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Berenike and the Ancient Maritime Spice Route$
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Steven Sidebotham

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780520244306

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520244306.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 24 September 2021

Late Roman Berenike and Its Demise

Late Roman Berenike and Its Demise

(p.259) 13 Late Roman Berenike and Its Demise
Berenike and the Ancient Maritime Spice Route

Steven E. Sidebotham

University of California Press

Excavations recorded pottery and a few coins dating from about the middle of the third century, indicating that Berenike had not been completely abandoned at that time. The size of the buildings and the layout of the streets provide some idea of the function of different parts of the community. Berenike offers a unique opportunity to study cult practices of the late Roman period. Analysis of many ecofacts and artifacts excavated at Berenike indicates a robust trade with other areas of the Red Sea and Indian Ocean. Many objects reflective of long-distance maritime commerce for a large import market or for personal use by residents appear in late Roman contexts at Berenike. There was no single cause for the port's demise; rather, its end was likely due to a combination of factors. Berenike was not overwhelmed by some sudden catastrophe but died a slow and natural death.

Keywords:   Berenike, late Roman period, demise, port, trade, Red Sea, Indian Ocean

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