Late Roman Berenike and Its Demise

Steven E. Sidebotham

in Berenike and the Ancient Maritime Spice Route

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780520244306
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948389 | DOI:
Late Roman Berenike and Its Demise

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Excavations recorded pottery and a few coins dating from about the middle of the third century, indicating that Berenike had not been completely abandoned at that time. The size of the buildings and the layout of the streets provide some idea of the function of different parts of the community. Berenike offers a unique opportunity to study cult practices of the late Roman period. Analysis of many ecofacts and artifacts excavated at Berenike indicates a robust trade with other areas of the Red Sea and Indian Ocean. Many objects reflective of long-distance maritime commerce for a large import market or for personal use by residents appear in late Roman contexts at Berenike. There was no single cause for the port's demise; rather, its end was likely due to a combination of factors. Berenike was not overwhelmed by some sudden catastrophe but died a slow and natural death.

Keywords: Berenike; late Roman period; demise; port; trade; Red Sea; Indian Ocean

Chapter.  11599 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical History

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