The Bronze Age is highly regarded for its technological innovations and new living patterns. The societies that lived during the Bronze Age, excelled in almost every facet of life. Trade has been the backbone of economy in almost all the ancient nations. In this article we will try to study the trading scenario that existed in the Bronze Age. Of course discussing all the nations of the Bronze Age would not be possible as far as trading is concerned hence as a test case we will consider the Greek Bronze civilization.
Local And International Trade
“Local And International Trade”
The concept of international trade was very much in the Greek society during the Bronze Age, particularly if you study the Mycenaean and Minoan times then this fact becomes clearly evident to you. The presence of precious and pottery goods such as ivory, gold and copper found from the ruins of Greek mainland, Egypt and Asia Minor and popular Islands such as Cyclades, Crete and Cyprus attest to the fact that the concept of international trade was in full flow at the time of the Bronze Age. It is believed that the rate of trade gradually declined particularly during the dark ages.
The trade went through a huge change in 600 BCE. The reason behind this change was the introduction of merchant ships of course such a huge change of transportation facilitated in decreasing the Gap between Greece and other nations of the world that lived in the Bronze Age and after.
The Goods Traded
“The Goods Traded”
There were many goods that were traded from Greece. The trading industry of Greece largely depended on items like olives, cheese, meat, honey, pulses, sheep, goats, fine pottery and perfumes. Particularly the fine Greek pottery had a huge demand in the foreign markets. The evidences to this fact have been found from far off places like the Atlantic Coast. The wine also greatly contributed in the Greek economy particularly the one which was produced from Kos and Mende.
The Greeks also imported many items; import is an important part of international trade even today. The slaves were greatly imported from Egypt. The grain was imported from the black sea after passing through Byzantium. The salt fish was also imported from the Black Sea. The wood was majorly imported from Thrace and Macedonia. Textiles, Papyrus, pepper, glasses and metals like tin, iron, copper, silver and gold were also imported from different nations of the world.
The State And Trade
“The State And Trade”
The state did not interfere in trading activities very much. However one item which the state really took seriously during those days was grain. Even in tough situations like drought the trade of wheat was supervised and bought by grain buyers (special). After 470 BCE the obstacle and re exportation of the import gain was banned. The offenders were penalized by law often resulting in death penalty. The state had hired a group of Market officials whose job was to ensure the overall quality of the goods that were on sale in the market. The grain was supervised by special agents who were referred to as the sitophylakes. The sitophylakes actually regulated and inspected the quality as well as the price on which the grain was actually offered to the customers.
The trading and industrial dynamics of the Bronze Age is a huge subject indeed and no single article can explain it fully. If you are really interested in this topic then it is highly recommended that you should search out a good book on the subject written by a popular author of our time.