Archaeology

Berenike and the Ancient Maritime Spice Route by Steven E. Sidebotham

By Steven E. Sidebotham

The mythical overland silk street was once now not the one option to achieve Asia for old tourists from the Mediterranean. in the course of the Roman Empire’s heyday, both vital maritime routes reached from the Egyptian purple Sea around the Indian Ocean. the traditional urban of Berenike, positioned nearly 500 miles south of today’s Suez Canal, used to be an important port between those conduits. during this e-book, Steven E. Sidebotham, the archaeologist who excavated Berenike, uncovers the position the town performed within the nearby, neighborhood, and “global” economies in the course of the 8 centuries of its life. Sidebotham analyzes the various artifacts, botanical and faunal is still, and countless numbers of the texts he and his crew present in excavations, offering a profoundly intimate glimpse of the folk who lived, labored, and died during this emporium among the classical Mediterranean global and Asia.

Retail caliber, problably simply got rid of the DRM.

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There was no cell-phone communication in this part of Egypt at that time, nor was there fax or e-mail access. Only in a dire emergency did officers at the nearby Egyptian military base allow us to use their phones. Despite logistical problems, chronic financial shortages, the intemperate climate, and poor living conditions, conducting research at Berenike offers a wealth of information to those willing to excavate, study, and live there. Problems that kept earlier visitors from working for extended periods at Berenike also protected the site from later redevelopment, with the exception of some minor and superficial damage done by bulldozers or frontend loaders to parts of the mound in the early 1970s.

Some cleared sections of the Gebel Qatrani roads46 closely resemble those of Roman date that can be seen all over the Eastern Desert (see chapter 8). To understand better the courage and logistics it took either to cross the desert to reach the harbors on the Red Sea shore, or to provide for a large party working the quarries and mines, it should be noted that the primary pack animals used before the Ptolemaic period were donkeys. Donkeys have an incredible resilience but must drink at regular intervals.

35 Hatshepsut’s expedition passed across the Eastern Desert along one of the established routes, but which one remains a mystery. 38 In addition to its copper-smelting activities, the site lay at the end of a route from Memphis to the Red Sea coast with links to copper-mining operations in Sinai at Serabit al-Khadim. In more northerly reaches of the Eastern Desert, in Wadi Umm Balad, and in Sinai, copper mining took place. 42 Tin was a critical component mixed with copper to manufacture bronze, the most widely made and used metal in this period.

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