Roman Foodprints at Berenike: Archaeobotanical Evidence of Subsistence and Trade in the Eastern Desert of Egypt
During the Graeco-Roman period, Berenike served as a gateway to the outside world together with Myos Hormos. Commodities were imported from Africa south of the Sahara, Arabia, and India into the Greek and Roman Empire, the importance of both harbors evidenced by several contemporary sources. Between 1994 and 2002, eight excavation seasons were conducted at Berenike by the University of Delaware and Leiden University, the Netherlands. This book presents the results of the archaeobotanical research of the Roman deposits. It is shown that the study of a transit port such as Berenike, located at the southeastern fringe of the Roman Empire, is highly effective in producing new information on the import of all kinds of luxury items. In addition to the huge quantities of black pepper, plant remains of more than 60 cultivated plant species could be evidenced, several of them for the first time in an archaeobotanical context. For each plant species detailed information on its (possible) origin, its use, its preservation qualities, and the Egyptian subfossil record is provided. The interpretation of the cultivated plants, including the possibilities of cultivation in Berenike proper, is supported by ethnoarchaeobotanical research that has been conducted over the years. The reconstruction of the former environment is based on the many wild plant species that were found in Berenike and the study of the present desert vegetation.
Other editions - View all
Ababda Acacia According Adansonia digitata Africa animals Arabic archaeobotanical barley bean become Berenike and Shenshef branches Cappers centuries coast coastal coconut Color commodities concern considered consists contain covered cultivated desiccated distribution dried early easily East Eastern Desert Egypt Egyptian endocarp English example excavations Figure flowers fragments fruits gardens Gebel Elba grows harvested Hyphaene identification imported India indicate kinds leaves located Mediterranean mentioned Nile Valley nomads obtained offered olive origin Pauptit pepper peppercorns period Periplus Photograph plant plant species Pliny plum possible present Preservation probably reason recorded Red Sea relatively remains result rice Roman samples seeds side sorghum sources species specimens spice stone subfossil suggested supply surface tion trade transport tree Trench/midden vegetation Wadi whereas whole wild wood