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.
Maritime Archaeology at the Ptolemaic-Roman Red Sea Port of Berenike
Prof. Steven Edward Sidebotham
Berenike was a principal player in the “Old World” global economy as an important nexus for commercial and cultural exchanges between the Mediterranean world on the one hand and the Red Sea-Indian Ocean littorals on the other. The preponderance of the evidence excavated since 1994 suggests that Berenike functioned from the third century BC until sometime before the mid-sixth century AD. Some inscriptions in hieroglyphs found this season may indicate, however, much earlier activity at the site. Click on the link to view the full report….