Blood On The Altar

Did the ancient Phoenician civilization practice rituals of human sacrifices? Blood on the altar takes a look a the archaeological and historical evidence on whether the Phoenicians killed children to appease their gods.

The Phoenicians are said to have invented the alphabet, sea-faring navigation and the introduction of wine to Europe. But after the sacking of Carthage by the Romans in 146BC and the destruction of their famous library, the world was left with very little evidence of Phoenician life and culture.

To the Greeks and Romans, the Phoenicians were described as a people of unscrupulous profiteers, grubby merchants – and worse. They were seen as a morally corrupt race who forcibly prostituted their daughters in sacred rituals and killed their own young in an attempt to win over their violent gods.

But digging through history, there seems to be more to the story. Were the Phoenicians truly evil or victims of a vicious propaganda campaign?

Blood On The Altar
  • Info
  • Release date2000
  • Full runtime
  • Director(s)Jill Marshall
  • Part of the seriesSecrets of the Dead
  • Production companyPBS