Trading Expeditions




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  The ancient Egyptians also had a vast experience in trade and made lots of trade expeditions in the neighboring territories. The Egyptians did not use money. They paid taxes in the form of goods. All trade was barter, which means swapping one kind of goods for another. Wood from Lebanon was paid for in corn and wine, for instance.

Other trade missions were to Lebanon for the trade of cider and wood in order to build ships. Also some trade missions were done to Arabia and later to India for incense and spices.

Expeditions to the Eastern Desert brought copper, tin, and other minerals from the mines. Other routes led to oases in the west.




The Land of Punt was one of the most famous places for the trading missions done by many of the pharaohs

The land of Punt was first found in Egyptian texts in the 19th century; its association with incense and myrrh led to identification with Arabia.Punt was the name used by the ancient Egyptians to describe an area in east Africa. But there is some argument as to exactly where Punt was situated. It used to be believed that it was in modern Somalia but more recently southern Sudan or the Eritrean region of Ethopia have been suggested. Punt was the source of many exotic products including gold, incense, ebony, ivory, slaves and monkeys. 

The best known trading expedition to Punt took place during the reign of Queen Hatshepsut (1473-1458 B.C.). On the walls of her temple at Deir el-Bahri is a picture of the event which includes the figure of the Queen of Punt. Usually Egyptian women were shown slim and youthful in art, whatever their real appearance might be. In this scene, however, the queen is shown as obese. Some Egyptologists have said that this was perhaps to show those aspects of Punt relating to wealth and fertility.

During the Old Kingdom, expeditions went south to Punt from Egypt, by boat - its products came down the Nile, or could be carried via the Red Sea (reached via Wadi Hammamat). So likewise by sea in early Middle Kingdom (Red Sea port, Mersa Gweisis), and in the New Kingdom. The Puntites also sailed to Egypt.

Egypt and India traded by land and sea during the Roman era, in part because of texts detailing the commercial exchange of luxury goods, including fabrics, spices and wine.

Spices, gems and other exotic cargo excavated from an ancient port on Egypt's Red Sea show that the sea trade 2,000 years ago between the Roman Empire and India was more extensive than previously thought.

Coloured stones and gems for jewellery came from desert mines. Sinai produced turquoise.

Related Image


 The Eastern Desert contained emeralds.

The Egypt‑Punt trade‑link ended after the mid‑12th century BC. The exact cause for this is unknown.





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