What Were the 2 Main Exports of Ancient Greece?

Ancient Greece, known for its rich history and cultural contributions, was a hub of trade and commerce. The ancient Greeks were adept at various trades and craftsmanship, leading to a diverse range of exports. In this article, we will delve into the two main exports that played a significant role in shaping the economy of ancient Greece.

The Olive Tree: A Symbol of Ancient Greek Economy

The olive tree holds immense importance in the ancient Greek economy. Olive oil, derived from the olives harvested from these trees, was one of the main exports of ancient Greece. The Greeks were pioneers in cultivating olive trees and extracting oil from the fruits.

Olive oil had various uses in ancient Greece. It was not only a staple in their diet but also served as fuel for lamps and a key ingredient in cosmetics.

The Greeks recognized its medicinal properties as well. As a result, demand for olive oil soared both within Greece and beyond its borders.

Benefits of Olive Oil:

  • Rich in monounsaturated fats
  • Contains antioxidants
  • Promotes heart health
  • Beneficial for skincare

Trade Routes for Olive Oil

Ancient Greek merchants exported olive oil through established trade routes that connected them with other civilizations such as Egypt, Persia, and Rome. These routes facilitated the exchange of goods and ideas between different regions.

Marble: A Precious Commodity

Marble, renowned for its beauty and durability, was another prized export of ancient Greece. The Greeks were skilled at quarrying marble from their rich deposits and transforming it into exquisite statues, sculptures, buildings, and other architectural marvels.

Ancient Greek marble was highly sought after due to its fine quality and unique colors. The Parthenon, one of the most iconic structures in Athens, is a testament to the mastery of ancient Greek marble craftsmanship.

Benefits of Marble:

  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Elegant and aesthetically pleasing
  • Easy to work with and carve
  • Heat resistant

Ancient Greek Marble: A Symbol of Prestige

Ancient Greece’s reputation for exceptional marble craftsmanship extended far beyond its borders. Merchants exported Greek marble to various regions, including Rome, where it adorned grand structures like the Colosseum and the Forum.

The export of marble not only contributed significantly to the economy but also showcased the artistic prowess of ancient Greece. It left an indelible mark on civilizations for centuries to come.


Ancient Greece thrived on trade, with olive oil and marble being two main exports that fueled its economy. Olive oil provided sustenance, light, and various health benefits, while marble showcased the artistic talents of ancient Greeks. These two exports symbolize the ingenuity and legacy of a civilization that continues to inspire us today.