Red Sea

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Ancient port mentioned by ancient author(s)

Ancient port mentioned by modern author(s) only

Potential ancient harbour, from a nautical point of view

NB Ancient name Modern name
3520 Arsinoe, Cleopatris, Port Daneon, Port of the Danei, Klysma, Clysina, Ovilia Suez, Qulzum
3521 Poseideion? near the power station
3522 Port of King Khafra, Khefren Ayn Sukhna, at Portrait Hotel
3523 Marah near Ras Matarma
3524 Mersa Thelemet
3525 Port of King Khufu, Cheops wadi el-Jarf, the oldest breakwater found to date
3526 (export of turquoise, malachite & copper from wadi Ameyra, Serabit el-Khadim & wadi Maghara) al-Markha, Maghara, near Ras Budran
3527 Rhaithou, Phoinikon, Palm-Grove el-Tor, el-Tur, Tor harbour
3528 Tell el-Raya, Sheikh Riyah Harbour
3529 Merset el-Qad Yahya
3530 Marsa Zeitiya
3531 Sapirene? Endeavour Harbour, on Geziret Tawila island
3532 Sapirene? Phocarum? Scytala? Geziret Shadwan, Shaker island
3533 Abu Shar Roman fort at the end of the Via Hadriana, at el-Gouna which is an excellent shelter
3534 Hurghada
3535 Marsa Abu Makhadiq
3536 Makadi Bay
3537 Al Nabila
3538 Unnamed cove
3539 Unnamed cove
3540 Ras Abu Soma
3541 Mina Safaga
3542 wadi Safaga
3543 Coral Garden
3544 Philoteras portus, Philotere, port of Aennus, archaic Saww Marsa Gawasis, near wadi Jasus, 26 km South of Safaga port. Pliny speaks of Aennus. Ptolemy locates Phîlotera at 30’ of latitude South of Myos Hormos, which leads near the airport of Marsa Alam. However, modern authors seem to agree to locate this port at Marsa Gawasis near Safaga.
3545 Kalawy Imperial
3546 Quei?
3547 Arsinoe Troglodytika unlocalized between Philotera and Myos Hormos, perhaps Hamrawein?
3548 Abu Sawatir Rocky Valley
3549 Myos Hormos, Aphrodite’s port, Panormus? Quseir al-Qadim, at the Mövenpick hotel, 8 km North of Quseir. Ptolemy locates Myos-Hormos at 3°25’ of latitude North of Berenike, which leads to Hurghada. The Periplus Maris Erythraei indicates that this site is at 1800 stadia, i.e. 330 km, from Berenike, which would lead near Safaga. However, modern authors agree to locate this port 8 km North of Quseir on the West side of the road and a jetty made of amphoras was found by Peacock & Blue. Roman fort at Qasr Hadie
3550 Quseir port, at the outlet of wadi Hammamat leading to ancient Coptos on the Nile.
3551 Sharm el Lole, Zerib Kebir
3552 Utopia Beach
3553 Mangrove Bay
3554 Santido Resort
3555 Unnamed
3556 Unnamed
3557 Unnamed
3558 Coraya Bay
3559 Port Ghalib, Marsa Imbarak
3560 Leuke Kome? Leucos Limen? Albus portus? Marsa Mubarak, Three Corners Fayrouz Plaza
3561 Marsa Mooray
3562 Marsa Abu Dabbab
3563 Mersa Dabr
3564 Brayka Bay
3565 Marsa Tarafi
3566 Marsa Egla
3567 Marsa Asalay
3568 Marsa Alam
3569 Marsa Samadai
3570 Marsa Tundaba
3571 Nechesia? Marsa Nakari, 18 km South of Marsa Alam
3572 Ras Dirra, Bir Ghadir
3573 Marsa Fokairi
3574 Shams Alam Resort
3575 Sharm Luli
3576 Unnamed
3577 Abu Ghusun
3578 Kala’an Gulf, wadi Gimal
3579 Lahami Bay
3580 Hellenistic port of Berenice Troglodytika, Berenike, Acathartos, Foul Bay Medinet el-Haras, 4 km South of Bender el-Kebir inside the gulf of Ras Banas and on the Tropic of Cancer. Pliny is more accurate for Berenike as he indicates that there is no shadow at noon on the day of summer solstice, which is the definition of the tropic located at 23°26’ of latitude. The present latitude of Berenike is 23°56’ and it is still a port today.
3581 Roman port Berenice Troglodytika, Berenike, Acathartus, Foul Bay Medinet el-Haras, 4 km South of Bender el-Kebir inside the gulf of Ras Banas and on the Tropic of Cancer. Pliny is more accurate for Bernike as he indicates that there is no shadow at noon on the day of summer solstice, which is the definition of the tropic located at 23°26’ of latitude. The present latitude of Berenike is 23°56’ and it is still a port today.
With possible ancient lighthouse. Roman forts at Siket and at Wadi Kalalat.
3582 Ophiodes insula, Agathonis, Nekron, Snake island Isle of Zabargat, St John’s Island, the island with topaz, off Berenike. The isle of Ophiodes is well located as it seems to be the only one producing topaz in this area. No good shelter here!
3583 Bodkin reef
3584 Sharm el-Madfa, Marsa Hasa
3585 Marsa Shaab
3586 Marsa el-Qad
3587 Marsa Abu Naam
3588 Marsa Halaib
3589 Khor el-Marob
3590 Marsa Ribda, Marsa Gwilaib
3591 Khor Abu Asal, Marsa Oseif
3592 Marsa Hamsiat
3593 Marsa Wasi
3594 Marsa Gafatir
3595 Marsa Abu Imama, Rio Farat
3596 Marsa Halaka, Khor Dullow, Khor Delwein
3597 Khor Shinab, Khor Abu Mishmish
3598 Bathus profondus portus Dungunab. Ptolemy locate Bathus (deep port) at 2°50’ of latitude South of Berenike, which leads to the large bay of Dungunab where a huge bay sheltered from the northern waves prevailing in this area is found
3599 Dioscuror Marsa Inkeifal? Ptolemy locates Dioscuror at the same place as Bathus, perhaps on the West  side of Jazirat Magarsam island
3600 Marsa Salak
3601 Marsa Arakiyai, Port Salvadora
3602 Marsa Fijab, Bahia de Fuca
3603 Marsa Gwiyai, Port Dradart
3604 Port Sudan, in Marsa Sheikh Barud
3605 Marsa Ata
3606 Theon Soterum, Deorum Salutarium, Sotira Suakin? Ptolemy locates Theon Soterum at 1° of latitude North of Ptolemaïs, which corresponds to Suakin
3607 Marsa Esh Sheikh Ibrahim
3608 Evangeliorum, Evangelon Mintaka, East of Shubuk Channel, North of Trinkitat? Ptolemy locates Evangelon at 30’ of latitude North of Ptolemaïs, which corresponds to this bay
3609 Ptolemais Theron, Ptolemais’ hunt (for elephants), Epitherias (city founded by Eumedes) Adobana, 8.5 km SE of Agig, Aqiq
3610 Strato insula in bay of Elaea Aqiq Kebir, Bahdur island, in Khor Nawarat, Nowarat, with rock-cut cisterns
3610.1 small headland on Gazirat Kalafiyya, in Khor Nowarat, Nowarat
3611 Port Melinus, near Elaea Gazirat Iri, Airi, Iri, er-Rih island? with many rock-cut cisterns
3612 Harmil island
3613 Jimhil, Gim’hile, Monfreid’s Djumele?
3614 Alalaei, Alalaiou insulae Nokra Deset on the Dahlak islands, with many rock-cut cisterns on Dahlak Kebir
3615 Saba Massawa? Ptolemy locates Saba at 50’ of latitude North of Adulis, which corresponds to Massawa at 15°38’ of latitude North
3616 Oreine, Orine insula isle of Dissei, Dessei, Dese
3617 Land of Punt? Pount, Ta Netjer, Taneter, Pwenet, Pwene, Pouen, Opone, Ophir?? probably somewhere in East Africa, possibly in the area of the Afar people, between Adulis and Djibouti, on the location of the ancient D’mt (Da’amat) kingdom and close to the Kush kingdom and its gold mines, where they could also find silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks. Other possible locations for Punt are Adulis, Mundus-Mosylium and Opone
3618 Adulis, Adoulis, Utulis, port of the Axoumites, on R Taranta Zula, on wadi Haddas. The Periplus Maris Erythraei locates Adulis at 3000 stadia (550 km) South of Ptolemaïs inside a South facing bay, which corresponds to Zula at 15°15’ of latitude. Pliny locates it at 5 navigation days from Ptolemaïs, which leads to more or less the same location. This site seems to be accepted by modern authors. It may be noted that Ptolemy is widely mistaken when locating it at 40’ of latitude North of Dire, leading near Assab or Beilul, 400 km further South. It may be noted also that Assab still is a port nowadays, while Beilul does not show any nautical interest (today) except for a cape located about 15 km further East
3619 Gabaza, port of Adulis, Diodorus insula island located in the bay of Zula and and now included into the continent under the name « Galala Hills » 5.5 km SE of Zula. Was formerly located by scholars on Perim island
3620 Melita bay near Ras Nasiracurra
3621 Dellemi, Dilemmi island, SW of Port Smyth
3621.1 unnamed “large bay” with obsidian Harena, Arena in Howakil, Haualik bay
3622 Ghelaelo in Howakil, Haualik bay
3623 Antiphilus portus Hanfileh, Anfile bay, NW of Thio, Tio
3624 Port of Colobonalsos, Cape Colobon Tio at Ras Anrata? Ptolemy locates Colobon at 2° of latitude North of Adulis, which does not correspond to any cape or promontary, but Strabo locates it very close to Antiphilus portus, hence Tio might be the right location
3625 Berenice of Saba, Panchrysos Eïd, Edd?
3626 Mersa Dudo
3627 Pythangelus Bera’isole? in Bahar Assoli, Bahir Assoli Bay, could be the port of Pythangelus’ hunt (for elephants) located further inland as described by Strabo
3628 Ras Terma, east of Beylul
3629 Sabae, Sabath Assab? Near wadi Arsile, Harsile
3630 Eumenusalsos, Port of Eumenes Unlocated, possibly between Saba and Arsinoe
3631 Arsinoe Ras Dumeira at Rahayta? Ptolemy locates Arsinoe at 20’ of latitude South of Dire, which corresponds to the lagoon of Godoria on the North coast of Djibouti near 12°09’ of latitude. He nevertheless mentions it North of Dire on his list … which makes some authors think the site is at Ras Dumeira. Monfreid’s Raheita
3632 Cape Dire, Deire, Berenice epi-Dires, Tytis insula possibly in this area Ras Siyan, on the West side of Bab el-Mandeb, the Gate of Tears. Cape Dire is located in front of Cape Acila (Cheikh Saïd in Yemen) as Strabo indicates. It is also just in front of the six islands mentioned by Strabo. It provides good shelter against the eastern waves prevailing in this area. The place called Fagal is at 12°27’ of latitude and gives us a reference for locating other ports mentioned by Ptolemy. Ras Siyan is a former island now connected to the mainland, but before that, it was a member of the “Seven Islands” (Sawabi islands)
3633 Adanos Duo, Sadanus insulae? Diodorus insula? Mayyun, on Perim island, and the second island (“Duo”) may have been the Cheikh Saïd peninsula now connected to the mainland
3634 Acila, Akila, Ocelis, Okelis, Akelis, Artemidore, Maddaban Khor Ghuraira, Cheikh Saïd, near Murad, South of Mokha and in front of Ras Siyan
3635 Pseudokelis between Murad and Dhubab
3636 Sosippu Limen, Sosippi Monfreid’s Doubab, Dhubab is the only natural shelter between Murad/Ocelis and Mokha/Mouza.
3637 Masala, Mouza, Muza, port of the Himyarites, Muhawan, Makhwan Mokha
3638 Sacacia, Sakatiapolis between Jirdan and Yakhtul?
3639 Napegus Kome Maushij?
3640 Ailou Kome al-Khawkhah?
3641 port of Zabida? al-Midamman, near Zabid
3642 Malichos Duo, Malichou insulae Hanish islands?
3643 Tongue island, near Monfreid’s Zoukour, Zuqar
3644 Bolicas, Bulicas, port of the Himyarites, Homerites, Omerites, Pudnu? al-Ghulayfiqa
3645 Sokrates insula? Mujamila island
3646 Adedou Kome al-Hodeidah, Hudaydah, near outlet of wadi Siham
3647 Are insula al-Zubayr islands?
3648 Camarum insula, Kardamine insula? Kamaran island
3649 Uqban island, Monfreid’s Okban
3650 Exusta, Katakekaumene insula, Combusta insula, Ile Brulee, Burnt island at-Tair vulcano island NW of Hodeidah
3651 Baitios & Akme, Fons Coralis? Khor al-Wahla, near al-Madaya, Monfreid’s Medy
3652 Dumsuq island, Monfreid’s Dumsuk
3653 Qumah, Kumakh island
3654 Praefectus Ferresani portus on Devade insulae, Hierakon insula? Roman naval base at Khor Farasan, on Farasan Kebir island
3654.1 Wadi Matar, on Farasan Kebir island
3655 Sajid, on Farasan Segid, Zekir island, Monfreid’s Seguid
3656 Saso, Sarso island
3657 Mamala Kome? Mamaeum Litus? al-Luhayyah
3658 Marma? Ambe Kome? Kawz, Khor al-Jaafirah, Dana bay East of Ras Tarfa
3659 Badeo Basileion? Khor al-Birk
3660 Kentos Komé? Thebai? Tabis? Canauna (known for gold mining)? al-Qunfuda, Qunfudhah, al-Qanat, on wadi Kanawna, Qanauna
3661 Khor al-Humara, near Ghubbat al-Mahasin, Mohaisen
3662 Zambram, Zabram Basileion, Zadrame? Marsa Ibrahim, in al-Sharifa lagoon, near al-Lith
3663 Marsa Qishran, in al-Sharifa lagoon
3664 Zambram, Zabram Basileion, Zadrame? Zahran at outlet of wadi Fatima, South of modern industrial port of Jeddah
3665 Abu Shauk
3666 Agar? Arga Kome? Polybius insula? Jeddah
3667 Sharm Abhur, Bihar
3668 al-Jazeerah, near Ras Hatiba
3669 al-Qadimah
3670 Agar? Arga Kome? Sherm Rabegh, Rabigh
3671 Daimonon insula ? near al-Rayyis?
3672 Kopar Kome? Coboea, Coboris? al-Jar
3673 Iambia Kome? Iambe? Yanbu al-Bahr
3674 Charmothas, Charmute Sharm Yanbu, 15 km North of Yanbu.
This hypothetical area is close to Diodorus’ description:
> the total circumference is 23 km (close to his 100 stades);
> the central island might be now connected to the mainland on the NE side where siltation occurred over time, near the outlet of the wadi ;
> the total area might have been between 2000 and 3000 ha (ample space for his 2000 ships) ;
> the entrance is 300 m wide (more than his 200 feet = 60 m) but this depends much on coral growth which may have varied in time and with urbanisation.
3675 Zygaina insula Aiona reef?
3676 Sharm al-Khawr
3677 Sharm Hasy
3678 Umm Lajj
3679 al-Haura, Hawra
3680 Raunathou Kome? near Ras Karkuma, Qurqumah
3681 Egra Kome, Aigra, Akra? Port of Hegra and Dadan? al-Qusayr, Qassir, oasis on wadi al-Hamd
3682 Ampelone, Ampelome Ras Habban?
3683 Timagenes insula, Dia insula? island West of  Sharm Wejh, al-Wajh? This island might also correspond to Strabo’s description of Dia insula, depending on the position of Charmothas
3684 Leuke Kome, Phoinikon Kome? Port of Hegra and Dadan? Sharm Wejh, al-Wajh? This location for Leuke Kome is preferred by Nappo and Nehmé. Egra is inland at Mada’in Saleh.
3685 Hippos Kome Sharm Antar?
3686 Sharm Dumaygh
3687 Ainos insula Geziret an-Numan?
3688 Dabba, Modiana? Dhuba, Duba
3689 Modiana?
3690 Sharm Yahar, al-Harr
3691 Modiana? Madian? Hippos Kome? 5 km North of al-Muwaylih, Muwaila
3692 as-Sawra
3693 ash-Sharma
3694 Leuke Kome? Leucos Limen? Albus portus? Onne? Possibly bay of Aynunah near al-Khuraybah at 28°03’ of latitude. Ptolemy locates Leucos at 2°10’ of latitude North of Berenike, but that is on the other side of the Red Sea! Leuke Kome is not on the African side but on the Arabian side of the Red Sea as the road to Petra starts there. Nappo (2010) and Nehmé (2014) both locate it at al-Wajh, 230 km further south.
3695 Salydo insula Barqan island?
3696 Soukabya insula Shusha island?
3697 Isis insula Sanafir, Sinafir island?
3698 Isle of sea-calves (dugongs?), erroneously called ‘Duck Country’ by Photius Tiran island, at the entrance of the gulf of Aqaba?
3699 Sharm el-Sheikh
3700 Makna near Maqna
3701 el-Kura
3702 Tell el-Mashraba, near Dahab
3703 Tayyib al-Ism
3704 Nuweiba
3705 Ankale near Haql
3706 Yotbata? Fjord bay, 5 km NE of the Taba resort
3707 Iotabe? Ezion Geber? Geziret Faraun, Pharaoh’s island, Coral island
3708 Eloth, Elat, Ezion Geber? Tell el-Kheleifeh, Khulayfa, near Eilat
3709 Aelana, Aila, Elaea, Berenice, in the Laeanites Gulf, Ezion Geber? Aqaba