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

By Steven E. Sidebotham

The mythical overland silk street was once no longer the single strategy to achieve Asia for old tourists from the Mediterranean. through the Roman Empire’s heyday, both vital maritime routes reached from the Egyptian purple Sea around the Indian Ocean. the traditional urban of Berenike, situated 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 town performed within the neighborhood, neighborhood, and “global” economies in the course of the 8 centuries of its life. Sidebotham analyzes a number of the artifacts, botanical and faunal is still, and thousands of the texts he and his crew present in excavations, supplying 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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Extra resources for Berenike and the Ancient Maritime Spice Route

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68 Finally, Giovanni Belzoni “discovered” the remains of Berenike in 1818. 69 Throughout the remainder of the nineteenth century, western travelers journeyed to Berenike. These included J. G. Wilkinson, who in 1826 drew the first plan of the site. 70 Nineteenth-century visitors, following Belzoni’s and Wilkinson’s accounts, were attracted to the highest point of the city, the location of the most famous building in Berenike: a temple dedicated to Serapis and several other Egyptian gods. This is the edifice that Belzoni sketched in 1818.

Pliny clearly had more information available to him than did Strabo several decades earlier. Berenike figured as an important Red Sea trade port in Pliny’s writings, as it had in Strabo’s. e. e. 57 By using the monsoons, westerners could sail across open water in the Indian Ocean and avoid the time-consuming coast-hugging navigation that they had used previously to reach South Asia; such bold undertakings, however, were substantially more dangerous. These Hippalus winds also facilitated voyages down Africa’s Indian Ocean coast.

Authors and the archaeological record at Berenike and elsewhere show: this was a peak period of contact between eastern lands and the Mediterranean basin, and Berenike was an important player in these economic and cultural exchanges. 53 Seneca’s sources were two Roman centurions who accompanied the exploratory effort. The purpose of this reconnaissance remains unknown, but economic motives may have been considered. 54 He provides a long account of merchandise that Romans acquired from India, Arabia, and elsewhere, and notes what those peoples wanted in return from the Mediterranean world.

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