Wealth and Trade

Wealth & Trade

Some areas in the middle east are known for specific trade goods. The map below shows some of the major trade routes and trade goods. Of particular note is the oil and grain available in central Israel, wood from the coastal cities and horses from the north.

Large amounts of land, horses, chariots as well as the size of sheep and goat herds are indicators of wealth and social status. Below is a map of some of the major trade goods by area.

Trade routes and goods


There are three major travel routes through Israel, the Derech HaYam (or The Way of the Sea, in Latin, the Via Maris), Ridge Route, and the King’s Highway.

The “Way of the Sea” is one of three major trade routes in ancient Israel – the Via Maris, Ridge Route, and the King’s Highway. It is situated from the Galilee to the North to Samaria to the South, running through the Jezreel Valley. At the Philistine Plain, the Way broke into two branches, one on the coast and one inland (through the Jezreel Valley, the Sea of Galilee, and Dan), which unites at Megiddo (“Armageddon”). The location of Megiddo vis a vis the Via Maris explains why Megiddo was a very important route for travel and trading city in ancient Israel. The Way of the Sea connected the major routes from the Fertile Cresent to Mesopotamia (from Egypt to modern day Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria).The road was the main thoroughfare running north/south from the Sinai along the coastal plain through the Jezreel valley, Beit Shean and on until Damascus.**

Principal trade routes

**credit: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/ViaMaris.html

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Wealth and Trade

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