Ancient Egyptian overseas trade

The Sinai desert was important for its copper and gem stone mines, and its trade routes through Arabia to the Horn of Africa, and later to Persia and India. The custom of officially exchanging gifts between individuals of unequal status was called inw. Even when accounting for these factors, it's impossible to test trading systems before pushing them live, which means that there's a degree of uncertainty involved. Discover the best ways to learn technical analysis without risking thousands of dollars in the market. Accessed 08 August Mentmose swore that he would pay up: Due to the king from Asklepiades son of Euphris?

Encouraged by Hatshepsut’s (1) expedition to Punt and Thutmose III’s (2) trades for rich loot in Southwest Asia and the Mediterranean Region, Egypt was a center of trade. Egyptians and their trading partners sailed along the Nile River to trade their goods, but sometimes also traveled to and from the Eastern or Western Deserts.

Trade routes

These caravan routes through the Negev and the Libyan Desert were impossible to interrupt and difficult to administer. Even during the times when Egypt was nominally in power in theses regions and sent officials there, their very distance from the central authority gave them an independence they often abused. How lucrative this desert trade was can be concluded from the rich tombs recently uncovered at Dakhleh and Baharie.

Impressive mastabas were built by Egyptian officials during the reign of Pepi II, when corruption was rife. During the Middle Kingdom, when the central power was weak, trade with Crete flourished. Wall paintings at Knossos and Phaistos depict African slaves, ostrich eggs and ivory.

Ahmose reaffirmed Egyptian control over the desert regions, and during most of the New Kingdom the borders were patrolled by frontier police using dogs. In the Late Period Kyrene was founded by Greeks who built a temple at the Siwa oasis and cooperated with the Libyan bedouins supplying the rapidly growing Greek diaspora with African luxuries.

The huge profits the Egyptians made from their Africa trade, some speak of percent and more, made this desert venture worthwhile again. The water supply problem was solved in two ways. In the Wadi Hammamat connecting the Nile near Thebes to Qoseir on the Red Sea, wells were dug which were replenished by the rare rains falling in the mountains.

Between the oases of Dakhleh and Kufra a depot of water filled amphoras was created. Camel-skins were filled with water and loaded on his camels. They were driven into the waterless desert and waited for Cambyses' army. Major trade routes in north-east Africa and the Middle East. The direct overseas route to India was opened up by a Greek named Hippalus ca. Before that traders had been hugging the coast line. Strabo, the Greek geographer, noted that as many as one hundred and twenty vessels were sailing from [the Red Sea] to India, whereas formerly, under the Ptolemies, only a very few ventured to undertake the voyage and to carry on traffic in Indian merchandise.

The goods He [the snake who ruled the island on which the sailor had been shipwrecked and who called himself Prince of the Land of Punt] gave me gifts of precious perfumes, of cassia, of sweet woods, of kohl, of cypress, an abundance of incense, of ivory tusks, of baboons, of apes, and all kinds of precious things.

Grain was generally plentiful and in Roman times Egypt was an important wheat growing area for the city of Rome. Beer , a less potent brew than its modern counterpart, was the daily drink of the people.

Wine on the other hand was imported for a long time until vineyards were planted in the Delta and some of the oases.

Bricks for building houses and palaces were made from the Nile mud, rocks for tombs and temples were found close to the Nile. Natron for embalming and salt were mined locally; flax and hemp grown for making clothes and ropes. Oil for lighting was pressed from the kikki seeds and later from olives. Papyrus grew abundantly in the Delta and was made into a kind of paper. In order to pay the king of Byblos for timber Wen-amen's Wenamen in Syria in the first month of the Winter season, Nesbanebded and Tentamun having sent gold, 4 jars; 1 kakmen-vessel; silver, 5 jars, coverlets of royal linen, 10 pieces; fine Upper Egyptian linen, 10 veils; plain mats, ; ox-hides, ; ropes, ; lentils, 20 sacks; fish, 30 baskets.

And she sent to me coverlets, fine Upper Egyptian linen, 5 pieces; fine Upper Egyptian linen, 5 veils; lentils, 1 sack, and fish, 5 baskets. The conquests of Nubia and the Sinai and the exploitation of their gold and copper mines were a major improvement and had international consequences.

Significant amounts of gold were traded with Asiatic kings for their political support of the Egyptian empire and its policies. Tin for the production of bronze, Asiatic copper which was a natural bronze alloy, and, from the New Kingdom onwards, small amounts of iron were imported. This was also the time when copper began to be shipped from Cyprus to Egypt and the country experienced occasionally shortages of the material.

Now I have sent talents of copper to you; I have sent it to you as a gift - for my brother. Do not let my brother be concerned that the amount of copper is too little, for in my land the hand of Nergal, my lord, has killed all the men of my land, and so there is not a single copper-worker. Ultimately unsuccessful attempts were made to produce frankincense locally by importing incense trees under Hatshepsut.

Turquoise found in Khorasan, gold, agate, carnelian and other precious stones were also carried on the Oxus road from Tepe Yahya near the Persian Gulf overland to Retenu and Egypt or by ship around the Arabian peninsula to Qoseir or the Nile-Red Sea canal. Vegetable oils, eye paints and other cosmetics also had their origins in eastern Iran and Afghanistan. During excavations at Memphis and Amarna see Smith, Bourriau and Serpico amphorae were discovered and analysed.

They originated from the northern Levant. Residue of pistacia species resin was found in vessels coming from central and northern Canaan, while the amphoras originating in Lebanon, coastal Syria and southern Turkey were used to transport oil. Glass products manufactured in Alexandria were one of the major export items during the Roman era.

This trade in humans was apparently of insignificant proportions. Sometimes, Egypt determined how much of an item was being offered for trade by comparison to pieces of metal of known weight using a balance or scale. Trade affects all of the social classes of Egypt because so many different kinds of resources were traded.

For example, peasants needed cheap food to survive on, while Artisans used ebony, linen, iron, and copper for their crafts. Scribes traded for better food, such as meat, beer, and fish. They also used the leather traded from other places to be made into their carrying bags by artisans.

Priests bought linen to have it made into the clothes. Government officials and the Pharaoh will use luxury resources such as copper or other metals, and incense. In summary, trade in ancient Egypt was important because it gave civilians the resources required to live and prosper 6.

Egypt Trade Trade in Ancient Egypt. Create account or Sign in. Due to the king from Asklepiades son of Euphris? Accounts were kept at a central bank at Alexandria and the granaries formed a giro network. Making sure of the identity of a borrower was of some consequence to the bank who recorded his ancestry, age, physical characteristics, profession and the like: Isidoros son of Marion, to Hermas son of Heron, grandson of Hermas, from the second Goose Pen ward, aged forty years with a scar in the middle of his forehead, acknowledges that he Hermas has received from Isidoros an interest-bearing loan of a principal of one hundred twenty silver drachmas, which he will pay back in the month of Pauni of the current year forthwith.

The policeman promised prompt payment, but eleven years later the debt was still outstanding. Mentmose swore that he would pay up: If I do not pay for this pot before the last day of the third summer month of the third year, I shall receive a hundred blows with the stick, and I shall be liable to pay double.

Still, the idea of lending for profit is quite an ancient one. The following advice of Any dates to the beginning of the first millennium: Wealth accrues to him who guards it; Let your hand not scatter it to strangers, Lest it turn to loss for you.

If wealth is placed where it bears interest, It comes back to you redoubled; Make a storehouse for your own wealth, Your people will find it on your way.

What is given small returns augmented, [What is replaced brings abundance. The interest on loans could be horrendous, above all during periods of political uncertainty. In Egypt the incentive for expanding trade through cheap credit was, perhaps not surprisingly in a command economy, non-existent through much of its history.

Under Roman rule Egypt was integrated into the empire, and commercial usages changed accordingly. The literary character Ankhsheshonq about 1st century BCE had some words of advice for a prospective lender: It is incumbent upon me towards you to cause him to appear before you, being outside any temple, place of oath, royal altar, any place which is protected from you, it is from year 21, which corresponds to year 22, month of Tybi, until year 22, which corresponds to year 23, month of Phamenoth.

Credit could also be had by pledging one's property. Pawnbrokers existed in Egypt at least since the Roman Period.

The main items to be pawned were apparently jewellery, but furniture, metal implements and utensils were also pawned: The bronze vessels of Claudius? Severus were redeemed when the report of his [property? Another cupboard was given in addition The whole of the population of Egypt lived close to the Nile.

Ships and boats were the cheapest and fastest means of transport. Farmers' wives would peddle cloth, grain or fowl. Sailors, paid with grain, might exchange some of it in order to supplement their diet. During Roman times when trading was highly regimented the publicity of market-places prevented merchants from selling their wares at cut-price, which would have increased competition - a prospect not cherished by the merchants' guilds.

Therefore, traders were often not allowed to sell anywhere but in the markets: To Flavius Thennyras, logistes of the Oxyrhynchite nome, from Aurelius Nilus, son of Didymus, of the illustrious and most illustrious city of Oxyrhynchos, an egg-seller by trade.

I hereby agree, on the august and divine oath by our lord the Emperor and the Caesars, to offer my eggs in the market-place publicly, for sale and for the supply of the said city, every day without intermission; and I acknowledge that it shall be unlawful for me in the future to sell secretly or in my house. If I am detected so doing I shall be liable to the penalty for breaking the oath. They sold mostly grain, fruit, vegetables, fowl and cattle but also processed products like oil, beer, wine, bread and linen.

Sailors and travellers may have taken the opportunity to make a profit from their displacement. Full time merchants are mentioned occasionally, but little is known of their methods. The merchants sail upriver and downriver, used like copper i. Overseas trade was mainly in the hands of royal emissaries. Its storehouses were overflowing with numerous possessions, naval archers, collectors of honey, delivering incense and delivering silver, merchants without number, deliveries of clean grain by the ten-thousand This role passed partly into the hands of foreigners themselves, who settled in Egypt, as the finding of great numbers of foreign weights at sites as early as the 12th dynasty indicates.

On the whole the amount that could be transported in seagoing vessels of the time was not very large the biggest ships displaced less than tons , with quite a bit of the weight wasted on packaging. If the market scene in Qenamen's tomb is anything to go by, even Theban merchants hawking sandals seem to have traded with foreigners.

By Roman times the pharaonic state which had controlled much of the economy by collecting and redistributing had given way to a colonial administration whose main aim was the exploitation of Egypt in favour of Rome.

Trade was in the hands of private persons who were often organized in guilds, such as the association of the salt merchants of Tebtunis: The undersigned men, salt merchants of Tebtynis, meeting together have decided by common consent to elect one of their number, a good man, Apynchis, son of Orseus, both supervisor and collector of the public taxes for the coming eighth year of Tiberius P.

Orseus spent 66 drachmas for the monopoly of selling gypsum in the region of Tebtunis: And if anyone shall sell at a lower price than these, let him be fined eight drachmai in silver for the common fund and the same for the public treasury; P.

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Ancient Egyptian trade consisted of the gradual creation of land and sea trade routes connecting the Ancient Egyptian civilization with the Fertile Crescent, Arabia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and India. Trading affected everyone no matter if you were rich or poor because in Egypt so many different kinds of resources were traded. Poor people needed food which they can buy for a price they can pay for, whereas Artisans used ebony, linen, iron, and copper for their crafts. Scribes traded for better food, such as meat, beer, and fish. Boats and barges, however, were the best mean of transport in Ancient Egypt. The sea route began on the Nile at the port of Memphis and led by way of the Pelusiac branch of the Nile to the large port centers in the eastern Mediterranean, where Egyptian trade could link up with overseas trade.