by Christian da C. Karam
About 11,000 years ago (9500 B.C.) our planet was hit by a huge
cataclysm when a good part of the Andes Cordillera was raised. The
big lake where today the Sahara desert is dried out, the limits of
the Mediterranean sea were altered, and the very large
continent-island that existed in the middle of the Atlantic ocean,
The causes of the catastrophe are not completely known yet but it is
one of its probable causes was
the arrival of a huge mass of a celestial body that might have
passed near Earth provoking tremendous tensions in the internal
magma of the planet.
Those real magma "tides" have submitted
the thin solid crust of the planet into stronger pressures than it
could support. In many points the soil became distended and in
others it wrinkled. There were furthermore sinking and rises in some
other parts of soil.
Atlantis was the main victim of those cataclysms that caused the
fall of its powerful civilization. It is enough to say that various
ancient texts state that after the continent-island's sinking, its
survivors went on to Africa.
Plato tells us about the fights that they had with the
Egyptians and Greeks and how they finally were defeated. However,
they left indelible marks on the ancient people's culture such as in
the Phoenician civilization that was their successor in the sea
The Phoenicians inhabited the
Mediterranean coasts, the narrow and fertile strip located between
the sea and the mountains of Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon.
Their small territory, the presence of
powerful neighbors and the existence of much cedar wood (quite good
for naval construction) in the mountain forests may have been the
additional elements that guided the Phoenician civilization towards
the exploration of the seas.
They built numerous and powerful fleets. They also visited the north
African coasts and all the European south, traded in Italy, entered
the Black Sea and left the Mediterranean Sea by crossing the Pillars
of Hercules (today's Strait of Gibraltar and previously called the
Pillars of Melqart) reaching the Atlantic ocean's African coast, and
finally arrived at the Tin Islands in England.
Always trading, the Phoenicians built
marts and warehouses along their routes. When they could, they stole
a little but always trying not to provoke powerful enemies who they
preferred to weaken with gold products, instead of doing it by the
sword or by fighting.
The Phoenician agents and diplomats were
familiar with almost every war fought at that time and they used to
take advantage of it.
They navigated the African continental
coast in order to follow the opposite way that would be traced by
Vasco da Gama much later. And more evidence seems to confirm
that the Phoenicians used to cross the Atlantic Ocean to visit the
The Phoenicians navigated by using the
technique of stars orientation, the sea flows and through the winds
courses. So, by following those factors their captains covered huge
distances with precision. They were already influential about the
year 2000 BC but their power grew with Abibaal's (in 1020 BC) and
Byblos, Sidon and Tyre were successive
capitals of a state-city trading empire, united before anything else
by ties of interest, habits and religion instead of a more rigid
Phoenicians in Brazil
Brazil is full of vestiges that corroborate the Phoenician presence
in its lands and everything indicates that they concentrated their
occupation in the northeastern region.
A little away from the Longá and
Parnaiba rivers' confluence, in Piaui state, there is a lake where
Phoenician shipyards and a harbor with a place reserved to tie the "Carpássios"
(old long traveling ships) were discovered.
By navigating the Mearim river up north, in Maranhão state, when
arriving in the Pindaré and Grajaú rivers' confluence we can find
the Pensiva lake before known as Maracu. In that lake's borders
there can be found shipyards made of petrified wood containing thick
nails and bronze dowels. Researcher Raimundo Lopes, born in
Maranhão State, excavated that location at the end of the twenties
and discovered typically Phoenician tools.
In Rio Grande do Norte state, after roaming a 11 km canal, the
Phoenician boats used to anchor in the Extremoz lake. The Austrian
professor Mr. Ludwig Schwennhagen studied the place's
subterranean parts and the embankments carefully and also some
others that exist near the village of Touro where the Phoenician
navigators anchored after roaming about 10 km of a canal.
The same professor Schwennhagen tells us
that he found Phoenician inscriptions in the Amazon in which
there were references to many kings of Sidon and Tyre (887 to
Schwennhagen believes that the Phoenicians used Brazil as a base
during 800 years at least, leaving here, besides material evidences,
an important linguistic influence among the natives.
In the rivers Camocim (Ceará State), Parnaiba (Piaui State) and
Mearim (Maranhão state) entrance accesses there are stone and lime
walls built by the ancient Phoenicians.
Apollinaire Frot, a French researcher, traveled all over the
Brazilian countryside in order to collect Phoenician inscriptions in
the Minas Gerais, Goiás, Mato Grosso and Bahia sierras. The
inscriptions that he put together are so many that "they would fill
uncountable volumes if they were ever published", according to
The translation of those inscriptions refers to Phoenician works in
Brazil, to their trade activity practiced in those distant lands and
to the sinking of Atlantis.
Some inscriptions reveal that because of
the geological shocks that hit Atlantis, its survivors went to the
north of Africa to found the empire of Egypt and many other nations
of the region known today as the "Middle East".
Those inscriptions still mention the
biblical flood that, according to them, was not a universal
catastrophe but only a local cataclysm in the Mesopotamia
region. This is a fact that scientists accept as
The economic leadership condition, on whose trade others depended,
gave Phoenicia a kind of stability that allowed its existence to
last so long without having strong armed forces. Phoenicia survived
the Egyptian, the Syrian and the Assyrian hegemonies and even the
Persian domination. Finally a strange racial element appeared the
invaders from Europe. Thus Phoenicia trembled, at first under the
Greek invasion headed by Alexander the Great and later under the
power of the Roman legions.
With such a war the trading practices were interrupted and the far
away colonies and marts now abandoned, started to be destroyed by
The inhabitants of those regions, too
far from the metropolis, withdrew into a primitive status. Although
these are just theories, it would explain the blond hair and the
diverse physical constitutions of savages that can be found among
some Brazilian Indian tribes in the Amazon. It would also explain
the light skin and the big number of Phoenician expressions and
words used by the Tiriós Indians.
Carthage, the largest of the
Phoenician colonies, survived and prospered when it inherited the
sea trade from its ancient colonizing cities.
It is Herodotus, the famous Greek
historian, who tells us that,
"the Carthaginian senate published a
decree in order to forbid - under penalty of death - to organize
or to take trips to the other side of the Atlantic ocean because
the frequent coming of men and resources were emptying the
Finally, there is the famous inscription
in the "Pedra
da Gávea" (Gavea's Rock) in Rio de Janeiro which states:
"Here Badezir, King of Tyre,
Jetbaal's oldest son".
There is no scientific or cultural work
in Brazil that has affirmative data about the Phoenician coming to
However, there are in some foreign
material references to the Phoenecian navigators in Brazilian lands
before its European discovery. Although that information may seem
unreal, legendary and fictitious, I want to believe that it is
Phoenician inscriptions found in Tyre, known today as Sur (its name
in Arabic), are on tombstones, which are now in London.
They mention an expedition of a
Phoenician navigator to a region beyond the Strait of Moloch
(today's Gibraltar) where "the sea penetrated into the land..."
a place where there was an abundance of food and lots of wood.
There still is another fact: in excavations that took place in
Sidon, French archaeologists found in 1860 many wooden artifacts
that only could have been taken from Brazil, according to
It is the famous "quebracho"
or "quebra machado" (the "ax breaker") as it its known in the
Besides that kind of wood a red colored
one was found whose denomination today in Arabic remains the same as
the one in Phoenician times:
"Shajarat Ahmar" - known in
Portuguese as Pau-Brasil.
By the way, what is the origin of the
name, which is given to the Amazon River after its source?
The answer to that question is in the Louvre Museum archives, in the
Royal Museum of London and also in Vatican and Lisbon historic
documents that state the Solimões River's name came from its
primitive denomination, which might be "Sulaiman".
So, it would be in honor of the great
King of Israel - Sulaiman (Salomon) - given by his vassals who
arrived in those regions guided by the Phoenicians, a few years
before the Christian Era.
All the cuneiform inscriptions discovered in the Amazon region, in
the Ararí area, as well as in French Guyana and Surinam such as
hieroglyphs and rock characters demonstrate clearly its origin from
Aramaic, Syriac and even Sanskrit scripts.
In the National Historic Museum many photographs show us huge
inscriptions that are widely spread from the Solimões River up to
the point where its name changes to Amazon River (from Ararí to
Madeira River). Those inscriptions demonstrate just a little of the
greatness of the others that exist all over Brazil.
Someone has already tried to show in Rio de Janeiro that the Maya
people might have written the Gavea's Rock inscriptions.
Nevertheless they are hieroglyphic inscriptions mixed with the
Phoenician alphabet and originally engraved by Phoenician
navigators. Other evidences are four Phoenician characters (signs)
engraved on the peak of a big rock known as "Pão de Açúcar" (The
There are various confirmations that say Brazil was already known by
many sailors from the Near East even before its discovery by the
Portuguese. The first European navigator to be familiar with this
land was the Roman Severus Pompeus, whose documents related
to that fact is in the Vatican archives. He obtained from a "Syrian"
slave a report and a confirmation of the existence of others lands.
What is ignored is why that navigator
did not try to verify those stories by himself.
The Phoenician explorers were not interested in lands. They were
really interested in its native products. So, they were not a
colonizing people but a trading one.
Columbus, the great navigator from Genoa, had never
been to the lands of which he used to talk so much.
However, he had an itinerary, a map and
other real documents concerning those distant lands. How did he get
them? Some ancient historians tell the following tale about that:
"One day, at his house, without
anything to do, Columbus realized that in his residential area
there was something buried in the ground.
So, he started digging quickly and
he found a rotten wooden box. Inside it there was many human
bones (even a skull) and among those bones Columbus found some
papyri documents. Because he already had some nautical knowledge
- he was quite a good sailor - he became intrigued with the
discovery and went to look for information with an uncle of his
whom belonged to a religious institution and who also was a very
respected person in the Spanish Royalty.
Columbus gave his uncle what he had
found, and he took them to one of his colleagues. Then both of
them verified that those papers were descriptive maps made by a
sailor from Tripoli (Trabulus) which had been buried many
centuries before the fifteenth century when the place where
Columbus' house was had been the sea's border.
Afterwards, Columbus got an opinion from a very important
cartographer about those exceptional findings. He declared that
region as being a huge territory located beyond the Pillars of
Hercules (Strait of Gibraltar). He also said that its wealth was
so great and there were such valuable treasures kept in that
place that he who could dominate it would be considered "the
Lord of the World".
Then from that day on and protected by his uncle, Columbus
started to visit the Portuguese and the Spanish courts in order
to obtain concession, financing and support to be the "Lord of
It is said that such a report is a
legend but I believe it is true: Columbus came and discovered the
In the "sambaquís" spread throughout Brazil many objects and rock
inscriptions have been found. Some writers, based on paleontology
material, have been writing that its origin is Indian. Other
paleontologists who searched and penetrated into thousands of caves,
grottos and lime cesspools declared that it its neither possible to
define the exact geological erosion of the Brazilian lands nor to
determine an ancient settlement in Brazil before its European
Nevertheless, the Maya, the Toltec and the Aztec civilizations
predominated all over the American continent.
Those populations did not spring from
the ground and only two other peoples could be their ancestors:
the Phoenicians or
From the Phoenicians, because they
dominated the western seas and from the Chinese because they
dominated the Far East seas.
However, those basis are uncertain and
imperfect just because until today historians were not able to
elucidate such a vulnerable fact about the American pre-civilization
When Baron von Humboldt, at the end of the eighteenth
century, took research trips to explore the Brazilian countryside,
he reached the Orinoco slopes and was surprised by the greatness
that Maya, Inca and Aztec civilizations offered to anyone's eyes and
mind. He verified that the legends about the existence of the Amazon
women- whose name was given to the river- were true.
Beuchat cites the important Inca influence in the South American
civilization as well as the Aztec influence in Mexico and in Central
We can still hear about the lost cities in the Brazilian countryside
region, the petrified cities such as the one known as "Sete Cidades"
(Seven Cities) in the state of Piaui and others in wild zones like
the states of Mato Grosso, Goiás and Amazonas.
From São Luis dos Cáceres up to the north in the state of Mato
Grosso, there are places that show the existence of buried cities
that are the remains of a millenarian civilization very well.
Dr. Peter W. Lund, a great Danish scholar, came up with the
theory of a pre-civilization in Brazil and the Phoenician
contribution in its formation.
The Brazilian Indians, known as Carajás and Carajá-ís, have on their
names the etymology of the words whose Phoenician origin can be
found in today's Arabic language. Some other Brazilian Indian tribes
such as the Guaranis, the Tupis, the Guajajaras, the Chambicás, the
Anajás, the Carijós, etc., have in their vocabulary thousands of
Arabian words whose origin is Phoenician.
Maya and Aztec civilizations differ little from the Phoenicians.
Their merchants, governors, administration, clans and their moral
education clearly show us the ethnology of their civil way of life.
The Indians who deal with oil, in the north of Brazil, and who still
today execute the Marajoaras work perfectly, adopt the same systems
used by the Phoenician workers with oil who mixed wood and vine
ashes with mud (clay) in order to produce ceramics. The resemblance
among these drawings, the pots' shapes, the small statues and other
Indian works and the Phoenician artifacts is noteworthy.
The same Phoenician burial ritual - the one that buried the dead
with all the objects that belonged to them - also was adopted by
almost all Brazilian Indian tribes.
The Phoenicians had a factory or a mart in a region, legendarily
Atlantis that in their language
meant - according to the Phoenician term "Al-Atlantic":
huge, large, extensive, vast,
And in Arabic "Al-Atlantic" means giant,
When I went on some trips into the Brazilian countryside, I saw some
coins that had been found in Brazilian ground whose origin is
completely unknown. Making a comparison among these coins and
Paraguayan, Bolivian and Peruvian coins their resemblance to coins
from Sidon and Tyre is very great.
In the Rio de Janeiro National Museum there exist tombstones with
Phoenician, Syriac and Sanskrit inscriptions found in the Brazilian
Edmund Bleibel, a distinguished Lebanese historian, in his
books "General History of Lebanon", published in Beirut, states:
"when the Phoenicians were
established in Africa, and Gibraltar was the limit of their
empire, they planned to cross the huge ocean towards the
Then Ilu of Jbail (Byblos) and
his wife Harmonia (Harmony) prepared a big fleet and
navigated the enormous sea looking for the "Eternal Islands" (Canary
Islands) but they disappeared forever. It was said that their souls
embodied two serpents, which meant that their lives had been renewed
by god, Baal's will.
Later it was corroborated that they had crossed the huge ocean and
discovered the region where today is South America. So, that
3,000 years before Christopher Columbus.
They gave the first new land they discovered the name of "Barr Ilu"
which means "The Continent of God".
When the nation was formed and its
administration was organized, the chosen queen to rule that place
was Mirinieh Mirubieh known as "Queen of the Amazones" which
means "Queen of the Warriors". That queen was sent to Lebanon to
save Ilu of Jbail (Byblos) who was in a critical situation.
The "Queen of the Amazons" called "The Big Ocean" the ocean known
before as 'Mirubi Ocean" which today is the Atlantic Ocean. This
last denomination was in honor of Atlas, the great Phoenician king
Cadmus, the great navigator of
Tyre, left his city - Cadamiat - on a scientific mission in order to
study the Cuchite language spoken in Brazil.
A few historians have been investigating the origin of such a
language and they found many evidences that confirm the Phoenician's
coming to Brazil bringing with them some Greek workers before any
other people. The historian
Diodoros told the way they might
have arrived here. That fact was confirmed by
Plutarch and was mentioned by the
great Brazilian historian Rui Barbosa, as well as by other Brazilian
poets who sang on their lyres the Phoenician and their monuments on
the Brazilian soil.
Each fleet that left Sidon, Jbail and Tyre had 200 or 300 boats that
headed to Brazil. The smallest one was used to bring the members of
the crew with their support material and equipment. They usually
stopped to rest and also to buy supplies in Tunis and at the Canary
Among the Phoenician civilization monuments in Brazil there is a
city that was called "Airo", today completely lost in the admirable
immensity of this country.
Its ancient inhabitants were proud of
belonging to the Phoenician lineage just like the Irish people. They
used to say that they were Tyrian descendants who, during
King Hiram's time, came to take
gold. They took this precious metal to Tyre and to King Salomon of
Jerusalem from the
Land of Ofir, where this mineral
was very abundant. It is located in the Amazon River borders.
Finally, we verify that truth is clear and positive.
I wish the Brazilian honorable governors
could help twentieth century dedicated scientists to research, in
the Brazilian entrails, for its pre-historic reality, the one of its
archaic civilization, and maybe we would have even surpassed the
Greek and the Roman civilizations.
Excertos do livro de: Lisboa,
Luiz C. e Andrade, Roberto P. "Grandes Enigmas da Humanidade
" - Capítulo 5: "Os que antecederam Colombo" páginas 96-
100. Círculo do Livro S.A. Editorial. São Paulo, 1969.
Excerpts from the book by:
Lisboa, Luiz C. and Andrade, Roberto P. "Great Enigmas of
Mankind" - Chapter 5: "Columbus antecessors" pages 96- 100.
Círculo do Livro Press. São Paulo, 1969.
Excertos do livro de: Bastaní,
Tanus Jorge "0 Líbano e os Libaneses no Brasil" -Parte
oitava: "Indícios da vinda dos Fenícios ao Brasil" páginas
155- 159. Edição independente. Rio de Janeiro, 1945.
Excerpts from the book by:
Bastani, Tanus Jorge "Lebanon and the Lebanese in Brazil" -
Eighth part: "Traces of the Phoenician arrival in Brazil"
pages 155-159 Independent edition. Rio de Janeiro, 1945.