Ancient Egypt was a wondrous place. The Egyptians had very big constructions, myths that make you think, and amazing history. But ancient Egypt wouldn’t be the same without one factor. That factor is trade. Let’s take a look at the way that they traded.
There were two types of trade that the ancient Egyptians used. The first type of trade was barter. Barter is when the Egyptians would sail down the Nile river to meet other countries with their surplus in hand, and then they would give the country the surplus, and the other country would give Egypt their surplus.
That is how Egypt got what they needed, and got rid of what they didn’t need. Another type of barter was through the market. The families of Egypt would send their servants to the markets with goods to trade. A craftsman might send his servant with baskets that he made to trade for fruit that his family needs for food.
Another form of trade was tribute. Tribute was when Egypt would go to countries that it wanted to ally with. Egypt also had other countries come to give tribute to Egypt.
Who did the Egyptians trade with? The Egyptians traded with many countries. They traded with countries that still exist today, like Africa, Afghanistan, Syria, and India. They traded with countries that you may have heard of, like Crete, Mesopotamia and Babylon. They also traded with foreign countries that you may have never heard of.
Some examples are Nubia, Punt, and Yemen.
What did they trade away? The ancient Egyptians traded their surplus of items like gold and rich princesses to other countries because they would want riches. Egypt also traded their extras of goods like linen, ox hides, and papyrus because neighboring countries needed supplies for their craft goods like clothes and writing materials. Egyptians also traded lentils and dried fish because other countries need food supplies for their cooking. Egypt also traded away ropes so neighboring countries could use it for ships.
Egypt needs supplies as well, right? What would Egypt trade for? They would receive building supplies such as cedar trees and ebony wood. They traded for leopard skins for clothes and decorations, and animals for pets, uses in the temple, craft goods, and for their jobs. They also received myrrh, incense, incense trees, and oils for cosmetics, perfume, and mummification. The Egyptians traded for ivory and lapis lazuli for crafted goods. They received copper and iron for tools and weapons. Egypt traded for cassia. Cassia is a special type of dried bark used for incense. They also traded for items like wine and fruit for eating and drinking. The Egyptians also traded for people. People could serve as slaves. Other people came with the trees to look after them because the Egyptians had no idea how to take care of the trees that were not native to them.
How did the Egyptian merchants get to their trading destinations, and where did they trade? Sometimes the best spot to trade was in the other country directly. Other times, it was easier to meet at an assigned post, like the first cataract in the Nile. The merchants would use different ways to travel. To get across the desert, the Egyptians would take a trade caravan. To travel along the Nile river, they would take river boats, crafted specially for the Nile river. To travel using the Mediterranean Sea, they would use sea boats, specially crafted for the sea.
So why would they trade? Using barter, they would receive items that they needed in exchange for items they didn’t need. They could also go to the market so that they could get everyday items. Using tribute, they would go to other countries that they wanted to have an alliance with. With tribute, they could also pay respects to the countries that they are already allied with.
Trade was very important in ancient Egypt. They wouldn’t be able to survive as long as they did without trade. Trade was one of the most important elements that Egypt had. Trade is also important in today’s world. How does the Egyptians way of trading affect your life today?