Ancient Egypt Trade Analysis
Every civilization has relied on trade to survive. Ancient Egyptians are known as great traders. The Ancient Egyptians were a nation rich in natural resources, but they still needed to depend on trade to buy their necessities and luxury goods. Ancient Egypt’s natural resources and raw materials enabled it to develop into a powerful and wealthy civilization.
Trade in Egypt began around 6000 BCE and continued during Roman Egypt (646 CE). During the Old Kingdom of Egypt, trade helped fund the Giza Pyramids and many other monuments. Upper and Lower Egypt as well as the districts within these regions began to trade. Trade had been established between Egypt and Mesopotamia by the First Dynasty. Egyptians exchanged gold, papyrus, linen, grain, and decorative items. The Egyptians were in trade with Lebanon (cedar), Africa (ebony), Afghanistan(lapis lazuli), Punt & Nubia (incense & oils), Nubia (gold), Punt & Nubia (copper n iron) They also received bronze, pottery and olive oil. The Egyptians were also able to trade with animals, slaves, and skins. Ancient Egyptians enjoyed access to three major seas: the Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea and Nile. Ancient Egypt was able to achieve great wealth and power because of its natural resources. Ancient Egyptians used a bartering system to run their economy. Cash economy did not begin until 525 BCE, when the Persians invaded Egypt. Trade flourished before then through exchange of goods. The units of exchange for goods and service were called deben.
In North America, the deben was equivalent to a dollar. A deben is approximately 90 grams copper. Egyptians set prices for their goods to know how much they were worth, and in what currency the Egyptians would be able to trade them. The boats, ships and cargo that brought the goods up to the ports sailed along the Nile. The first ancient Egyptian boats used papyrus and were propelled by oars or poles. Egyptians then began making wooden boats. These boats were built without nails. Instead, they were constructed from short planks and were tied together using ropes. They began using a large sail in the center of the boat to catch wind.
Ancient Egyptians were able to build massive cargo ships. These boats would sail along the Mediterranean Sea as well as the Nile. These ships had a huge cargo capacity. Some ships can carry as much as 500 tons of stone quarry. Ancient Egyptians mastered the art of building and navigating boats.