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Phoenicia is an ancient nation that existed on the east coast of the Mediterranean in approximately what is now Lebanon and northern Israel. Its chief cities included Tyre, Sidon, and Joppa (now Tel Aviv). The Phoenicians spoke a Semitic language and invented an alphabetic script that is the basis for Hebrew, Greek, and all Western alphabets. They were famous as seafarers and traders, and founded colonies all over the Mediterranean, including Carthage in what is now Tunisia.