Berenike: An Ancient Red Sea Port

The Ptolemaic-Roman (3rd c. BC-6th c. AD) Egyptian Red Sea port of Berenike was a pivotal nexus in the network linking Europe, Africa and Asia and the Mediterranean world via the Red Sea/Indian Ocean basin. Maritime and terrestrial routes met at Berenike to transfer products, people and ideas across continents. Excavated finds indicate maritime contacts as far west as the western Mediterranean on the one hand and the Indian Ocean coast of Africa, southern Arabia and south Asia (India and Sri Lanka), on the other, on a regular basis for centuries. We also have evidence of contacts as far east as Java. Excavations have recorded fragments of ships that transported peoples and cargoes. These remains indicate techniques and materials used for their construction.

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