From the Roman Red Sea to beyond the Empire: Egyptian ports and their trading partners

The strategic importance of Egypt’s Red Sea is apparent throughout history and no more so than during the Roman period following Egypt’s annexation by Augustus in 30 BC. The most extensive evidence is provided by the recent excavations at Myos Hormos (Quseir al-Qadim) and Berenike (Berenice). Both sites produced finds of diverse origin and material­­­­­­from pottery to archaeobotanical remains and texts­­that clearly attest to their function as transhipment centres that facilitated goods from West and East, within and beyond the Empire. This paper will focus on the range of foreign goods and geographic connections from outside the Roman Empire and highlight corresponding trade sites in East Africa (Ras Hafun), Arabia (Qana’, Khor Rori) and India (Hathab, Pattanam, Arikamedu, Alagankulam) whose connection with the Red Sea is particularly visible through pottery.

From the Roman Red Sea to beyond the Empire: Egyptian ports and their trading partners

To reference this article we suggest:

Tomber, Roberta. 2012. From the Roman Red Sea to beyond the Empire: Egyptian ports and their trading partners. BMSAES 18: 201–215. http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/publications/online_journals/bmsaes/issue_18/tomber.aspx

Contact the author
rtomber@britishmuseum.org