IMPORTANT POINTS IN THE CITY’S HISTORY
This website outlines four major eras of technological development in Sidon. In this section we will briefly describe these for readers not familiar with these terms.
The Early Bronze Age (around 3400-2000 BC) marks the first urban era in the Levant. The term Early Bronze Age was adopted by William F. Albright and other early archaeologists in the 1920s and the three Age system of Stone, Bronze and Iron as used by Old World archaeologists was still maintained. Since copper was the metal primarily used during the Early Bronze Age, bronze metallurgy became common only in the Middle Bronze Age (around 2000 BC). Bronze is the product of melting copper together with tin, resulting in a much harder metal. Not all civilizations, however, achieved this technological feat at the same time. Even the Middle East, with its agriculturally rich centers (which allow for the division of labor and the development of research workers) saw an uneven distribution of technological growth.
The Iron Age follows (around 1000 BC). The Hittites in Asia Minor are often considered to be the first to develop labor intensive metallurgy. Workers heat iron ore in combination with charcoal for several hours, at high temperatures. The charcoal “captures” released oxygen and the ore, and thus the iron is extracted. But impurities still remain in this residue, and so the process is repeated several times over. In this region of the world, this period is eclipsed by the appearance of the Persians, in the 6th Century BC.
Persian Period (550-333): During the Persian period the Phoenician city-states put their fleets at the disposal of the Persian monarch. According to Herodotus the fleet which Xerxes had assembled for the victory at Termopylae against Greece totaled one thousand two hundred and seven vessels of which the Phoenicians contributed three hundred triremes and the king showed a marked preference for Phoenician vessels; the Sidonian ones in particular. Before engaging in battle, with the Greeks at Salamis Xerxes had a council of war. Xerxes high esteem for the king of Sidon is seen by the place assigned to him in the meeting “first in place the king of Sidon, and next he of Tyre, and then the rest”.
Cyrus II (the Great) 550-530, Cambyses II 530-522, Darius I 522-486, Xerxes I [Ahasuerus] 486-465, Xerxes I [Ahasuerus] 486-465, Xerxes I [Ahasuerus] 486-465, Xerxes I [Ahasuerus] 486-465, Artaxerxes I (Longimanus) 464-424, Xerxes II 424, Darius II 423-404, Artaxerxes II (Mnemon) 404-358, Artaxerxes III (Ochus) 358-338, Darius III 336-333.
The Hellenistic period was the first age of Western expansion in Asia and one of the principal formative epochs in the history of ancient Eurasia. The interaction of Greek and non-Greek culture in the vast area from the Mediterranean to the borders of India laid the foundations for the Christian and Islamic civilizations of the Middle Ages. This is the age of Alexander the Great.