Ampelome/Ampelone was likely founded by Ptolemy II along the Arabian Red Sea coast. Leuke Kome played a key role in maritime commerce and overland caravan trade passing en route to Petra. Aila had much commercial interaction with areas in the Indian Ocean. Evidence suggests that the canal was not used perennially, but functioned only during the Nile's inundation season—from sometime in September to December/January. Other early Roman ports addressed include Abu Sha'ar, Philoteras, Myos Hormos, Marsa Nakari, Ptolemais (Epi)Theron, Adulis, the Farasan islands, Opônê, Kané, Moscha Limen, and Socotra. Pliny writes that sailing times from the northern Red Sea emporia like Berenike to southern Arabian ports such as Qana' were about thirty days. Even the written sources reveal only a fraction of what could be learned about commercial and governmental activities in the last centuries B.C.E.
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