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position and caused many political conflicts to control its territory.31 Recent archaeological discoveries added a new product which was transported from the eastern Delta to Alexandria and later to the major ports; perfumes were evidently produced at Thmouis and later shipped to Alexandria.32 Regarding the trade in plants, the trade of plants and desire to possess foreign plants is well attested in ancient Egypt. Indeed, the pharaohs of the Middle and New Kingdoms sought plants. The mythical Land of Punt, famed for its incense trees, was a destination aimed for by the Pharaohs. The recent discovery of ships in caves at the coastal site of Marsā Gawāsīs has shown that this was the seaport to Punt in the Middle Kingdom (ca. 2055-1650) and the early New Kingdom (ca. 1550-1069) and that there were extensive trade contacts with Southern Arabia and the African Coast of the Red Sea at this early date.33 Our knowledge of the movement of plants in Egypt at other points in time is more scant. In the Hellenistic period, Alexander the Great had an interest in botany and plants, as botanists and naturalists accompanied him on his march to the east, but where the seeds and specimen plants that they collected were sent remains unknown; perhaps the gardens associated with the Basileia housed these plants, creating a botanical garden.34 Fruit trees, roses and vines were transported in pots. The barge of Hieron II of Syracuse, sent to Ptolemy IV in Alexandria had a living garden using pithoi full of white ivy and vines. The trade of fine wares is attested by the recent archaeological evidence, the most noted is the presence of African Red slip ware35 and the Egyptian imitation of that category from the 5th century A.D., the vast presence of Cypriot red slip ware, and Eastern Red slip ware indicate the change of the interregional relation between Alexandria and the Mediterranean world. As Egypt became a part of the eastern Roman Empire, commercial relations were guided to the eastern Mediterranean ports too.36 As a conclusion, the port of Alexandria was a witness of great commercial movements in the Hellenistic and Roman period that made the city the capital of the Mediterranean.37 “It is thus evident that Alexandria functioned as an entrepôt for an extended maritime trade network which

31

Hollerich, 1982, 186-207. Tell Timai Archaeological Project. 33 Bard, Fattovich and Ward, 2007, 143. 34 On the nature of the Basileia, see Strabo, 17.1.8. On Hellenistic Alexandria, see McKenzie 2007, 37-79. 35 Peacock, 1990, 59-84. 36 Ward-Perkins, 2000, 346-391. 37 Rodziewicz,1998, 93-103 32

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Final study of CulMe-WeOnCT project  
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