The Phoenicians were highly skilled sailors. They got such reputation improving the nautical technique, choosing sea itineraries the other populations didn’t use to sail and which connected the Mediterranean islands: Cyprus, Crete, Malta, Pantelleria, Sicily, Sardinia, Baleares. They were even able to sail during the night under the guide of the Little Bear (The Polaris), which, meaningfully, the Greeks used to call “Phoenician star”.
Alternatively, ships sailed along the north Africa and at fixed distances (corresponding to about one sailing day) along the Mediterranean coastline, they chose some ports (which in the course of the time were turned into colonies): they were essential supporting landingplaces for a safe navigation.
Two types of boat were very popular: a war type, with the bent poop and the ram on the surface of the water; a trade type, with both raised ends and very wide sides able to load in great quantities of any kind of goods (cereals, wood, fabric, marbles, spices ).
The exchanges and the contacts among so different populations from each other had a fundamental role in East and West mutual cultural and artistic influences, while the endless search of new markets and of sources of raw materials fostered exceptional exploration travels, such as Africa circumnavigation (end VII – beginning VI century BC) and the Carthagianian Annone’s expedition to the Atlantic (VI-V century BC). Imilcone got as far as the Cassiteriti Islands (Scilly) and the North Sea. The debate on the Phoenician findings in Brazil and in North America is still animated.