Ancient Egyptians produced excess crops and mined valuable stones and metals that they were able to trade with foreign countries. Illustrations on tomb walls describe expeditions sent by the pharaoh to Nubia to the south, and Punt to the southeast on the Red Sea. These expeditions were sent to barter Egyptian items for valuable foreign goods. Nubia gave Egypt access to valuable items from Africa’s interior region. Egypt also set up trading relationships with Syria for cedar wood since their natural trees did not produce good lumber. Archeological evidence also suggests that they set up trading relationships within the Aegean Islands. Foreign trade was regulated by the pharaoh. Because he owned the quarries and the mines, the pharaoh decided what items could be traded and what items were to be obtained in the trades.
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