The DaVinci Code, Black Athena, and Phoenicians

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LOS ANGELES, CA - June 26 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) -- "The DaVinci Code" taps into people's deeply-held suspicion of authorities. This echoes the real-life controversy described in "Black Athena": has bias led authorities to conceal the actual origin of Greek society and Western civilization? This widely-debated issue may finally have been resolved by the landmark paper presented to the World History Association on June 24, 2006 by Sanford Holst, the world's leading expert on the Phoenicians. Our view of race and diversity may never be the same. (

Almost twenty years ago Martin Bernal's "Black Athena" stunned the academic world by presenting clear proof of racial and cultural bias in that community against Black and Semitic people. It suggested this bias had buried those peoples' valuable contributions to the rise of what has been called Greek civilization. That excluded the Phoenicians and Egyptians from many parts of history.

*(Photo caption: book jacket for "Phoenicians: Lebanon's Epic Heritage")

The presentation by Holst was met with energetic applause from a standing-room-only audience. He revealed in detail how Minoan architecture, arts, commerce and government were strongly shaped by the Phoenicians from the Near East (Asia) and the Egyptians from Africa. Some of our most cherished institutions today, including democracy and the ability to read and write with a simple alphabet, can be traced to these non-European sources.

The line of proof discussed by Holst at WHA was foreshadowed by his earlier book "Phoenicians: Lebanon's Epic Heritage." While written as a popular work for the general public, it nevertheless revealed the rise of the beautiful Minoan society on Crete which has been widely acknowledged as the fore-runner of classical Greek society. His current paper showed the clear debt of Minoans to the Phoenician people who preceded them, supported by evidence drawn from over 30 sources. The wealth of archaeological and historical information he added to this discussion clearly ended the pure-European view of Western civilization.

Holst concluded, "Diversity was present at the beginning of our civilization, and should be a natural part of our society today."

The complete paper and sources are available at "The DaVinci Code" is by Dan Brown.

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