What Was Traded in Ancient Greece?

In ancient Greece, trade was a significant part of the economy. The Greeks traded with various regions, including Egypt, Rome, and parts of Asia.

They traded a variety of goods, from raw materials to luxury items. Let’s take a look at what was traded in ancient Greece.

Raw Materials

One of the most important things that the Greeks traded was raw materials. These were essential because they were used to make different products. Some examples of raw materials that were traded include:

  • Timber: Greece had abundant forests, and timber was one of their most significant exports.
  • Olive Oil: Olive trees were plentiful in Greece, and the oil that came from them was highly prized.
  • Wine: Wine was made in many parts of Greece and was exported to other countries.
  • Metal: Metals like bronze and iron were mined in Greece and were used to make weapons and tools.

Luxury Items

The Greeks also traded luxury items that were highly valued by other cultures. These goods included:

  • Pottery: Greek pottery was famous for its quality and beauty, and it was exported all over the Mediterranean region.
  • Jewelry: The Greeks made jewelry from gold, silver, and precious stones such as emeralds and sapphires.
  • Clothing: Greeks produced fine fabrics like silk and linen which they turned into elegant clothing for both men and women.
  • Cosmetics: Women in ancient Greece used makeup such as eyeliner made from kohl and rouge for their cheeks.


One of the most troubling aspects of ancient Greek trade was the trade-in slaves. Slaves were an essential part of the ancient Greek economy, and they were used for a variety of purposes, such as labor in mines, agriculture, and as domestic servants. Slaves were sourced from various regions such as Thrace, Scythia, and the Black Sea region.


Ancient Greece was a hub of trade, where raw materials, luxury items, and even human beings were traded. The Greeks traded these items with other regions in the Mediterranean and beyond. This trade was an essential part of their economy and played a vital role in shaping their culture and society.