I would like to inform members of the list about this new book by a small publisher.
Consumption, Trade and Innovation. Exploring the Botanical Remains
from the Roman and Islamic Ports at Quseir al-Qadim, Egypt
Marijke van der Veen
Journal of African Archaeology Monograph Series Volume 6
Africa Magna Verlag, Frankfurt a.M., xiv + 314 pp., 104 figures b/w,
16 colour plates, 42 tables, 17 appendices, index. Mar 2011. ISBN:
978-3-937248-23-3. EUR 69.8 (hardcover), incl. tax
Quseir al-Qadim acted as a transhipment port in the Indian Ocean spice
trade during both the Roman and medieval Islamic periods. It is
located on the Red Sea coast of Egypt and was active between ca. AD
1–250 (Myos Hormos) and again during ca. AD 1050–1500 (Qusayr). The
food remains discovered at the port of Quseir al-Qadim offer important
information about the ancient spice trade and the food practices of
those engaged in this trade.
This monograph describes the analysis and interpretation of the
botanical remains (foodstuffs, wood) recovered during the excavations
that took place between 1999–2003, conducted by the University of
Southampton, UK. The spectacular preservation conditions at Quseir
al-Qadim meant that food remains and wood were found in abundance,
including fragments of onion skin, citrus rind, garlic cloves,
aubergine seeds, banana skins, wooden bowls, spoons and combs, as well
as many of the Eastern spices traded through the port, such as black
pepper, ginger, cardamom and betelnut.
The results provide significant new evidence for the Eastern trade and for
the changes in agriculture that indirectly resulted from it. They also
allow real insights into the lives of those working in the ports. They
show the changes in the nature and scale of the Indian Ocean trade
between the Roman and Islamic periods, as well as a major shift in the
way the inhabitants of the ports saw themselves and located themselves
in the wider world.
Editor, Index Islamicus
Thornhaugh St, Russell Sq.
LONDON WC1H 0XG