January 7, 2019

12:03 pm

Archaeologists Uncover Port For War Elephants

Polish and American archaeologists have unearthed a 2300-year-old fortress along the Egyptian shore of the red sea. Called Berenike, apart from being an important historical discovery in its own right, there is something especially unique about this fortress.

According to LiveScience, "Historical records indicate that Berenike was part of a chain of ports constructed along the Red Sea to help supply war elephants to the army of the Ptolemies, Woźniak said. In 2014, genetic research revealed that the Ptolemies likely imported their elephants from Eritrea, in East Africa."

A picture of the newly unearthed port.

Among the refuse, the archaeologists unearthed pieces of an elephant skull.

The use of elephants in war has been long documented but Berenike illuminates the extent of the market for war elephants, the port was specifically constructed with spaces to hold, train and load elephants onto ships.

Yet another example of humans complicated and, oftentimes, abusive relationship with Earth's largest terrestrial mammal.