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Trade in Ancient Civilizations
Transcript of Trade in Ancient Civilizations
September-May History/Per. 1
Trade in Ancient Civilizations
Trade is one of the most important aspects to a civilization. Without trade, civilizations cannot thrive or grow. When trade is happening, not only are you importing food and spices, but also ideas, crafts, technologies, and philosophies. It also keeps good relations with rival empires because the civilizations rely on each other. In summary, trade is extremely important to empires. Mesopotamia References: Mesopotamia:
http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/ancient_rome_and_trade.htm The ancient Mesopotamians did not have a lot of natural resources. They counted on trade to obtain the goods they needed and wanted. With irrigation, however, they became a large trade center. They overcame many obstacles throughout the process but came to be known as “ The Cradle of Civilization” for its incredible achievements in trade and machinery. Mesopotamia The people who lived there needed to trade with neighboring countries in order to acquire the resources they needed to live. Grain, oils and textiles were taken from Babylonia to foreign cities and exchanged for timber, wine, precious metals and stones. In addition, merchants from other countries traveled to Babylonia to exchange their goods. Mesopotamia By using basin type irrigation, the land of Mesopotamia started to produce a lot of wheat, barley, dates, flax, and other crops. There was never a shortage in fish and birds in the marshes where tall reeds grew that were used for housing materials, mats, and even for writing. Fast growing trees offered wood for windows and roofing. Mesopotamia As communities in southern Mesopotamia grew from small villages to larger cities and city-states, the demand for materials also grew. This led to trade with neighboring regions for luxury items such as hardwood, exotic foods and animals, precious stones, hard stones, and metals. Trade reached a high point, with goods coming from Anatolia, Syria, northern Mesopotamia, Iran, and the Persian Gulf by the 3000s bc. Mesopotamia Merchants used several different methods for transporting their goods depending on what they were transporting. For example, grain was quite bulky and was best transported on a boat.
Strong currents moved the boats downstream, but because of the current they could travel in one direction only. The boats had to be dismantled after the trip downstream. Mesopotamia The Mesopotamians were clever people and used interesting types of boats. The Mesopotamians used three types of boats. The three were a wooden boat with a triangular sail, a Guffa boat which was shaped like a tub, made of reeds and covered with skin, and the kalakku which was a raft of timbers supported by inflated animal skins.
The invention of the wheel by the Sumerians, later, allowed different transportation like wagons, which could carry heavy loads, to be used.
Precious stones and other small items were lighter, so they could be transported on foot or by donkey.
Many other types of transport were also used for carrying goods from place to place such as gulf boat, raft, coracle, river boat, and cart. Mesopotamia Royal gift exchange, treasure from raiding expeditions, and immigrants bringing objects all contributed to the movement of goods into southern Mesopotamia. Overland trade routes to the north and west followed the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, while to the east routes passed through the Zagros Mountains onto the Iranian plateau and beyond. The sea route via the Persian Gulf to the Arabian Sea and the Indus Valley was also very active. When new supplies arrived, whether by boat or by caravan, banquets were held in many upper and lower class homes with music and dancing. Poets would recite poems about great deeds and wine would be drunk in a toast to their host. Mesopotamia Mesopotamia In Mesopotamia, money wasn't used to trade goods. Mesopotamians used the barter system instead. They developed a writing system to keep track of buying and selling. Scribes kept accurate records of business transactions by writing on clay tablets. Mesopotamia In all, Mesopotamia’s success relied on trade heavily for products that were unreachable near Mesopotamia as well as the economy boom that occurred due to the successful trade. India Most people in ancient India, at this time, were farmers. In India, farmers mainly grew wheat and rice, and cotton for cloth. Also, on the coast, people produced salt in big evaporation flats. However, there have always been a lot of Indians involved in trade too, because India is between China and West Asia and Europe. From the Harappan period till on, Indian people sold things like gold to people in China, and they returned it by selling Indians silk and pottery. India Traders in India also sold things to both China and West Asia, especially cotton cloth and spices, like cinnamon and pepper. All this trade made India a very rich country. But because the trade mainly went through northern India, the north part of India was usually richer than the south part. India India Pearls were becoming very popular during the Gupta empire so many fishermen catered to the vast demand, selling them with very high prices in foreign markets.
Processing stones like jasper, agate, carnelian, quartz, lapis-lazuli was also heavily worked towards. These were also exported to foreign countries.
Throughout the empire’s duration, pottery remained an important industry with different styles being developed. India Goods were usually able to move easily throughout the country. Animals and ox carts were used to transport goods by road. India After a while, people began to trade using ships on the ocean, which could carry more stuff more easily and safely than donkeys or camels could on land. This was good for South India, because some of the ships went to ports in the south, or sailed right around the south of India.
Sea trade developed quickly by this period and Indian ships were regularly moving around the Arabian sea, the China seas and the Indian Ocean. Evidence of Indian trade has even been found in parts of East Africa. India The Indian civilization has been massively involved in trade since its beginning. Because of this, it became prosperous and wealthy. With abundant resources and supplies, it became a large trade center. The Gupta empire relied on trade significantly. One product whose importance grew during the Gupta empire was textile. Not only did many people need it within India, but many other parts of the world wanted them too.
Silk, muslin, calico, linen, wool and cotton textiles were the major ones being produced.
Ivory work, stone cutting and carving, metal work especially in metals like gold, silver, copper, iron, lead and bronze were also very important. India is a civilization that has thrived throughout its existence because of its acknowledgment that trade is essential to a country or empire. Because of this, and other aspects like government and a lack of plague, India had a prosperous golden age, the Gupta empire, that lasted for around 230 years. In all, India succeeded in creating a large and wealthy empire that would last for years. India Egypt Trade flourished in Egypt with many exports and imports. They became deeply involved in exchanging with other countries. Egypt Ancient Egyptians imported and exported goods from several neighboring countries. They exported stone and pottery vases, linen, papyrus, gold vessels, ox hides, ropes, lentils, and dried fish. Farmers also grew crops such as parley and three different types of the wheat were available for the farming.
The south, especially Nubia, had plenty gold and mineral deposits, building stone, ebony, ivory, ostrich feathers and eggs, as well as livestock and cattle. From Punt, came myrrh and incense. Egypt Flax was the most important source for textile fiber. Farmers were continually involved in the activity of the farming throughout the year, and their work was very hectic. Flax was exported to the neighboring countries in exchange for gold and other exotic branded products. Egypt Egypt Caravan trade routes were an important for transporting these goods. One route led to the north and another led to the south.
The northern route was divided into two. The first one went through Palestine and along the Mediterranean coast. The second one ran through Megiddo and Hazor upstream along the Litani River and downstream along the Orontes River. The southern route ran from Assiut by way of the oases of Kharga and Dungul to Tomas in Nubia. Ancient Egyptian trade blossomed greatly. Trade partners emerged from all over the world. The trade links with different traders varied, and still do, from time to time.
However, though,these two routes were effective, boats and barges were the best mean of transport in Egypt. Egypt Egypt The usage of the seaway transport gathered even more trade links from all over the world. The sea route began on the Nile at the port of Memphis and led to the large port centers in the eastern Mediterranean, where Egyptian trade could take part in overseas trade. Imported goods were mostly raw materials and products considered luxury items. Horses, cattle, small livestock, silver, copper, and valuable minerals were imported from Syria and Palestine. Cyprus delivered copper and ivory. Luxury items such as Minoan and Mycenaean oil containers came from the Aegean. Though Egypt had incredible amounts of supplies, wood was a necessity for the building of houses, ships, and furniture and it was in short supply and a bad quality. To fix this, however, Egypt developed a special relationship with Byblos on the Lebanese coast, which became one of its closest allies for almost 2,000 years. Cedar wood was imported and it was essential to the building of a navy that was able to defend the country against the attacks of the Sea Peoples, people who invaded Egypt. Different varieties of hardwood, among them ebony, and fragrant wood were imported from Africa. Egypt Trade was done by barter in Egypt. Even after coins were introduced, the barter system continued to be widespread among the farming population for centuries. Grain and oil served as a kind of money. However, measuring was difficult because there was no common measurement and weights and scales were not easy to come by. China China prospered greatly from trade with essential trade routes like the Silk Road. Though, it withdrew trade with other countries at times, it did rely on trade for the spread of its culture and ideas. Egypt China The Huang He River stretches across China for more than 2,900 miles from Mongolia to the Pacific Ocean. The Chang Jiang river or Yangtze river is longer, stretching about 3,400 miles across central china. Then the two major rivers both merge together to create a great food-producing area.
Although China has to major rivers running through it, only 10 percent of its land is fertile and has rich enough soil to grow crops. China is surrounded by mountain ranges and river valleys, which make it hard for people to travel and trade their crops and live stocks, so they have to mostly rely on their food. China The Silk Road is the most well-known trading route of ancient Chinese civilization. Trade in silk grew during the Han Dynasty.
Originally, the Chinese only traded silk within the empire. Caravans would carry silk to the western parts of the region. Often small Central Asian tribes would attack these caravans hoping to capture the traders' valuable products so the Han Dynasty expanded its military defenses further into Central Asia to protect the caravans.
Chan Ch'ien, the first known Chinese traveler to make contact with the Central Asian tribes, later came up with the idea to expand the silk trade to include lesser tribes which would therefore create alliances with these Central Asian nomads. Because of this idea, the Silk Road was born. China The trading relationship between China and India grew stronger with the expansion of the Han dynasty into Central Asia. China would trade their silk with India for precious stones and metals like jade, gold, and silver. After, the Indians would trade the silk with the Roman Empire. China When Europeans started arriving in Asia, the main trade routes, which so far had been mainly on land, changed to the sea. Ships allowed for faster transport of larger quantities. Chinese trade then flourished for three centuries. China Besides silk, the Chinese also exported teas, salt, sugar, porcelain, and spices along the Silk Road. Most of what was traded was expensive luxury goods. This was because it was a long trip and merchants did not have much room for goods. They imported goods like cotton, ivory, wool, gold, and silver. China China’s trading of silk increase the number of foreigners in China because most were merchants. This exposed both the Chinese and visitors to different cultures and religions. Buddhism, in fact, spread from India to China because of trade along the Silk Road. China Ceramics were a great export for China. It is known that ceramics were exported as early as the 9th century. During the Tang dynasty, China had already traded with South Asia and the Middle East and continued to do so for some time.
During the Song dynasty, the porcelain exported to the Middle East became a product of high value, like a luxury, throughout the region and was favored immensely by the Ottoman Court, in modern day Turkey.
Because of this, the ceramics collection of the Topkapi palace museum, a museum in Turkey, is one of the largest collections of Chinese porcelain in the world. China During the Song and Yuan dynasties, most of the ceramics were produced to export. This may be one of the main factors that, today, few of the blue and white porcelain items produced during the Yuan dynasty remain in China itself. Greece In all, due to many trade ports, influence over the seas, and other minor factors, Greece became a very wealthy country and one of the world leaders in trade at that time. Greece Greece The introduction of trade to Greek culture was one of the most important points in the history of ancient Greece. Simple exchanges set the stage for grander trade to come. As trade grew, the Greek city states, especially Athens, began to export many goods, including decorative items and ships. Greece Greece is a country surrounded by water and the sea has always played an important role in its history. The ancient Greeks were active on the water, seeking opportunities for trade and founding new cities on the coast of and across the Mediterranean Sea. Greece The most commonly used ship in Greece was the cargo ship.They were used to transport goods which made Greece prosperous.
Cargo ships were made of wood and used sails instead of oars. Later, in 240 BC, boats were weighing more and getting larger. Therefore, ships began having more masts and sails, usually three. Some of the cargo ships were called trading ships or haulers. These had very deep hulls and broad beams, which helped them sail close to the wind. Haulers/Trading ships were usually around 60 feet long. Greece Around the 7th and 6th centuries B.C., Greek colonies stretched all the way from western Asia Minor to southern Italy, Sicily, North Africa, and even to the coasts of southern France and Spain. By then, the eastern Greeks controlled most of the Aegean Sea and had established cities to the north along the Black Sea. This region opened up further trade connections to the north that gave access to valuable raw materials, such as gold. Western Greek colonies played an important role as the transmitters of Greek culture to the Romans and the rest of the Italian peninsula. Also, in the Nile Delta, the port town of Naukratis served as a commercial headquarters for Greek traders in Egypt. Greece Trading stations played an important role in Greek culture. There, Greek goods, like pottery, bronze, silver and gold vessels, olive oil, wine, and textiles, were exchanged for luxury items and exotic raw materials that were then used by Greek artisans. In the 7th century B.C., Greek artists began to work in gem cutting, ivory carving, jewelry making, and metalworking. Greece After the military campaign of Alexander the Great, more extensive trade routes were opened across Asia, extending as far as Afghanistan and the Indus River Valley. These new trade routes introduced Greek art to cultures in the East, and also brought Greek artists new artistic styles and techniques. For example, the Greek alphabet, inspired by the writing of the Phoenician sea traders, was developed and spread by trade. Greece These routes brought precious stones as well. Garnets, emeralds, rubies, and amethysts were incorporated into new types of Hellenistic jewelry, more stunning than ever before. Greece With a strong navy force, Athens was able to have much influence over trade.
Athenian pottery was widely exported, especially to Etruria and to the colonies in southern Italy, where it inspired local imitations. During the Hellenistic period, local artistic styles flourished at Syracuse and ornate sculptural and painted vases were produced at Centuripe. China In all, China's trade routes, such as the Silk Road, influenced and reached many countries around the world. The geography, well-established sea trade routes around the Mediterranean that allowed foreigners to travel to Greece easily, and natural resources influenced Greece's trade massively. Simple Grand Rome Rome has always been deeply involved with trade. One of the largest Golden Ages, which sparked trade and prosperity, began in Rome. Trade was encouraged by many years of peace within the Empire and was vital to the success of the Empire. Rome Trade was vital to Ancient Rome. The empire cost a lot of money to run and trade brought in much of the needed money. The population of the city of Rome was one million people and such a vast population required many products brought back via trade that were not available within Rome. Rome Trade and moving the Roman Army around were the two principle reasons for building roads. However, transporting goods on land was too expensive and often dangerous, so most commerce was conducted via shipping. Rome The Roman Empire was criss-crossed with trade routes. There were sea routes that covered the Mediterranean and Black Seas and numerous land routes using the roads built by the Romans. One of the most important ports though was Ostia. Ostia was situated at mouth of the River Tiber, only 15 miles from Rome. Many ships travelled between Ostia and the major North African city of Carthage, a journey that took between three and five days. Ships also arrived from Spain and France. All their goods could be quickly moved to Rome as they were taken in barges to the city up the River Tiber after slaves had transferred the products from the merchant ships to the barges. Rome The Romans did what they could to make sea journeys safe and easy. Lighthouses were built as well as safe harbors and docks. The Roman Navy did their best to keep the Mediterranean Sea safe from pirates.There was also only one currency used throughout the Roman empire and there were no complicating customs dues, so people could trade and communicate much easier even without knowing each other’s language. The Romans traded with Britain for silver, which they used to make jewelery and coins, and wool which they used to make clothes. They imported dyes to color their clothes from the south-eastern part of their Empire and also spices to flavor their food. From the Far East, what is now China, they imported silk to make fine clothing. Cotton came from Egypt and exotic and wild animals for the gladiator fights came from Africa by sea. Their main trading partners were in Spain, France, the Middle East and North Africa. Rome Rome Rome also imported:
Wine. $Cost$ $Trade$ Rome When the Empire collapsed, trade throughout the lands that had once made up the Roman Empire, also collapsed. The Mediterranean Sea became a dangerous place for merchants as there were no powers to control the activities of pirates who marauded as far north as the English Channel. In all, trade has been ever-present throughout history. Civilizations' roots are trade and without, as see in Rome, the economy is lost and millions of problems arise.
Trade is also always connected. Every civilization interacted with each other and created a wed of business left for historians to decipher. With the presence of trade, each of these civilizations have reached their Golden Ages and highest peaks because trade will always, and has always been, vital to the success of m empire. Thank you so much Mrs. Izquierdo for all that you have taught me this year! You are the most amazing teacher I have had because you made me leave my comfort zone and strive to think critically and outside the box. I could have never accomplished all that I have this year without you, so thank you! Play during presentation!