Did ancient Egyptains have to trade or did they trade only for pleasure items such as jewelry?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In general, ancient Egyptians traded for luxury items much more than they traded for necessities.  They were trading for goods that were exotic, not for everyday items.

For example, the Egyptians traded with the lands to the South of Egypt of gold and for incense.  They also got things like ivory, ebony, slaves and exotic animals from what they called Punt, a country whose location is not really known to modern historians.

However, it was not only luxury items that were traded.  The Egyptians also traded with areas in what is now Turkey for things like tin and copper which were needed to make bronze.

Overall, though, ancient Egyptians traded mostly for exotic luxury goods.


lalithareddy | Student
The ancient Egyptians traded with their foreign neighbors to obtain rare, exotic goods not found in Egypt. In the Predynastic Period, they established trade with Nubia to obtain gold and incense. In exchange for its luxury imports and raw materials, Egypt mainly exported grain, gold, linen, and papyrus, in addition to other finished goods including glass and stone objects.

The ancient Egyptians prized the blue stone lapis lazuli, which had to be imported from far-away Afghanistan.

Egypt's Mediterranean trade partners also included Greece and Crete, which provided, among other goods, supplies of olive oil.