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""show more