How Were Goods Transported in Ancient Greece?

In ancient Greece, the transportation of goods was a crucial part of the economy. The Greeks used various methods to transport goods across the country, including land and sea routes. Let’s take a closer look at some of these methods.

Land Transportation

One of the most common methods of transporting goods in ancient Greece was by using animals like mules, donkeys, and oxen. These animals were used to carry heavy loads such as grain, wine, and olive oil.

The use of carts and wagons was also prevalent in moving goods across land. The Greeks built roads made of stone or dirt that connected important cities and trading centers.


Another form of land transportation in ancient Greece was by using human porters. These porters would carry smaller but valuable items like pottery, jewelry, and other luxury goods on their backs or in baskets. They were often hired by wealthy merchants or traders who needed to transport their goods from one place to another.

Sea Transportation

Since ancient Greece was surrounded by water on three sides, sea transportation played a significant role in the economy. Ships were used to transport large quantities of goods from one place to another along the coastlines or across the Aegean Sea.

Military Ships

The Greek navy played an important role in protecting trade routes in ancient times. Military ships were also used to transport soldiers and their equipment during wartime.

Merchant Ships

Merchant ships were mainly used for commercial purposes. They transported goods like grain, wine, olive oil, pottery, and textiles over long distances across the Mediterranean Sea. These ships had specialized crews who were skilled at navigating through rough waters while avoiding pirates.

The Importance of Trade

Trade was crucial for the survival of ancient Greece’s economy as it allowed them access to rare resources and materials from other parts of the world. The Greeks traded with other civilizations like the Egyptians, Persians, and Phoenicians. In exchange for their goods, the Greeks provided items such as honey, wood, and metals.


In conclusion, transportation played a vital role in the ancient Greek economy. They used various methods to transport goods across land and sea routes.

This allowed them to trade with other civilizations and acquire essential resources for their survival. By incorporating these techniques into their economy, ancient Greece was able to flourish as a civilization for centuries.