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Title: A Lot of Pepper and a Little Garum
Subtitle: An Archaeological Comparison of the Roman Presence at Berenike and Arikamedu
Author(s): VAN AERDE, Marike , ZAMPIERIN, Daniele
Journal: Ancient West & East
Volume: 19    Date: 2020   
Pages: 145-166
DOI: 10.2143/AWE.19.0.3288562

Abstract :
This paper investigates, by means of comprehensively comparing two archaeological datasets and related ancient textual sources, what differences and/or similarities can be observed about the Roman presence and participation in trade exchanges at the ports of Berenike (Egypt) and Arikamedu (India) during the 1st-2nd centuries AD. These findings are then used to raise new points of discussion concerning patterns of exchange and connectivity across the Indian Ocean, and the role of Rome within these processes. Rather than offering a basic comparison of two individual ports, this study takes a bottom-up approach to all currently available evidence from both sites, on which its wider interpretations are subsequently based. Main interpretative aspects include the geography, infrastructure and economic contexts of the port sites, and a second point of focus pertains the possible connections between the archaeological materials of ancient Tamil provenance at both sites.

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