PhoeniciaPhoenicia - Famous for their maritime skill, the Phoenicians were a Semitic people who lived along the east coast of the Mediterranean. They became sailors very early and virtually monopolized the sea with their ships during the Bronze Age. As a result, they became both great traders and colonizers, and built great cities such as Tyre, Sidon and Byblos. The ship they sailed and invented was the bireme, a galley named for its two rows of oars along its sides.