The Ancients / Berenike and the Red Sea Spice Route

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Episode notes

Situated on the western coast of the Red Sea in antiquity were a series of thriving seaports, bringing in trade from as far as way as Sir Lanka. Key mercantile centres, where goods made in Iberia could theoretically have been sold alongside items crafted thousands of miles to the east, in South East Asia. Of these seaports, one of the most remarkable has to be Berenike, a thriving cosmopolitan trading centre, first for the Hellenistic Ptolemaic Kingdom and later for Imperial Rome. To talk through the site’s extraordinary archaeology we were delighted to be joined by Professor Steven Sidebotham from the University of Deleware. Steve has been leading excavations at the site for several years and in this podcast he highlights why Berenike is one of the most exciting archaeological locations anywhere in the World.   


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