Trade in the Middle Ages
Peoples, cities and states have traded since antiquity but in the medieval period, things escalated so that goods travelled ever greater distances by land, river and sea. Great cities arose thanks to commerce and international trade such...
Mansa Musa I
Mansa Musa I was the ruler of the Mali Empire in West Africa from 1312 to 1337. Controlling territories rich in gold and copper, and monopolising trade between the north and interior of the continent, Mali grew extremely wealthy. Mansa Musa...
Cheonmachong is a 5-6th-century CE royal tomb of the ancient Silla kingdom of Korea located at the Daereungwon Tomb Complex in Gyeongju. It is popularly known as the 'Heavenly Horse Tomb' because of a painting of that animal on a birch-bark...
Banking in the Roman World
Just as in other ancient civilizations, the first banks in Rome began in the temples consecrated to the ancient Gods. Many temples held in their basements the Romans' money and treasure, and were involved in banking activities such as lending...
Achaemenid Gold Armlet
This is one of a pair of golden armlets. These objects are among the most important surviving items from ancient Persian craftsmanship. It is likely that they were intended for display rather than being worn. The lion-griffin terminals were...
Egyptian faience is a glassy substance manufactured expertly by the ancient Egyptians. The process was first developed in Mesopotamia, first at Ur and later at Babylon, with significant results but faience production reached its height of...
Moche Gold Headdress
A Moche gold headdress (1-700 CE). The figure represents a fanged deity, a common subject in Moche art. (Larco Museum, Lima)
Ancient Celtic Torcs
In ancient Celtic cultures, torcs were a common form of jewellery and were made from bronze, copper, silver, and gold. Torcs were not just exquisite works of Celtic art but also identified the wearer’s status and perhaps were believed to...
Muisca Gold Figure
A Muisca (Chibcha) seated gold figure on a stool (tunjo). Colombia, 10th-16th century CE. (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)
Trade in the Ancient World
Trade has been going on for as long as humans have needed or wanted something that others had and they did not. Bartering for goods and trade in kind developed into more sophisticated forms of exchanges using commonly agreed commodity currencies...