We are often toldthat the Phoenicians invented the alphabet. Regardless of who putpen to papyrus to create it, the Phoenician contribution wasnone-the-less major and critical. They were the major sea-tradersof the Mediterranean, and they went everywhere. When thePhoenicians began using the alphabet as a simple and easy way tokeep track of their trades, it was exposed to everyone. Also theyshow the other countries that ships could travel around the globetrading important commodities. Phoenician mariners sailed toMediterranean and southwestern European ports. The Phoenicians werethe great merchants of ancient times. They sold rich treasures frommany lands.