Tarshish in Spain
1. Phoenicians, Greeks and Egyptian Soldiers in Assyrian Employ
The Etruscans, Phoenicians and Tartessos by Andrew Selkirk
And then there were the Phoenicians who are a story in two parts. The story begins in the late Bronze Age when the peoples of Tyre and Sidon were great seafarers, but in the eighth century they were swallowed up by the Assyrians but managed to achieve semi independence providing they supplied the Assyrians with the metals they needed - copper and silver.
Phoenican art: silver bowl from Amathus
Silver bowl from Amathus in Cyprus, 8th - 7th century BC, now in the British Museum. The decoration shows an extraordinary blend of styles. The outermost frieze shows to the right Assyrian archers and Greek soldiers with their round hoplite shields attacking a city, while to the left, Egyptian soldiers climb ladders up the walls and other Egyptians cut down trees with Aegean double axes.
So first they went to Cyprus, then called in on the Greeks where they brought about an 'Orientalising[' phase, then on to Sardinia and eventually to Spain where they found lots and lots of copper and more particularly silver which is what the Assyrians really wanted. And in the course of their exploration, they also founded at Carthage and when Tyre began to decline in the fifth century, Carthage took its place and we come on to the Phoenicians, part two.
And then we come to Tartessos, in Spain, .... Tartessos sprang up along the River Guadalquivir where there are great deposits of copper and silver - it is known as the Rio Tinto, the red river. A great civilization sprang up called Tartessos which exported the valuable metals through Phoenician trading stations along the coast, and everyone grew rich on the trade. But then the Assyrians were conquered by the Medes and Persians and the Medes were not interested in silver, so the trade collapsed and so did Tartessos.