Download At Empire's Edge: Exploring Rome's Egyptian Frontier by Robert B. Jackson PDF

By Robert B. Jackson

While Egypt grew to become a province of the Roman Empire in 30 BC after the deaths of Antony and Cleopatra, its significant and mysterious frontier lands had an enormous influence at the trade, politics and tradition of the empire. This account - half background and half gazetteer -focuses on Rome's Egyptian frontier, describing the traditional fortresses, temples, settlements, quarries and aqueducts scattered during the zone and conveying a feeling of what lifestyles used to be like for its population. Robert Jackson has journeyed, through jeep and strolling, to almost each recognized Roman web site within the quarter, from Siwa Oasis, forty five kilometers from the trendy Libyan border, to the Sudan. Drawing on either archaeological and ancient info, he discusses those websites, explaining how Rome extracted unique stone and invaluable metals from the mountains of the japanese wilderness, channelled the wealth of India and East Africa during the wasteland through ports at the pink Sea, built and manned fortresses within the far-off oases of the Western wasteland, and facilitated the growth of agricultural groups within the wasteland that finally skilled the earliest large-scale conversions to Christianity in Egypt. Illustrated with many photos, the quantity can be beneficial to archaeologists, classicists, and visitors to the area.

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The southern wall is most heavily damaged and almost entirely collapsed. From the station, the road changes into a narrow footpath that zigzags its way to the top of the ravine. Because of the loose scree, the footing is treacherous and at times the path is almost completely obscured. At the top of the pass are the remains of a small Roman-era building that must have served as a guard post or administrative station. qxd 1/30/02 5:16 PM Page 29 THE HILLS OF SMOKE other (Qg. 17). It is another two-hour walk down the ravine into Wadi Abu Ma’amel.

But thousands of years before the Romans came, much of the Eastern Desert was a savanna woodland that must have supported a great variety of wildlife. While it seems there was slightly more perennial vegetation in the Eastern Desert during the Roman period than there is today, the amount of rainfall was about the same, and descriptions of that time indicate that the desert was still regarded as barren. D. ’”31 The Romans are partially responsible for today’s dearth of plant and animal life. Their large, concentrated presence for four hundred years in a fragile desert ecosystem must have had a devastating e=ect.

Once at the bottom of the ramps, the stone was still 140 kilometers from the Nile River, 700 kilometers from Alexandria, and 2,500 kilometers from Rome. This longer journey began as the quarried porphyry was pulled on rollers or carts past the fortress, temples, and wells of Wadi Ma’amel and proceeded north until the wadi intersected with eastward-Rowing Wadi Umm Sidri (see map 2). This was the only viable route out of the Gebel Dokhan area. Today, Wadi Abu Ma’amel is strewn with Qfteen hundred years’ worth of stone debris cast down from the mountains by countless Roods.

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