It is supposed to be the Camanes of Ptolemy, and was formerly a very flourishing city, the seat of an extensive trade, and celebrated for its manufactures of silk, chintz and gold stuffs; but owing principally to the gradually increasing difficulty of access by water, owing to the silting up of the gulf, its commerce has long since fallen away, and the town has become poor and dilapidated.
In the middle ages Ostia regained something of its importance, owing to the silting up of the right arm of the Tiber.
The town, which obtained civic rights in 1200, also became the seat of the dukes of Schleswig, but its commerce gradually dwindled owing to the rivalry of Lubeck, the numerous wars in which the district was involved, and the silting up of the Schlei.
The slope of the river bed diminishes until the plain compels the river to move slowly, swinging in meanders proportioned to its size, and gradually, controlled by the flattening land, ceasing to transport material, but raising its banks and silting up its bed by the dropped sediment, until, split up and shoaled, its distributaries struggle across its delta to the sea.
The trade of Konigsberg was much hindered by the constant shifting and silting up of the channels leading to its harbour; and the great northern wars did it immense harm, but before the end of the 17th century it had almost recovered.
Its present deserted and malarious state is probably owing to the silting up of the mouth of the Silarus, which has overflowed its bed, and converted the plain into unproductive marshy ground.
After Cairo and Alexandria, Damietta was for centuries the largest town in Egypt, but the silting up of the entrance to the harbour, the rise of Port Said, and the remarkable development of Alexandria have robbed Damietta of its value as a port.
About 1395 this channel began to show signs of silting up, and during the next hundred years the process proved rapid.
Its existence as a port began with the silting up of the harbour of Tarsus and Pompeiopolis, east and west, in the early middle ages; but it did not rise to importance till the Egyptian occupation of Cilicia (1832).
The fishing village of Arnemuiden flourished as a harbour in the 16th century, but decayed owing to the silting up of the sand.