Check out these 40 maps done by Max Fisher for understanding the Middle East — its history, its present, and some of the most important stories in the region today. I found the above map interesting, showing how ancient Phoenicians spread from Lebanon across the Mediterranean. There’s also a map showing the Israeli and Hezbollah strikes in the 2006 Lebanon War.
The Phoenicians, who lived in present-day Lebanon and coastal Syria, were pretty awesome. From about 1500 to 300 BC, they ran some of the Mediterranean’s first big trading networks, shown in red, and dominated the sea along with the Greeks, who are shown in brown. Some sailed as far as the British Isles, and many of them set up colonies in North Africa, Spain, Sicily, and Sardinia. This was one of the first of many close cultural links between the Middle East and North Africa – and why Libya’s capital, Tripoli, still bears the name of the ancient Phoenician colony that established it.