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Trade in Ancient Mesopotamia
Transcript of Trade in Ancient Mesopotamia
Transportation on Land
Mesopotamians traveled on land and by water.
Some of the most common methods for traveling on land were by foot, by donkey, wagons, and carts.
Mesopotamians used walking or donkeys to transport smaller, more delicate gems.
Ancient Worlds (Grade 7 textbook)
The Tigris and Euphrates in modern day Iraq, the Nile River in Egypt and the Yellow river in China were the first and most extensive trade routes.
Around 1000 BC, camels began to be used to trade over land. These were called caravans. This is when they began to trade with India.
What They Traded
The Mesopotamians didn't have many natural resources so they used trade to get the things that they needed.
The Sumerians offered wool, cloth, jewelery, oil, grains and wine for trade.
The types of jewelery and gems they offered were thing like Lapis-lazuli.
The wool they traded was from animals such as sheep and goats.
Mesopotamians also traded barley, stone, wood, pearls, carnelian, copper, ivory, textiles, and reeds.
Where They Traded
Mesopotamians traded throughout the Mediterranean, modern day Iran, Asia, Arabia and India.
Transportation on Water
When traveling on water, Mesopotamians traveled by river boats, gulf boats, canoes and rafts.
When Mesopotamians travelled by water, they brought the heavier items with them such as heavy grain, oil and wine.
Currency in Ancient Mesopotamia was called a Shekel, which was a silver, gold or copper coin.
The Babylonians were the first people to use Shekels, and they exchanged Shekels for goods.
The Sumerians used a barter system to buy and sell goods. They exchanged their goods and services for other goods and services that they needed.
Record Keeping System
People who sold their writing skills for a living were called Scribes, and they kept track of what was bought and sold on clay tablets.
What They Traded
Caravans and ships sailing the Mediterranean brought building stone from Africa, copper from Cyprus, gold from Egypt and cedar from Lebanon.
Through trade and travel, Mesopotamians learned about other languages, religions and inventions.
As farmers learned to irrigate their land and grew more food than they could eat, they started trading food from their crops.
Creation of Towns
Babylon thrived as a trading center because it lay at the center of main trade routes.
When caravans of camels began being used on trade routes over land, new trade route towns were created wherever the traders needed to stop.
Towns were also created where the land and sea routes met to create ports.
These towns were where traders from many different places exchanged information and learned about other cultures.
While many people still worked as farmers in the country, in the city a person could grow up to work in a number of different jobs such as priest, scribe, merchant, craftsman, soldier, civil servant or laborer.
Tigris and Euphrates Rivers