The kingdoms of Egypt and Kush had a very important and unique relationship in the ancient world. At different times, one empire would conquer the other and throughout history, it was a tug-of-war for territory. Throughout this political struggle, however, was an important trade relationship that was mutually beneficial. The Kingdom of Kush was loaded with important mineral resources that were traded with Egypt. These included iron, gold and silver. The Nubians were also experts at ironmaking and exported finished iron products for farming and warfare. In addtion, Kush sent exotic animals like elephants and giraffes to Egypt. The abundance of elephants made Kush a valuable exporter of ivory and only had one competitor in the world for this commodity (India.)
Egypt in turn, sent some grains to Nubia, although in most years the Kushites could sustain themselves in this area. Ceramics, fine jewelry, and other luxury items were imported from Egypt. The most important commodity that Kush received from Egypt was bronze.