Catalogue


Berenike and the ancient maritime spice route [electronic resource] /
Steven E. Sidebotham.
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, c2011.
description
xvii, 433 p. : ill. ; 26 cm.
ISBN
9780520244306 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, c2011.
isbn
9780520244306 (cloth : alk. paper)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
contents note
Geography, climate, ancient authors, and modern visitors -- Pre-Roman infrastructure in the Eastern Desert -- Ptolemaic diplomatic-military-commercial activities -- Ptolemaic and early Roman Berenike and environs -- Inhabitants of Berenike in Roman times -- Water in the desert and the ports -- Nile/Red Sea roads -- Other emporia -- Merchant ships -- Commercial networks and trade costs -- Trade in Roman Berenike -- Late Roman Berenike and its demise.
catalogue key
8410167
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 355-423) and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"For almost a millennium, from its foundation in the third century BCE to late antiquity, the Red Sea port of Berenike was a key part of the sea route that linked the Mediterranean to South Asia. The excavations conducted by Professor Sidebotham and his international team have provided unprecedented detail about the urban history of Berenike, the lives of its inhabitants, its role in the spice trade, and the products that passed through its port. Berenike and the Ancient Maritime Spice Route is a major contribution to world historical scholarship that will fundamentally change our understanding of ancient trade in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean." --Stanley M. Burstein, California State University, Los Angeles "With singular focus and an indefatigable spirit, Sidebotham has pursued the remote and difficult site of Berenike. After ten excavation seasons, only a portion of the site has been excavated, but the dividends have been magnificent, yielding exciting new archeological evidence that illuminates the flourishing maritime sea trade in antiquity beyond any reasonable expectation. Sidebotham places Bernike in the larger contextual framework and considers it from every possible angle, including the transportation lattice that connected Berenike with the Nile, its relations with other emporia, the merchant ships used, the exotic trade items it received, and a fascinating explanation of the demise of Berenike and 'global' trade in the sixth century. This engrossing analysis is destined to become the standard source for all who are interested in the international trade of antiquity." --David F. Graf, author of Rome and the Arabian Frontier: from the Nabataeans to the Saracens
Flap Copy
"For almost a millennium, from its foundation in the third century BCE to late antiquity, the Red Sea port of Berenike was a key part of the sea route that linked the Mediterranean to South Asia. The excavations conducted by Professor Sidebotham and his international team have provided unprecedented detail about the urban history of Berenike, the lives of its inhabitants, its role in the spice trade, and the products that passed through its port. Berenike and the Ancient Maritime Spice Route is a major contribution to world historical scholarship that will fundamentally change our understanding of ancient trade in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean." Stanley M. Burstein, California State University, Los Angeles "With singular focus and an indefatigable spirit, Sidebotham has pursued the remote and difficult site of Berenike. After ten excavation seasons, only a portion of the site has been excavated, but the dividends have been magnificent, yielding exciting new archeological evidence that illuminates the flourishing maritime sea trade in antiquity beyond any reasonable expectation. Sidebotham places Bernike in the larger contextual framework and considers it from every possible angle, including the transportation lattice that connected Berenike with the Nile, its relations with other emporia, the merchant ships used, the exotic trade items it received, and a fascinating explanation of the demise of Berenike and 'global' trade in the sixth century. This engrossing analysis is destined to become the standard source for all who are interested in the international trade of antiquity." David F. Graf, author of Rome and the Arabian Frontier: from the Nabataeans to the Saracens.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2011-11-01:
This brilliant combination of scientific archaeological field reports, analysis of ancient historical texts and geography, and straightforward, familiar style have produced an accessible, interesting study of globalization in the ancient Mediterranean and Indian Ocean. Historian and archaeologist Sidebotham (Univ. of Delaware) excavated the port of Berenike on Egypt's Red Sea coast from 1994 to 2001 and 2009 to 2010. Egyptians, other Mediterraneans, Axumites, Indians, Arabs, and Sinhalese visited and lived in Berenike, as Roman historians, ostraca, papyri, and other artifacts found in trash dumps indicate. Spices (particularly black pepper), beans, sesame, timber, and cloth arrived from India; glass and Roman money left. Roads from Berenike linked the Red Sea with the Nile, facilitating the transport by donkeys and by Nile boats of goods from India to the Mediterranean from Ptolemaic times in the fourth century BCE through Roman times in the sixth century CE. This route complemented the land-based silk route to the north. Meticulous documentation and bibliography placed at the end of the book do not intrude in a story all the more amazing because only 2 percent of the surface area has been excavated. Summing Up: Essential. All levels/libraries. B. Weinstein emeritus, Howard University
Reviews
Review Quotes
"[A] fascinating story."
"[A] fascinating story."-- Times Literary Supplement (Tls)
"A remarkably detailed picture of the Egyptian business world along the Red Sea and Indian coast. . . . Many historians will be grateful."
"A remarkably detailed picture of the Egyptian business world along the Red Sea and Indian coast. . . . Many historians will be grateful."-- Bryn Mawr Classical Review (Bmcr)
"Sidebotham tells the fascinating story of how this isolated harbour site owed its existence to long-range commerce."
"Sidebotham tells the fascinating story of how this isolated harbour site owed its existence to long-range commerce."-- Times Higher Education
"The detail of data is remarkable, and one is left with excellent understanding of life in this remote city."
"The detail of data is remarkable, and one is left with excellent understanding of life in this remote city."-- American Journal of Archaeology
"The detail of data is remarkable, and one is left with excellent understanding of life in this remote city."-- American Jrnl of Archaeology
"This highly readable, indeed exciting, book explores numerous aspects of ancient Berenike."
"This highly readable, indeed exciting, book explores numerous aspects of ancient Berenike."-- American Journal of Archaeology
"This highly readable, indeed exciting, book explores numerous aspects of ancient Berenike."-- American Jrnl of Archaeology
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, November 2011
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
In this book, Sidebotham, the archaeologist who excavated Berenike, uncovers the role the city played in the regional, local, and 'global' economies during the eight centuries of its existence.
Main Description
The legendary overland silk road was not the only way to reach Asia for ancient travelers from the Mediterranean. During the Roman Empire's heyday, equally important maritime routes reached from the Egyptian Red Sea across the Indian Ocean. The ancient city of Berenike, located approximately 500 miles south of today's Suez Canal, was a significant port among these conduits. In this book, Steven E. Sidebotham, the archaeologist who excavated Berenike, uncovers the role the city played in the regional, local, and "global" economies during the eight centuries of its existence. Sidebotham analyzes many of the artifacts, botanical and faunal remains, and hundreds of the texts he and his team found in excavations, providing a profoundly intimate glimpse of the people who lived, worked, and died in this emporium between the classical Mediterranean world and Asia.
Table of Contents
List of Figures
Preface and Acknowledgments
List of Abbreviations
Introduction
Geography, Climate, Ancient Authors, and Modern Visitors
Pre-Roman Infrastructure in the Eastern Desert
Ptolemaic Diplomatic-Military-Commercial Activities
Ptolemaic and Early Roman Berenike and Environs
Inhabitants of Berenike in Roman Times
Water in the Desert and the Ports
Nile-Red Sea Roads
Other Emporia
Merchant Ships
Commercial Networks and Trade Costs
Trade in Roman Berenike
Late Roman Berenike and Its Demise
Notes
Bibliography
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem