What Did Ancient Greece Import and Export?

Ancient Greece, with its vast network of trade routes and access to the Mediterranean Sea, was a hub for international trade. The Greeks imported and exported a wide range of goods, including raw materials, luxury items, and foodstuffs. In this article, we will delve into the details of what Ancient Greece imported and exported.


Raw Materials: Ancient Greece relied heavily on the import of raw materials such as metals, timber, and wool. Metals like iron, copper, gold, silver were primarily imported from other parts of Europe and the Middle East. The Greeks also imported tin from Britain to make bronze.

Luxury Items: Ancient Greece was famous for its love for luxury items. They imported silk from China and India to make fine clothing.

Precious stones such as diamonds and rubies were brought in from India to adorn jewelry. Ivory was also a popular import used for intricate carvings.

Foods: The Greeks relied on imports for some of their staple foods as well. Wheat was grown in limited quantities in Greece; hence they had to import it from Egypt and Sicily. Spices such as cinnamon and pepper were also brought in from India.


Olive Oil: Olive oil was one of the most important exports of Ancient Greece. It was used not only for cooking but also for lamps and cosmetics. Athens was particularly famous for its high-quality olive oil.

Wine: Wine production was a significant part of the Greek economy, with exports going as far as Gaul (modern-day France). The Greeks produced two types of wine- sweet wine that resembled today’s dessert wines and sour wine that tasted like vinegar.

Pottery: Greek pottery was known for its intricate designs, shapes, and durability. Pottery items such as plates, cups, and vases were exported to other parts of the world. The Greeks also exported their pottery to Egypt, where it was used as trade commodities.

Marble: Ancient Greece had an abundant supply of marble, which was used for sculpture and architecture. Marble from Greece was highly prized and was exported all over the known world.


In conclusion, Ancient Greece had a thriving economy based on international trade. They imported raw materials and luxury items from other parts of the world and exported goods such as olive oil, wine, pottery, and marble. The Greeks’ love for luxury items played a crucial role in their imports, while their expertise in craftsmanship made their exports highly sought after.