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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: 21 September 2021

Water in the Desert and the Ports

Water in the Desert and the Ports

(p.87) 7 Water in the Desert and the Ports
Berenike and the Ancient Maritime Spice Route

Steven E. Sidebotham

University of California Press

Methods used for water acquisition, storage, protection, and distribution in Ptolemaic and Roman times in the Eastern Desert were undoubtedly similar to those employed in the Pharaonic era. Water was important in human living or traveling through the Eastern Desert. The primary transport and pack animals used in the Eastern Desert in Ptolemaic and Roman times were donkeys and camels. There are several sources for acquiring surface-water runoff and subsurface water in the Eastern Desert; these two sources of water are discussed. Conduits were used for water acquisition and distribution. The desert cultivation was probably widespread in antiquity in the region. Most of the water management at road installations was the responsibility of the military in the Ptolemaic and Roman periods. There must have been a large upsurge in water usage at the mines and quarries in the Eastern Desert, especially in the early Roman period and again in late Roman times.

Keywords:   water acquisition, storage, protection, distribution, Ptolemaic period, Roman period, Eastern Desert, ports

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