The 2002 Joint Expedition of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology and the Centro Nacional de Arqueologia Náutica e Subaquática examined Phoenician maritime involvement in Portugal, combining archaeological, geological and geophysical surveys of former coastal sites-Santa Olaia, Abul and Castro Marim-where previous excavations have uncovered Phoenician remains. Significant geomorphic evolution of bay-head delta and estuarine settings masks the fact that Phoenician sites were situated at the head of marine embayments or on estuary margins, had easy access to the sea, and immediate access to at least one natural anchorage. All sites exhibited topographical criteria familiar from Phoenician trading-stations and merchant outposts in the Mediterranean. © 2009 The Authors. Journal Compilation © 2009 Nautical Archaeology Society.