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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, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 26 June 2022

Pre-Roman Infrastructure in the Eastern Desert

Pre-Roman Infrastructure in the Eastern Desert

(p.21) 3 Pre-Roman Infrastructure in the Eastern Desert
Berenike and the Ancient Maritime Spice Route

Steven E. Sidebotham

University of California Press

The most convenient routes that passed by or led to the purest and most dependable water sources, optimal hunting grounds, most desirable places to live, and best sources of usable stone were discovered by early travelers and residents in the Eastern Desert. The Wadi Hammamat inscriptions bear witness to pre-Ptolemaic maritime expeditions. Examples of possible pre-Ptolemaic desert roads are addressed. Donkeys were the primary pack animals used before the Ptolemaic period. As they undoubtedly did for road building, quarrying, and mining activities in the Eastern Desert, the Ptolemies and Romans most likely took Pharaonic practices as their model for water-resource acquisition and management as well. The Ptolemaic approach to dealing with roads, forts, and patrols may have differed from the Roman military's handling of affairs, certainly in the size and scope of their desert operations.

Keywords:   Eastern Desert, Wadi Hammamat inscriptions, desert roads, road building, quarrying, mining, Ptolemies, Romans

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