Which ancient civilizations are you most interested in?

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In summary, the conversation discusses different civilizations and cultures throughout history, with each person mentioning their favorite society or time period. The Egyptians are described as a perfect mix of sophistication and mystery, while the Mongols and Ancient Japan are praised for their music and samurai. The Sumerians are mentioned as the first major society to practice division of labor and use math, while the Bell Beaker people of Western Europe are noted for their unique genetic makeup and cultural influences. The conversation also touches on the Greeks and their honorable warriors, as well as the Romans and their impressive engineering feats.
  • #1
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To me the Egyptians were the perfect mix of sophistication and mystery. However, that is an easy pick. I would also add in the Mongols for their music and Ancient Japan for their Samurai. Which are your favorites?
 
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  • #2
I have been very interested in the Sumerians as a kid and dreamt of becoming an archaeologist for a while. I'm not sure to which extend this is true, as the Indians already had discovered basic math, but to me the Sumerians were the first major society which practiced division of labour, settled in cities and used math. They also provide a good amount of mysticism as they lived in an area where several other cultures evolved ever since, so it's not easy to find clear evidence about especially them.
 
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  • #3
The Bell Beaker people of more or less Western Europe (with intrusions into Northern and Central Europe and North Africa) ca. 3100 BCE to ca. 1200 BCE (Eneolithic and Bronze Age). The genetic makeup of Western and Northern Europe is more or less in a modern state at the end of cultures related to the Bell Beaker people and is distinctly Sardinian-ish before they appear, but their origins, the nature of their culture, and its linguistic character are all very much open issues.

Their earliest origins archaeologically are in SW Iberia, but ancient DNA shows Iberian Beaker people to be quite different from other Beaker people genetically. Anthropological opinion has vacillated over time about the extent to which they are a folk migration v. a cultural movement diffused via traders and priests and increasingly it looks like the answer to that question varied regionally. There are legitimate arguments that they could be linguistically Vasconic or linguistically Indo-European (perhaps a pre-proto-Celtic, although not strictly speaking proto-Celtic). They are also contemporaneous with the very rapid appearance of adult milk drinking genes in Europeans. Non-Iberian Bell Beaker people have Y-DNA and autosomal DNA that is distinctively Southern Pontic-Caspian steppe-like, although this is less true of autosomal DNA in Iberian Beaker people which shows more continuity with the early farmers of the region. But, the mtDNA of the Bell Beaker people (passed from mother to children) is arguably indigenously Iberian in origin. In some places, like the British Isles, Bell Beaker people almost completely replaced pre-existing populations.

Their culture spanned an area half a continent in expanse many centuries before the Roman Empire and kept the contemporaneous Corded Ware culture of Eastern and Central Europe at bay in a standoff that lasted a millennium.
 
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  • #4
Currently in an Ancient Western Civilizations class and I really like it. For me it would have to be the Greeks in multiple aspects. The Spartans were unbelievable warriors and very honorable, while the Athenians for the intellectual ingenuity. Particularly with Aristotle putting down the roots for the scientific method that we use today, as well as Herodotus and Thucydides being of the first to study history for academic purposes rather than in an art form.
 
  • #5
ohwilleke said:
The Bell Beaker people of more or less Western Europe (with intrusions into Northern and Central Europe and North Africa) ca. 3100 BCE to ca. 1200 BCE (Eneolithic and Bronze Age). The genetic makeup of Western and Northern Europe is more or less in a modern state at the end of cultures related to the Bell Beaker people and is distinctly Sardinian-ish before they appear, but their origins, the nature of their culture, and its linguistic character are all very much open issues.

Their earliest origins archaeologically are in SW Iberia, but ancient DNA shows Iberian Beaker people to be quite different from other Beaker people genetically. Anthropological opinion has vacillated over time about the extent to which they are a folk migration v. a cultural movement diffused via traders and priests and increasingly it looks like the answer to that question varied regionally. There are legitimate arguments that they could be linguistically Vasconic or linguistically Indo-European (perhaps a pre-proto-Celtic, although not strictly speaking proto-Celtic). They are also contemporaneous with the very rapid appearance of adult milk drinking genes in Europeans. Non-Iberian Bell Beaker people have Y-DNA and autosomal DNA that is distinctively Southern Pontic-Caspian steppe-like, although this is less true of autosomal DNA in Iberian Beaker people which shows more continuity with the early farmers of the region. But, the mtDNA of the Bell Beaker people (passed from mother to children) is arguably indigenously Iberian in origin. In some places, like the British Isles, Bell Beaker people almost completely replaced pre-existing populations.

Their culture spanned an area half a continent in expanse many centuries before the Roman Empire and kept the contemporaneous Corded Ware culture of Eastern and Central Europe at bay in a standoff that lasted a millennium.
Wow, you are the first person I have run across to be knowledgeable (aside from Marcus and Arildno) about the Bell Beaker people.
 
  • #6
fresh_42 said:
I have been very interested in the Sumerians as a kid and dreamt of becoming an archaeologist for a while. I'm not sure to which extend this is true, as the Indians already had discovered basic math, but to me the Sumerians were the first major society which practiced division of labour, settled in cities and used math. They also provide a good amount of mysticism as they lived in an area where several other cultures evolved ever since, so it's not easy to find clear evidence about especially them.
Hmm, I tried to add Greg's post, I'll add it later. Ancient Sumeria is very interesting, well, I just love all ancient cultures, I wish I had time right now to really contribute to this thread, but with my move to the new house and temperatures into the 90's for the first time this year, I'm dying.

Thank you Greg for starting this!
 
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  • #7
The Greek City State Age was a fascinating time IMHO.
 
  • #8
For me it would be the Roman Empire, due to their extraordinary achievements in construction and engineering. Notable are the use of concrete that cured underwater, as in the harbor at Caesarea, and the ingeniously designed concrete dome of the Pantheon that has survived 2000 years.
 
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  • #9
Davephaelon said:
For me it would be the Roman Empire, due to their extraordinary achievements in construction and engineering. Notable are the use of concrete that cured underwater, as in the harbor at Caesarea, and the ingeniously designed concrete dome of the Pantheon that has survived 2000 years.
So true. Also building a bridge across the Rhine in a matter of days- something we couldn't even do today.
 
  • #10
fresh_42 said:
I have been very interested in the Sumerians as a kid and dreamt of becoming an archaeologist for a while.
So did I. Actually, I wanted to name my daughter “Eridu”, the Sumerian city which is considered to have been the world’s first urban city. But my wife did not like the name, so I called her “Sumer” which means “the land of the civilized kings” in the “Akkadian” language of Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq).
I'm not sure to which extend this is true, as the Indians already had discovered basic math, but to me the Sumerians were the first major society which practiced division of labour, settled in cities and used math. They also provide a good amount of mysticism as they lived in an area where several other cultures evolved ever since, so it's not easy to find clear evidence about especially them.

The Mesopotamians (Sumerians in the south, Babylonians in the middle and Assyrians in the north) were great inventors, and our heritage from them includes things we now consider essential:

1) The Sumerians developed one of the oldest writing systems in about 3,300 B.C.

2) The ancient Mesopotamians were using the wheel by about 3,500 B.C.

3) Sumerians were the first to develop Symbols for numbers and the idea of place value based on a number’s position in a sequence.

4) The Mesopotamians were the first to divide time units into 60 parts.

5) Urban cities and government system.

6) Sumerians divided the night sky into 12 sections and named them by nearby constellations, those names came down to us through Greek and Latin translations as the Zodiac.
 
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  • #11
Ancient Greek history is fascinating... the people, the inventions, the numerous city-states and their battles... it's all very intriguing.

Ancient Roman history is also rather cool... especially the story of Spartacus :bow:
 
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  • #12
DS2C said:
So true. Also building a bridge across the Rhine in a matter of days- something we couldn't even do today.
During WWII the Allies did bridges across the Rhine in one day. We have pictures of Patton keeping his promise to ... pee ... in the Rhine while it was being put together.
 
  • #13
The Phoenicians.
 
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  • #15
This is a really tough question, as I am fascinated by many different ancient civilizations. Among my list of civilizations I am particularly interested (in no particular order) include the following:

1. Mesopotamia (including ancient Sumerians)
2. Ancient Chinese civilization (preferably pre-Ming dynasty)
3. Ancient Greek civilization
4. Mayan civilization
5. Incan civilization
6. Meroite civilization (located in what is now southern Egypt and northern Sudan). Here is a Wikipedia article on the Meroite Kingdom of Kush.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meroe
 
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  • #16
I personally like the Indus Valley Civilization for having the sewage system (actually kind of ironic considering the state of affairs where it was once located). If I were to speak more seriously, the Ancient Chinese civilization was full of rich culture which I find interesting (its sad that a lot of it was destroyed in the Cultural revolution).
 
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  • #17
This is an old thread that I rediscovered while searching for a post I made in
https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/ancient-history-documentaries.1013243/post-6612340

Paul Cooper's Fall of Civilizations gives an interesting perspective on history. Cooper looks at the archeology and geography of the areas in which various civilization rose and collapsed. Water, agriculture and trade were three big drivers in the development. Warfare was a driver in the decline.

The Sumerians - Fall of the First Cities - Mesopotamia, the land between the rivers.



One of the notable kings of Sumeria is Ashurbanipal - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashurbanipal

The Assyrians - Empire of Iron - Fall of Civilizations

The Inca - Cities in the Cloud - Fall of Civilzations



Part 2 of 2

 
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  • #18
I'm fascinated by ancient history and the response to geological and climate changes. Ancient history was a favorite subject during my primary education. I was curious how people developed their understanding of the natural world, how they manipulated nature (e.g., metallurgy), how agriculture developed, how different societies developed and interacted (usually through trade/commerce, but unfortunately too often in warfare).

I was reviewing the collapse of the Bronze age societies, which were predated by earlier societies, who must have been genetically related somehow within the same geographic region. We know some of the evolution through archeological remains, e.g., remains of tools, vessels, and weapons (arrow heads, axes, blade instruments, . . . ), structures, etc.

Prior to the Bronze age, there was the Chalcolithic age based on the early development of copper metal artifacts.

Development of bronze (~0.9 Cu, 0.1 Sn; or 0.88 Cu, 0.12 Sn) may have been by accident. Someone may have simply used copper and tin, or copper-tin ores, in a fire and discovered the bronze alloy.

The archaeological site of Belovode, on Rudnik mountain in Serbia, has the world's oldest securely dated evidence of copper smelting at high temperature, from c. 5000 BCE. The transition from Copper Age to Bronze Age in Europe occurred between the late 5th and the late 3rd millennia BC. In the Ancient Near East the Copper Age covered about the same period, beginning in the late 5th millennium BC and lasting for about a millennium before it gave rise to the Early Bronze Age.
Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chalcolithic
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metallurgy_during_the_Copper_Age_in_Europe

The beginning of the Bronze Age in western Eurasia and India is conventionally dated to the mid-4th millennium BCE (~3500 BCE), and to the early 2nd millennium BCE in China; elsewhere it gradually spread across regions. The Bronze Age was followed by the Iron Age starting from about 1300 BCE and reaching most of Eurasia by about 500 BCE, although bronze continued to be much more widely used than it is in modern times.
Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bronze
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bronze_Age
https://copper.org/education/history/60centuries/raw_material/thebeginnings.phpThe Uluburun Shipwreck reveals examples of the interchange goods through trade/commerce in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Of particular interest is the source of copper (Cyprus, the Levant (now Syria), Anatolia (Turkey), Bulgaria, and northern Greece) and tin (early from Uzbekistan and Afghanistan/Badakhshan regions, and later Cornwall (England)).
Ref: https://www.jstor.org/stable/1357261 - regarding copper



Wood used in ship construction ~ 1400 BCE, firewood on ship, ~ 1318 BCE
Bronze Age arbitrarily at 2300 BCE to Iron Age 700 BCE
Wide range of cargo - regions (at least 7), including Cyprus, Egypt, Canaanite jars (widely found in Greece, Cyprus, Syria-Palestine, and Egypt)
10 tons of Cu in 345 ingots, 40 ingots of Sn, ingots of glass
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uluburun_shipwreck - state 354 ingots of copper

The 'collapse' of the Bronze Age societies began around 1200 BCE and apparently went on for several decades.

The Bronze Age Collapse - Mediterranean Apocalypse - Fall of Civilizations
At 20:08 minutes, the narrator mentions the 'Sea Peoples' who apparently ravaged the eastern Mediterranean and burned various cities to the ground.



Some background:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ugarit
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ammurapi - king at the time of the destruction of Ugarit

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_Peoples

An alternative discussion:
Longnow.org 1177 B.C.: When Civilization Collapsed | Eric Cline


According to Longnow.com - "Consider that all the societies in the world can collapse simultaneously. It has happened before.

In the 12th century BCE the great Bronze Age civilizations of the Mediterranean—all of them—suddenly fell apart. Their empires evaporated, their cities emptied out, their technologies disappeared, and famine ruled. Mycenae, Minos, Assyria, Hittites, Canaan, Cyprus—all gone. Even Egypt fell into a steep decline. The Bronze Age was over.

The event should live in history as one of the great cautionary tales, but it hasn’t because its causes were considered a mystery. How can we know what to be cautious of? Eric Cline has taken on on the mystery. An archaeologist-historian at George Washington University, he is the author of "1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed." The failure, he suggests, was systemic. The highly complex, richly interconnected system of the world tipped all at once into chaos."
 
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  • #19
Greg Bernhardt said:
To me the Egyptians were the perfect mix of sophistication and mystery. However, that is an easy pick. I would also add in the Mongols for their music and Ancient Japan for their Samurai. Which are your favorites?
I'm interested in the Assyrians and Persians mostly because so little is known about them. The original JP Morgan was also an Assyria man. The Muslims erased Persian history, even though it was as big and important as the Roman Empire. There's the Indus civilization about which so little is known.

Then there's Angkor. They live on in the dance of eastern and southern Asia.

Linguistic and DNA studies reveal much about pre-history, especially the rise of the Aryans.

Did you know that the famous three pyramids are arranged precisely as are the stars in Orion's belt? A fairly recent discovery.
 
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  • #20
Hornbein said:
Did you know that the famous three pyramids are arranged precisely as are the stars in Orion's belt? A fairly recent discovery.
Oh yes, apparently we have also recently discovered that they were built by aliens.

PF is not the place for pseudoscience, including pseudoarchaeology.
 
  • #21
pbuk said:
Oh yes, apparently we have also recently discovered that they were built by aliens.

PF is not the place for pseudoscience, including pseudoarchaeology.
I heard that from a professor of astronomy who works in Singapore.
 
  • #22
pbuk said:
Oh yes, apparently we have also recently discovered that they were built by aliens.

PF is not the place for pseudoscience, including pseudoarchaeology.
Given that there is an ongoing homeopathy discussion, I believe that we are engaging in psuedoPhysicsForums.
 
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  • #24
Hornbein said:
The original JP Morgan was also an Assyria man.
Do you mean that his collection included items from Assyria? Yes it did (notably the reliefs from the Palace of Ashurnasirpal II), but most of his collection of tens of thousands of items was European and from other parts of the Middle East, Egypt and Asia.
 
  • #25
Frabjous said:
Robert Bauval who came up with hypothesis is definitely a pseudoarcheologist. Nevertheless the Orion's Belt hypothesis is largely a scientific hypothesis. It makes a very specific prediction which can be falsified. So let's look at that.

First I note that Wikipedia contains an error. "They estimate 47–50 degrees per the planetarium measurements, compared to the 38-degree angle formed by the pyramids." It's not degrees, perhaps it's minutes or maybe seconds, those smaller divisions of degrees. I don't know which so for the sake of argument let's correct this to minutes. So the error is of ten minutes.

The Egyptian religion revolved around Orion and the star Sirius, which appears to have been considered the abode of the gods or something like that. A strong analogy between the pyramids and the very prominent stars of Orion's belt is more than plausible.

There are two objections. The first is that the photo of the pyramids they used is upside down. By this they mean that the top of the photo corresponds to the south instead of the north. But "north" = "up" is a modern convention to which the ancient Egyptians would not have been exposed. Indeed from the latitude of Memphis the Orion constellation appears to the south. It seems rather more natural in this case to use the "south" = "up" convention.

The second objection is the ten minutes of arc of error. However no one disputes that the spacing of the pyramids very closely matches the spacing of the stars, and that the size of the pyramids corresponds to the magnitudes. I say that the preponderance of evidence is on the side of the theory.
 
  • #26
Hornbein said:
Robert Bauval who came up with hypothesis is definitely a pseudoarcheologist. Nevertheless the Orion's Belt hypothesis is largely a scientific hypothesis. It makes a very specific prediction which can be falsified. So let's look at that.

First I note that Wikipedia contains an error. "They estimate 47–50 degrees per the planetarium measurements, compared to the 38-degree angle formed by the pyramids." It's not degrees, perhaps it's minutes or maybe seconds, those smaller divisions of degrees. I don't know which so for the sake of argument let's correct this to minutes. So the error is of ten minutes.

The Egyptian religion revolved around Orion and the star Sirius, which appears to have been considered the abode of the gods or something like that. A strong analogy between the pyramids and the very prominent stars of Orion's belt is more than plausible.

There are two objections. The first is that the photo of the pyramids they used is upside down. By this they mean that the top of the photo corresponds to the south instead of the north. But "north" = "up" is a modern convention to which the ancient Egyptians would not have been exposed. Indeed from the latitude of Memphis the Orion constellation appears to the south. It seems rather more natural in this case to use the "south" = "up" convention.

The second objection is the ten minutes of arc of error. However no one disputes that the spacing of the pyramids very closely matches the spacing of the stars, and that the size of the pyramids corresponds to the magnitudes. I say that the preponderance of evidence is on the side of the theory.
A reasonable objection that could be raised would be, if they could measure the spacings so precisely then what was the problem with the angle? Note the estimate of the error is based on the positions of the stars when the pyramid was built. But if the measurements were made earlier the error would be less. Considering the grandeur of the pyramids, impressive even today, I say it is more than likely that less imposing earlier structures were demolished to make way for their gargantuan replacements. It is a fact that ancients were reluctant to change the locations of temples. Outside of Ayutthaya, Thailand, is a Buddhist temple built by the invading Burmese. Their plan was that the Thai would be unwilling to demolish a temple and hence would be compelled for all time to tolerate a memorial to their humiliating defeat. So far this plan is working. Returning to ancient Egypt, if these hypothetical lesser Egyptian temples were established in 10,000 BC then the measurements would be bang on. In summary, I say all this is too much to be the result of some series of random coincidence.

This reminds me of a something I saw in an old book of golf jokes, in the venerable genre of the caddy-golfer dialog.

Golfer : You must be the worst caddy in the world.
Caddy: That would be too much of a coincidence.
 
  • #27
Hornbein said:
I heard that from a professor of astronomy who works in Singapore.
I am impressed on how quickly you became an expert.
 
  • #28
Frabjous said:
I am impressed on how quickly you became an expert.
I worked through all this about twenty years ago when I first encountered it. I was curious whether or not the data fit. I wasn't going to believe something like that just because somebody else said so.
 
  • #29
ohwilleke said:
Their culture spanned an area half a continent in expanse many centuries before the Roman Empire and kept the contemporaneous Corded Ware culture of Eastern and Central Europe at bay in a standoff that lasted a millennium.
While this may all be true I venture to protest that "standoff" implies a conflict that didn't necessarily exist. It is a pet peeve of mine that today's people tend to see the ancient world as one of warfare.
 
  • #30
Hornbein said:
While this may all be true I venture to protest that "standoff" implies a conflict that didn't necessarily exist. It is a pet peeve of mine that today's people tend to see the ancient world as one of warfare.
It was popular in anthropology from about the 1960s to the 1980s to assume that earlier peoples were more peaceful. This view hasn't held up to the evidence. Basically, the past was a lot more violent and warlike than the present, and it has gradually gotten more peaceful and less warlike.

As recently as the European middle ages, 30% of male aristocrats who reached adulthood died in warfare.

There are multiple examples archaeologically where steppe people encountered sedentary farmers and left behind massacres of whole villages or scores of people (the farmers dying in droves) in mass graves.

The replacement of the vast majority of first farmer Y-DNA with steppe Y-DNA in a very short period of time around the early Bronze Age plus or minus, didn't happen because steppe men had a better sense of humor or were better at ballroom dancing.

It turns out that the percentage of deaths in hunter-gatherer societies from fellow men is astoundingly high.

The ancient world was absolutely one of constant, brutal warfare.
 
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  • #31
ohwilleke said:
It was popular in anthropology from about the 1960s to the 1980s to assume that earlier peoples were more peaceful. This view hasn't held up to the evidence. Basically, the past was a lot more violent and warlike than the present, and it has gradually gotten more peaceful and less warlike.

As recently as the European middle ages, 30% of male aristocrats who reached adulthood died in warfare.

There are multiple examples archaeologically where steppe people encountered sedentary farmers and left behind massacres of whole villages or scores of people (the farmers dying in droves) in mass graves.

The replacement of the vast majority of first farmer Y-DNA with steppe Y-DNA in a very short period of time around the early Bronze Age plus or minus, didn't happen because steppe men had a better sense of humor or were better at ballroom dancing.

It turns out that the percentage of deaths in hunter-gatherer societies from fellow men is astoundingly high.

The ancient world was absolutely one of constant, brutal warfare.
My view is that the ancient world was very diverse, more so than today, and you really can't make blanket generalizations. Societies in challenging environments like the Eskimos were peaceful, presumably because they already had their hands full with survival. More welcoming environments tended to fill up and lead to tribal conflicts. Europe was settled relatively late so wasn't all that densely populated in ancient times. So I wouldn't assume that the Bell Beaker people and Corded Ware people of 3000 to 1000 BCE were at loggerheads without additional evidence.
 
  • #32
Hornbein said:
My view is that the ancient world was very diverse, more so than today, and you really can't make blanket generalizations. Societies in challenging environments like the Eskimos were peaceful, presumably because they already had their hands full with survival. More welcoming environments tended to fill up and lead to tribal conflicts. Europe was settled relatively late so wasn't all that densely populated in ancient times. So I wouldn't assume that the Bell Beaker people and Corded Ware people of 3000 to 1000 BCE were at loggerheads without additional evidence.
The Eskimos exterminated the Paleo-Eskimos that preceded them in the Arctic in a genocidal sweep. They were anything but peaceful.
 
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  • #33
Krunchyman said:
The Phoenicians.

3 hours and 38 minutes
 
  • #34
Astronuc said:
3 hours and 38 minutes

I didn't even know they existed. I feel like an ignoramus.

Care to provide an executive summary to entice me into investing four hours? (That's why I prefer books. Skimmable.)
 
  • #35
Hornbein said:
Care to provide an executive summary to entice me into investing four hours? (That's why I prefer books. Skimmable.)
Well one can find some background on Wikipedia and various archeological or natural history sites (e.g., National Geographic Society) regarding the Phoenicians. It is well worth listening to the entire program, but perhaps not all at once.

The ancient Phoenicians built a maritime civilization around the Mediterranean Sea (before the Greeks and Romans). They were prominent along the eastern Mediterranean, before the Greeks, in what is now Lebanon. "The core of Phoenician territory was the city-state of Tyre, in what-is-now Lebanon. Phoenician civilization lasted from approximately 1550 to 300 B.C.E., when the Persians, and later the Greeks, conquered Tyre." Then the Romans conquered the area, which came later.
https://education.nationalgeographic.org/resource/first-rulers-mediterranean/

Their major cities were Tyre, Sidon, Byblos, and Arwad. All were fiercely independent, rival cities and, unlike the neighboring inland states, the Phoenicians represented a confederation of maritime traders rather than a defined country. What the Phoenicians actually called themselves is unknown, though it may have been the ancient term Canaanite. The name Phoenician, used to describe these people in the first millennium B.C., is a Greek invention, from the word phoinix, possibly signifying the color purple-red and perhaps an allusion to their production of a highly prized purple dye.
https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/phoe/hd_phoe.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoenicia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Carthage (c. 814 BCE – 146 BCE)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carthage

Carthage was established as a port/trading city around the aforementioned 814 BCE. They Phoenicians established other port cities in Malta, Sicily, Sardinia, and along coasts of N. Africa and Spain.

Along the way, they had rivalries/conflicts with the Greeks, mainly regarding Greek city states in Sicily, and then the Romans. The citizens of Carthage didn't participate in the military (infantry, charioteers, cavalry), although they did have a strong naval force, but the participants in the military were mostly mercenaries and apparently slaves, i.e., other peoples. Consequently, they occasionally faced mutinies.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Carthage#Conflict_with_the_Greeks_(580–265_BC)

The two major wars with Rome that lead to the collapse and destruction of Carthage occurred during the first and second Punic Wars with Rome.

The First Punic War (264–241 BC) was the first of three wars fought between Rome and Carthage, the two main powers of the western Mediterranean in the early 3rd century BC. For 23 years, in the longest continuous conflict and greatest naval war of antiquity, the two powers struggled for supremacy. The war was fought primarily on the Mediterranean island of Sicily and its surrounding waters, and also in North Africa. After immense losses on both sides, the Carthaginians were defeated.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Punic_War
The Second Punic War (218 to 201 BC) was the second of three wars fought between Carthage and Rome, the two main powers of the western Mediterranean in the 3rd century BC. For 17 years the two states struggled for supremacy, primarily in Italy and Iberia, but also on the islands of Sicily and Sardinia and, towards the end of the war, in North Africa. After immense materiel and human losses on both sides the Carthaginians were defeated. Macedonia, Syracuse and several Numidian kingdoms were drawn into the fighting, and Iberian and Gallic forces fought on both sides. There were three main military theatres during the war: Italy, where Hannibal defeated the Roman legions repeatedly, with occasional subsidiary campaigns in Sicily, Sardinia and Greece; Iberia, where Hasdrubal, a younger brother of Hannibal, defended the Carthaginian colonial cities with mixed success before moving into Italy; and Africa, where Rome finally won the war.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Punic_War

Hannibal's invasion of the Italian peninsula is still studied as one of the great campaigns.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hannibal

Some lessons learned - Hannibal's supply chain was strained. He couldn't get supplies and reinforcements. Alliances were tenuous in strange and distant lands. While his crossing of the Alps was a brilliant strategy, initial progress was stalled due to a landslide that blocked a key path. The delay meant losses of animals, particularly the war elephants, and strain on food and his soldiers.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hannibal's_crossing_of_the_Alps

While Hannibal was rampaging in Italy, the Romans sent forces to Spain to attack Carthage, which forced Hannibal to try and save those territories.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hannibal#Conclusion_of_the_Second_Punic_War_(203–201_BC)

The second Punic War end with Hannibal's and Carthage's defeat at the battle of Zama.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Zama

The Romans learned from past battles with Hannibal and adapted to his tactics, then the Numidians (who had been allies of Carthage) turned against Carthage and allied with the Romans, so Hannibal (Carthage) lost their effective cavalry.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masinissa

The destruction of Cathage occurred during the Third Punic War
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_Punic_War
The Third Punic War (149–146 BC) was the third and last of the Punic Wars fought between Carthage and Rome. The war was fought entirely within Carthaginian territory, in what is now northern Tunisia. When the Second Punic War ended in 201 BC one of the terms of the peace treaty prohibited Carthage from waging war without Rome's permission. Rome's ally, King Masinissa of Numidia, exploited this to repeatedly raid and seize Carthaginian territory with impunity. In 149 BC Carthage sent an army, under Hasdrubal, against Masinissa, the treaty notwithstanding. The campaign ended in disaster as the Battle of Oroscopa ended with a Carthaginian defeat and the surrender of the Carthaginian army. Anti-Carthaginian factions in Rome used the illicit military action as a pretext to prepare a punitive expedition.
The main source for most aspects of the Punic Wars is the historian Polybius (c. 200 – c. 118 BC), a Greek sent to Rome in 167 BC as a hostage.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polybius

During the 3rd Punic War, Carthage was forced to disarm. Then they were told to leave their city and move esle where, away from the coast. They declined, so the Romans lay siege to the city, until they breached the walls. The Romans proceeded to slaughter the populace for many days, then they took prisoners (as slaves) to be sold to other tribes/nations. Then the city was destroyed.

With the sacking, pillaging, burning and demolition of Carthage, the Phoenician writings (books, histories, literature, maps, . . . ) were destroyed, much like the destruction of the Library of Alexandria, which also may have had extensive writings of the Phoenicians.

A key problem with respect to Carthage and the military was the dependence on a single individual, Hannibal. They need perhaps 2 or 3 others like Hannibal, as well as a comparable commander, or commanders, of their naval/maritime forces. As a society, they should have treated their neighbors better; resentful or covetous neighbors may turn against a society.
 
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