Chapter Two


The Phoenician Exodus Westward

    North of Assyria was the state of “Urartu” (Ararat of the Bible) in present-day Armenia. Urartu became a vassal of Assyria, and was colonized by deportees of lands conquered by Assyria. Urartu rebelled and was reconquered and again rebelled. The Assyrian economy expanded greatly in the late eighth century (i.e. 700s) BCE after defeating Urartu which had controlled the trade routes to the northwest and to Syria. Phoenicia was also attacked in the 740s. The Phoenicians were to be at least partly re-settled and forced to use their experience and know-how to supply Assyria with the greater part of its raw materials and finished manufactures.

    The Prophet Isaiah had predicted the destruction of Phoenician Tyre and an exodus to Tarshish:


The ships of Tyre are “ships of Tarshish”. Isaiah predicted that Tyre would be destroyed and an attempted re-establishment made in Chittim. This would be unsuccessful and from Chittim a move to Tarshish itself (in Spain) would be made. The mass of new immigrant refugees from Tyre and Sidon entering Tarshish were to be as a river overflowing its banks. Tyre and Sidon were the two major Phoenician cities. Tyre was usually the more powerful and most important yet Sidon was older and Tyre was considered a “daughter of Sidon”. The generic term “Sidonian” was interchangeable with “Phoenician”.

    “Chittim” is usually understood to refer to the city of “Kition” in Cyprus which was an important Phoenician colony and which the Assyrians were also destined to conquer. Early sources however apply the term “Chittim” to Italy or the Isles of Italy such as Sardinia which the Phoenicians had occupied. Sargon (722-705) said he conquered Anaku and Kaptara in the Atlantic Ocean. “Anaku” is said to mean the Land of Tin and could refer to Britain, which was the major source of tin. “Kaptara” (i.e. Caphtor or “Cyprus” in Assyrian terms) in the Atlantic Ocean apparently means Scandinavia where Bronze Age remains show direct contact with Mediterranean Cyprus, Egypt, and the Middle East. Egyptian descriptions of a Kaptara (i.e. “Cyprus”) in the Atlantic Ocean conform with to what is known about the civilization of Scandinavia at that time. Scandinavian legend said that their ancestral gods had come from the holy island of Asgard. According to Jurgen Spanuth “Asgard” has the same meaning as “The Isle of Caphtor”1; “Caphtor” being the top of a pillar. Sennacherib (705-681) took Tyre and proceeded with the organized exile and re-settlement of its inhabitants.

    Hittite statuettes and Hittite type chariots in the Baltic area close to Scandinavia, and in Scandinavia itself have been found dating from the era following the Israelite exile. These appurtenances would be characteristic of Assyrian auxiliaries. Assyrian-type swords dating from this time have been found in both Scandinavia and Spain. Legends speak of Assyrians in Germany and of refugees from Assyria reaching Britain and Frisia in Northern Holland. In Britain in the same period there appeared decorations on metalwork which were Assyrian in type. Numerous factors indicate an Assyrian presence in Europe or at least that of those who had been heavily under Assyrian influence.  
    Tiglathpileser (745-727 BCE), the Assyrian monarch, had subdued most of Phoenicia. His successor Shalmaneser (727-722) began the siege of Tyre which finally fell to Sennacherib (705-681) in 701 and its inhabitants were deported. Indications are that before the final fall of Tyre much of the citizenry had fled overseas eventually reaching Spain where “Tarshish” was situated. Assyrian authority overtook the Phoenicians in their place of refuge, and caused more of their brethren to join them. The Assyrians utilized Phoenician colonization to their own advantage whilst supervising the addition of Israelite exiles in or besides Phoenician areas. The Assyrians must have received the willing co-operation of the Phoenicians in transporting the Israelites since Biblical passages (e.g. Ezekiel ch.28) prophesy against Tyre and Sidon for assisting in the exile. The Babylonians may also have been involved. Babylon had been conquered by the Assyrians who seem to have sought legitimacy for their Empire by projecting themselves as recognized lawful rulers of both Assyria and Babylon and relating to Babylon as a partner. Josephus (Ant.10; 227) quotes Megasthenes (ca.300 BCE) as saying that the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnessar (who inherited much of the former Assyrian Empire), ruled over North Africa and Spain. Linguistic evidence indicates an Assyrian and a Babylonian presence in Spain.

     Esarhaddon (681-669) boasted of controlling Yadnana (i.e. “Isle of the Dananu”, meaning Cyprus), Yaman (Yavan meaning Greece), and Tarsis (meaning Tarsis of the Atlantic) in Spain. Assyrian references mention Tarsis as the westernmost extremity of Phoenician colonization. Avienus and various sources record that the Phoenicians had colonies in Britain. This fact together with other indications suggest that the concept of “Tarshish” as well as intending someplace on the southwest or west coast of Spain also encompassed the British Isles. One understanding of the name “Tarshish” itself is “sea” or “ocean” and therefore it encompasses places or isles in the ocean. The inscription just quoted of Esarhaddon mentioning Yadnana, Yaman, and Tarsis, has been found duplicated in a prism but instead of “Tarsis” the name “Nu-si-si” is given. The exact meaning of this name is unclear though it would seem to be cognate with “nes” meaning “island” in Aramaic as well as in Greek. The inscription of Esarhaddon can be understood as saying:

    “The kings that are in the midst of the sea, from the Isle of the Dananu [Yadnana = Cyprus], from Greece [Yaman = Yavan], and from the Islands [“Nusisi”] [or from: “Tarsis”] bowed to my feet ...over the four corners of the earth my power was spread.”  

    Spain before ca. 700 BCE had a relatively low population density with small undefended poorly developed scattered villages possessing a low technological capacity. Development came with the Phoenicians. Iron was completely unknown in the Iberian Peninsula until introduced by the Phoenicians in 750-700 BCE. Metal farming implements did not appear until iron became widely available after 600 BCE.
    The province of Baetica in southern Spain experienced a large scale settlement of people bearing a Phoenician type culture in the period immediately following upon the Assyrian conquest of Phoenicia and claimed domination of Tarshish in Spain.

    Archaeology has confirmed the existence in Spain of a material culture of “Syro-Palestinian” origin (i.e. from the area of ancient Israel and its neighbors) originating in the decades 750-720 and continuing for two hundred years. In other words the new settlers brought a culture from the former Israelite area developed by them shortly before the exile of the northern Tribes of Israel which culminated around 720 BCE. The area of settlement was along the southern Spanish coast from Abdera (in the southeast) to Gades which faced the Atlantic Ocean on the west.

    The new settlements in Spain were based on the exploitation of mineral resources from the nearby Andalusian mountains regarding which Strabo (3;2;7 8) stated:

    “Neither gold, nor silver, nor yet copper, nor iron, has been found anywhere in the world, in a natural state, either in such quantity or of such a good quality”.   

    The settlement of Toscanos (on the southeast coast of Spain) was the only really fortified settlement in the area. The construction was built of dressed stone (ashlar) in a particular style whose closest parallels are to be found in the Israelite buildings at Samaria and at Ramat Rachel (near Jerusalem) of Judea. The place was abandoned by about 550 BCE which date was that of Carthaginian and North African incursions.

    The “Phoenician” (or Israelite) settlements in Spain served as transit points to the east for tin arriving from Portugal, Galicia (Galatia in northwest Spain) and Britain.

    According to Strabo (1;3;2 & 3;5;5) and Pliny most of Spain had formerly been settled by the Phoenicians. The Assyrians broke the Phoenician monopoly on tin through conquering the Phoenicians and gaining control over their sources. The Assyrian Empire was then flooded with tin at reduced prices. Western Europe especially Britain and Spain possessed minerals (tin, silver, gold) for which there was an inexhaustible demand in the east. In the eastern Mediterranean Greek merchant colonies were established and encouraged to replace the Phoenicians. The Phoenician and Israelite mercantile operations were transferred westward2. Most of the “Syro-Palestinian” finds in Spain belong to types prevailing on the Phoenician coast, in Syria, and the North Israel area. There were also forms of decorated pottery specifically associated with “Iron Age northern Syria, ancient Hattina, and Que” meaning the once Israelite Northern Syrian areas of Yadi, of the Dananu, and other parts of northern Syria-Israel.

    The settlements excavated in Spain revealed the remains of murex shells used in the Phoenician dye industry. Barbara Tuchman wrote that shell-dumps of the particular kind of shell-fish used for “Phoenician Purple” dye have been found along the coasts of Cornwall and Devon3.

    Assyrian inscriptions announced their control of Tarsis (Tarshish) in the far west of their domains. Tarsis was on the southwest coast) of Spain, near Gades (Cadiz) to the northwest of Gibraltar. In Classical (Greek and Roman) records Tarsis (Tarshish) is referred to as “Tartessos”. Tartessos once controlled most of Spain and Gaul.  Tartessos served as an emporium for goods from Gaul and Britain.

    In the Book of Psalms, it says “The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents” (Psalm 72;10): The Aramaic Targum translates this expression to say, “The Kings of Tarsis and of the Isles in the Oceanic Sea shall bring offerings” and by Oceanic Sea (i.e. “Yam Okyanus”) the Atlantic Ocean is intended (“Ha-aruch HaShalem”, entry: “Okyanus”).  “Tarshish” is referred to in connection with the Messianic era and with the return of the exiled tribes of Israel:  


    The above verse speaks of the exiled of Israel returning to the land of Israel by air, i.e. in aeroplanes: “FLY AS A CLOUD AND AS A DOVE TO THEIR WINDOWS”, and by ship. The “Ships of Tarshish” means those plying the Atlantic Ocean (“Yam Okeanus”) and in a future sense it refers to the ships of Britain and North America who will bring the Lost Ten Tribes back. In its historical perspective the location of Tarshish must have been someplace on the Atlantic coast.        

     Prior to the Assyrian exile, the Israelite Hebrews had had seafaring experience, had co-operated with the Phoenicians, and had become familiar with “Tarshish”. King Solomon had been partner to Hiram king of Phoenician Tyre in an enterprise that circumnavigated Africa and re-entered the Mediterranean after visiting Tarshish somewhere on the European Atlantic shores.  This enterprise took three years (1- Kings 9:26-27).    

     Herodotus (4.42,43) reported that Pharoah Neco who reigned just after Solomon also sent Phoenician sailors to circumnavigate Africa and return via the Pillars of Hercules i.e. the Straits of Gibraltar. He likewise mentions the fact that this trip took three years to complete since he explains the sailors would make a camp on dry land. They would then sow and wait to reap a harvest before continuing.    The prophet Ezekiel listed Tarshish amongst the numerous places that were wont to trade with Tyre of Phoenicia:


     At the period mentioned it was the Bronze Age and bronze was the chief metal in use. Even in the Iron Age, that came later, bronze was still the most important metal in most regions. Tin and copper are essential in the production of Bronze and part of the tin used at the time originated in Britain. Pliny said that all of their tin came from Britain. The Egyptian (Coptic) word for tin is “pithran” said to be derived from a mispronunciation of Britain.

    “Tarshish” may have originally been a Greek settlement whose facilities Israelites and Phoenicians utilized. Around 700 BCE Tartessos (i.e. Tarshish) was ruled by Phoenicians. Tartessus became identified with Gades which was also a city of Phoenician origin. Gades was aided by Carthage. Tartessos established its suzerainty over Phoenician Tyrian colonies in the south and southeast of Spain. At one stage Tartessos ruled over all of Spain and most of Gaul. Samuel Bochart (1681), affirmed that the province of Dertossa in north-east Spanish was actually named after Tarshish, the name being another form for “Tartessa”, i.e. (“Little-”?) “Tartessus” 4.

The Israelite Connection with Tarshish  
    Tartessus was conquered by Assyria. The Assyrians had conquered Tyre and Sidon and the rest of Phoenicia as well as the northern Kingdom of “Israel”. They exiled many of the Phoenicians and all of the Israelites. The Israelites were deported to several areas mostly in the north. In addition, a portion of the Israelite deportees were transported together with, or alongside of, Phoenicians to southern Spain. They were forced to further develop their metallurgical operations and trading connections in the area in order to supply the Assyrians with raw materials, especially metals, from Spain and Britain. Biblical references show that the Phoenicians and Philistines acted on behalf of the Assyrians and were instrumental in transferring Israelite exiles overseas. Initially the Phoenicians were concentrated in the south and south east of Spain. In this area, place names and other factors reveal an initial Israelite presence alongside that of the Phoenicians.

    Festus Avienus (ca. 400 CE) in a poem (Ora Maritima) based on Carthaginian accounts from around 300 BCE gives information concerning the maritime activities of ancient Tarshish and related matters: In this poem he identifies Gadira (Gades) with Tarshish. He mentions Oestrymnon in Brittany (in Gaul) and the Isles of Oestrymnides (i.e. Britain) that were rich in metals and produced tin and lead. Britain was an Isle of merchants and in the past Tartessos had traded with them. The Hibernians dwelt in the “Holy Island” (Ireland) and the Carthaginians had established colonies on Europe's Atlantic Coast.

     The word “Hebrew” (originally used almost exclusively for Israelites) comes from the root “Aber” or “Iber”. The appellation “IBERI” was at first that of the Israelite settlers. The name was later given to natives of North Africa who entered Spain as a result of Carthaginian policy. The term “Iberi” was consequently incorrectly applied to the North African newcomers. The Greeks were apparently responsible for applying the term “Iberian” to the wrong people. They transposed an already existing ethnic definition of another people known to them by that name in the Spanish area. The original “Iberi” (or Hiberi) had from Spain passed into Gaul and the British Isles and the root “Eber” (or “Iber” or “Heber”) is frequently found in the “Celtic” nomenclature of those areas. The overwhelming majority of places bearing the name Iber and its cognates are Celtic and the claim that everywhere the name is found was due to Celtic presence. The inhabitants of Britain and Ireland called themselves “Iberi” meaning Hebrews. “Iberi” is also rendered as “Hiberi”, “Ibernian”, or “Hibernian”.    Justin (44;3) said that,

    “The Gallaecians..... took possession  of those parts where New Carthage now stands and passing from thence to Gallaecia..”

    New Carthage was on the southeast coast of Spain. -Gallaecia was on the northwest. Justin is recording a tradition of migration from the southeast of Spain to Gallaecia in the northwest. “Gallaecia” was named after the Galatae who settled in Gaul and the British Isles and according to Irish and Scottish mythology arrived via Spain. They called themselves “Hiberi” or “Iberi” and are so named on Ptolemy's Map of Britain. “Galatia” is also the name given to the Celtic area of Northern Gaul often associated with the Belgae. The appellation “Galatia” (whence is derived “Gallacea”) was also rendered as Galadi. “Galadi” is the same as Galaad or Gilead which was the major area of Ancient Israel east of the Jordan and also the name of the major clan amongst the Tribe of Manasseh. The region of Baetica had once been populated by the Mastieni or Massieni and these names are forms of the Israelite “Manasseh”!  

    Ammianus Marcellinus (15;19) said that the original inhabitants of Tartessos had been called DORIANS. The Dorians in Classical literature were a branch of the Greeks but in this case the intention is to people coming via the port of Dor on the coast of Israel. Dor was the major port on the coast of Central Israel and in Assyrian times it was the name given to a province comprising the whole coastal area. Bochart using Greek and Latin sources demonstrated that the Dorians who migrated to Gades and Tartessus were descendants of a legendary “Dorus and Phoenicius” i.e. of Dorians and Phoenicians. Bochart traced them to Dor in Israel and says that originally they were identified as Galicians, i.e. Galatians. The upshot of these records is that the original Dorians of Tartessus, the first settlers of Baetica in southern Spain, and the Galatians were all essentially one and the same people and that amongst them were members of the Tribe of Manasseh. “Dor and her towns” had been part of the region inherited by the Tribe of Manasseh whose original Canaanite inhabitants at first could not be driven out but were put to tribute (Joshua 17:11-12, Judges 1:27-28). Later the area was considered Israelite. “All the region of Dor” became one of the 12 administrative districts into which the Land of Israel was divided by King Solomon  and it was governed by Abinadab who “had Taphah the daughter of Solomon to wife” (1-Kings 4:11). When the Assyrians conquered Israel they named the whole coastal region of Manasseh and Ephraim after Dor. Ptolemy records the “Menesthei Portus”, i.e. the Port of the Tribe of Manasseh in the region of the Turdulorum just to the east of Gades off the southwest coast of Spain! The port of Gibraltar is within the area most consistently connected with Tartessos and therefore was Israelite before Spain existed. Gibraltar since 1704 CE has belonged to Britain. This is not a coincidence!

     Metal produced in Baetica (in southeast Spain) was called “Samarian metal” (Pliny N.H.) after Samaria in Israel. There was also a port named “Samarium” in Galatia of northwest Spain. The Samar (Somme) River in north Gaul and neighboring city of Samarobriva (Amiens) and the Sambre River just to their north in Belgium were also named after Samaria in Israel.

     After 700 BCE southern Spain had received an influx of settlers of Phoenician culture amongst whom were the Israelite captive-settlers. This settlement became identified with Tartessos. Together with Etruscans from Italy and Phocians from Greece, Tartessus fought in the battle of Alalia (in Corsica) in ca.535 against the Carthaginians. After this encounter Tartessos is no longer heard of.
The Western Celts from Tarshish

    The Lost Ten Tribes of northern Israel who were exiled by the Assyrians had been taken mostly to the north. Only a portion was transported overseas apparently as part of Assyrian directed Phoenician re-location. Those who went to the north were re-settled in northern Mesopotamia, in the Caucasus, in what later became known as Persia, and in adjacent regions. Legends, names, inscriptions, and aspects of general history together with archaeological findings enable us to identify the Israelites in their places of exile and to deduce that they had joined with /or became identifiable as the “Celtic”-Cimmerians, Scythians, and Goths. From those northern regions of Israelite exile there is ample evidence of various groups migrating westward and settling in Spain before later moving out. Archaeological evidence from Spain indicates that the Hebrew-Phoenicians settlers of “Tartessos” in the south had received elements of Celtic culture before moving northward.

    There is in addition proof that some of the exiled Israelites at some stage reached North Africa and also from there were movements into Spain. The Celtic legends as well as claiming a Middle Eastern provenance also frequently claim to have passed through North Africa and to have had Scythian origins. These movements may have been part of the continued Assyrian policy of re-settlement. After having been exiled to one area and causing further disturbances there may have been an additional exile of Israelite elements to the west. Irish and Scottish Celtic legends state that their ancestors, the Hiberi, came from the Middle East (generally from Syria, Lebanon, or Egypt) via Gallaecia in Spain. The Scottish Declaration of Independence (1320 CE) sent to Pope John XXII “by the Scottish Estates in Parliament assembled in the Abbey of Aberbrothock under the Presidency of King Robert the Bruce,” declared that: “We know, Most Holy Father and Lord, and from the chronicles and books of the ancients gather, that among other illustrious nations, ours, to wit the nation of the Scots, has been distinguished by many honors; which passing from the greater Scythia through the Mediterranean Sea and Pillars of Hercules, and sojourning in Spain among the most savage tribes through a long course of time, could nowhere be subjugated by any people however barbarous; and coming thence one thousand two hundred years after  the outgoing of the people of Israel, they, by many victories and infinite toil, acquired for themselves the possessions in the west which they now hold..”

   The Celtic-Galatians were derived from the ancient Cimmerians and important sections of them were essentially of Israelite descent. They came overland from the Middle East via the Danube valley and absorbed Indo-European influences along the way. They invaded Spain and merged with the Hebrew elements already there. Other sources also mention Celts in southern Spain at an early date and since they were to disappear from that area and be driven northwards we may assume that the people they merged with moved with them. This assumption is confirmed by Mythology and the names of peoples and places. In the period 700-500 BCE (or somewhat later) Ireland was settled by a people who employed concentrated hill forts which usage is often associated with Celtic culture. They produced many varied bronze and gold products and had connections as far afield as Scandinavia and the East Mediterranean meaning the Greek Isles and the Syrian coast. After 600 BCE they were influenced directly by European Halstatt (“Celtic”) Civilization and from 200 BCE to 300 CE a presumably new group introduced into Ireland ring forts similar to those known in northern Portugal and Spanish Galicia. These findings parallel similar ones in Britain and are consistent with related evidence. The indications are those of migration of one group directly from the Middle East to the west some of whom reached the British Isles  almost at once while another sojourned previously in Spain before likewise continuing westward maybe in two major stages one around 500 BCE and another about 200 years afterwards.


    “La Tour d'Auvergne” (1801) quoted Dionysus who spoke of “Bretons” having in ancient times been found close to the Pillars of Hercules (Straits of Gibraltar), i.e. close to Gades and close to the probable site of Tartessos. He reports that the Gauls had once occupied a province of Lusitania (Portugal) which was called “Britonia”. Ephoros of Thyme (350 BCE) said that the Celts had ruled up to Gades. The original Hebraic “Celts” proper due to the increasing pressure left Spain moving to Gaul, Britain, and Ireland. South Britain (especially the southwestern areas of Devon and Cornwall) received “La Tene” immigrants whose type of fortification, pottery, and ornamentation are the same as those known from Spain and Portugal of that time as well as recalling those of Brittany in Gaul. The departing Celts left behind them a population of so called “Celtiberians” who were either mixed Celts and (non-Israelite North African and Spanish misnamed-) “Iberians” or Celticized natives. In Portugal, for instance, were the Lusitani whom Pliny said were Celtic and spoke Celtic but the scholar Henri Hubert considered to be native tribes in which some Celtic families had been assimilated and had come to dominate5. The remaining so-called “Celts” (if they were such) in Spain identified by Avienus in the 300s CE comprised a few poor herdsmen. After 573 BCE the east-west connection between the Phoenician settlements of Spain and the Middle East was to disappear. Brigette Treuman-Watkins reported that the Syrian-Phoenician (Israelite) settlement began some time after 750 BCE, reached a high point in the 600s and by 500 BCE seems to have disappeared and to have been abandoned6. These dates coincide with those of the Israelite exile (ca.740-720 BCE) from the land of Israel and with the appearance of the Galatae north of the Pyrenees (in Gaul and Britain) in the 500s BCE. The Galatae had been driven out of Spain by invading Carthaginians and North African natives. Whichever people had been responsible for the Assyrian-induced Israelite-Phoenician cultural presence in Spain disappeared from Spain at the same time and shared the fate of the Galatae. The Galatae were Israelite descendants of Gilead (of Manasseh) from northwest Spain who had culturally been influenced by conquerors of Cimmerian origin. The Cimmerians were also (at least in part) of Israelite origin. Irish and Scottish Celtic tradition held that their ancestors came from the Middle East, from the area of ancient Israel, and that they had sojourned in Spain and moved to the Galatian region of Spain prior to moving out.      
Roberts, in “The Brut or The Chronicles of the Kings of Briton”: (Date unknown but claimed to be “one of the oldest histories in the English language”7 :)

    “He Bartholome  the chief of the 30 ships had his name from a river of Spain called Eirinnal, on the banks of which they had lived. This chief related to the king the whole of their adventures, from the time they had arrived from Israel (Palestine) their original country, and the manner and circumstances in which their ancestors dwelt in a retired part of Spain, near Eirnia, from whence the Spaniards drove them to sea to seek another abode”.

    “They were called ‘Barclenses’, had been driven from Spain, and were roving on the seas to find a place of settlement...

    “Gwrgan(r)t....directed them go to Ireland, which at that time lay waste and uninhabited.

    It is stated expressly above that they came originally from “Israel (Palestine) their original country”. Irish and Scottish traditions recorded waves of invaders two of the most important pf whom were the People of Dana and the Goidels (Gaels) or Milesians. The People of Dana who migrated to Ireland and Britain are in another account traced to Lebanon. Nearly every legend concerning the Gaels (“Milesians”) says that their ancestors had been in Egypt at the time of the Exodus and had been linked in the eyes of the Egyptians with the Children of Israel. After leaving Egypt (the legends say) the Hiberi (also known as “Gaels”, “Goidhels”, and “Milesians”) sojourned in Spain and after being driven into the northwest of that country had sailed for Ireland. From Ireland they moved to Scotland. The legendary accounts therefore conform to the conclusions drawn above.

According to “The Book of The Conquests of Ireland” (ca.1171 CE):

    “There arose strifes and discords, quarrels and disputes between the various races of Spain and the tribe of Gaedheal, so that many battles and skirmishes were fought between them”.

George Keating (1570-1646):
    “Some historians say that it was from Biscay, that the sons of Miledh set sail for Ireland,.... because Miledh was king of Biscay after he had been driven by the overwhelming force of foreign invaders from the heart of Spain into that country, which was secure from foreign attack by its numerous forests and hills, and natural strongholds. ... Miledh having died a short time before. Her husband being thus dead, Scota came to Ireland with her children, as Spain was then a bone of contention between the natives and the many foreign tribes, who had come from the north of Europe to conquer that country” (pp.194, 195).