The Plurality of Harbors at Caesarea: The Southern Anchorage in Late Antiquity

Alexandra Ratzlaff, Ehud Galili, Paula Waiman-Barak, Assaf Yasur-Landau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The engineering marvel of Sebastos, or Portus Augusti as it was called in Late Antiquity (284–638 CE), dominated Caesarea’s harbor center along modern Israel’s central coast but it was only one part of a larger maritime complex. The Southern Anchorage provides a case study as one portion of the Caesarea complex, as well as a node within the regional network of anchorages and small harbors. Ceramics recovered from here show a high percentage of locally, and provincially, produced storage jars engaged in maritime trade. The ceramic evidence points towards an intensified regional trade or cabotage rather than favouring long distance trade from large port to port. Working out of these small harbors, opportunities arose for greater flexibility in specialization of commodities and materials passing through the network of subsidiary ports, contributing to a more diversified market economy. This analysis provides another example in the growing focus on how these simple and semi-modified anchorages in the Eastern Mediterranean were often the predominant economic networks connecting hinterland and coastal trade.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-146
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Maritime Archaeology
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank the Israel Antiquities Authority for granting us permission to analyze the material remains from Caesarea’s Southern Anchorage. Support for this project was through the Fulbright United States–Israel Education Foundation, the Department of Maritime Civilizations and the Laboratory of Coastal Archaeology and Underwater Survey at the University of Haifa, and a research Grant from the Mediterranean Sea Research Center of Israel.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Keywords

  • Late Roman/Byzantine Amphora
  • Maritime economy
  • Port
  • Trade

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology

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