Berenike and the Ancient Maritime Spice Route
The legendary overland silk road was not the only way to reach Asia for ancient travelers from the Mediterranean. During the Roman Empire’s heyday, equally important maritime routes reached from the Egyptian Red Sea across the Indian Ocean. The ancient city of Berenike, located approximately 500 miles south of today’s Suez Canal, was a significant port among these conduits. In this book, Steven E. Sidebotham, the archaeologist who excavated Berenike, uncovers the role the city played in the regional, local, and “global” economies during the eight centuries of its existence. Sidebotham analyzes many of the artifacts, botanical and faunal remains, and hundreds of the texts he and his team found in excavations, providing a profoundly intimate glimpse of the people who lived, worked, and died in this emporium between the classical Mediterranean world and Asia.
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Chapter 2 Geography Climate Ancient Authors and Modern Visitors
Chapter 3 PreRoman Infrastructure in the Eastern Desert
Chapter 4 Ptolemaic DiplomaticMilitaryCommercial Activities
Chapter 5 Ptolemaic and Early Roman Berenike and Environs
Chapter 6 Inhabitants of Berenike in Roman Times
Chapter 7 Water in the Desert and the Ports
Chapter 8 NileRed Sea Roads
Chapter 9 Other Emporia
Abu Sha’ar Africa amphoras ancient animals Apollonopolis Magna archaeological areas Axumite Bagnall Berenike Berenike’s Bernand Bülow-Jacobsen camel Cappers Casson chapter cisterns Claudius Ptolemy coins commerce Cuvigny earlier early Roman period east Eastern Desert Egypt Egyptian elephants evidence ﬁfth century ﬁg ﬁgure ﬁnds ﬁrst century c.e. grafﬁti harbor Harrell Hydreuma identiﬁed important India Indian Ocean indicate inscription Klemm Koptos late Roman Maxﬁeld Mediterranean military Mons Claudianus Muziris Myos Hormos Nabataean Nile valley ofﬁcial ostraka Palmyrene Peacock perhaps Periplus Peutinger Table Photo by S.E.Sidebotham Pliny the Elder pottery praesidia praesidium proﬁts Ptolemaic quarries Red Sea coast Red Sea ports Reddé reﬂects region reign Roman-era routes sailing Scullard second century c.e. Serapis Serapis temple settlement ships Sidebotham 1986 Sidebotham 2000b Sidebotham and Wendrich Sidebotham and Zitterkopf stations stone Strabo suggests tion Tomber trade trafﬁc transport trash dump travelers Wadi Wadi Hammamat