Trade

A work in progress.

The aim is to map out the different trade routes that were present in the Ancient World.

The first long-distance trade occurred between Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley in Pakistan around 3000 BC, historians believe. Long-distance trade in these early times was limited almost exclusively to luxury goods like spices, textiles and precious metals. Cities that were rich in these commodities became financially rich, too, satiating the appetites of other surrounding regions for jewelry, fancy robes and imported delicacies.

It wasn’t long after that trade networks crisscrossed the entire Eurasian continent, inextricably linking cultures for the first time in history.

By the second millennium BC, former backwater island Cyprus had become a major Mediterranean player by ferrying its vast copper resources to the Near East and Egypt, regions wealthy due to their own natural resources such as papyrus and wool. Phoenicia, famous for its seafaring expertise, hawked its valuable cedar wood and linens dyes all over the Mediterranean. China prospered by trading jade, spices and later, silk. Britain shared its abundance of tin.