I have a character in a historical fic who spent part of their youth employed as a pearl diver, and I'm in need of some details for their backstory. Firstly, from whereabouts in the Roman empire might the best pearls have been sourced? I'm hoping very much that somebody will point to somewhere in the Middle East, because if I can have my character passing through Babylon at some point that would be very helpful for my running imagery and thematic elements.
The character would obviously have very good breath control from having to spend time underwater, but what would be a reasonable amount of time that she could hold her breath before blacking out? Is it feasible that she'd be able to continue to do this after she's found a new job and isn't spending so much time in the water?
Hope someone can help!