why not??
The first port of call is Rusaddir, now known as Melilla, a Spanish province. Rusaddir was one of the Phoenician trading posts along the African coast, and there were quite a few. Rusaddir also means ‘the lofty cape’. The Phoenicians came into existence in 3000 BC, lived mainly along coastline where there were natural harbours but it wasn’t until 1000 BC when they became a powerhouse, and led the way in trading for about 500 years.
They were also known as Peoples of the Levant. They had trade relations with Egypt, and exported cedar wood, purple dye and many other commodities. Around 1500 BC the Egyptians, led by Tuthmosis I, conquered the Levant.
There’s not a lot of information on Rusaddir, but plenty on the people who established it. When I plotted my story, I wanted to include places that existed and describe (with creative licence) what they may have looked like. Also, I had to determine a plausible way of travel during that time. Sailing and trading had been the norm and armed with this knowledge, I could now create a story with historical elements.
We can thank the Phoenicians for our alphabet, created around 1400 BC, for without this invention where would we be? (I know, someone would have eventually invented it)