International Trade

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  • #39924
    Ed P

    I found this article on Cornish tin exports that took place in 2000BC to be a fascinating insight on how long ago international trade was established. It raised multiple questions in my mind such as how many different traders were involved in the buying, transportation and selling of the commodity. What did they trade with one another, and how did they communicate?

    It is fascinating to look back to that time and think that the people involved were probably not much different from us, albeit with different food/shelter/security needs.

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  • #39926
    Forumite Points: 5,369

    Always makes me laugh when the Shadow International Trade Secretary comes on the political programmes, whomever it may be, they never give them an acronym!!!

    Dave Rice
    Forumite Points: 9,090

    There was a program on last night about a small Iron Age settlement in the fens that burned down suddenly. The preservation was incredible and among the finds were glass beads from the Mediterranean – the Po valley IIRC. Wherever it was the area was dedicated to manufacturing all sorts of fancy goods and they found lumps of glass with the pincer marks still in them. The techniques were pretty much as they are now (but no glass blowing). Bronze items found in Germany were made of local copper and Cornish tin.

    They found a load of bronze swords, most had clearly used in anger by the nicks – plus a palisade around the settlement with many iron spear points – which puts paid to the theory they were show off items. Often described as the sports cars of the day owned only by the rich it seems they were no such thing.

    The architecture of the settlement was very similar to those found in European wet areas – Lake Constance and the Dutch rivers for example – leading to the theory they were migrants from Europe who knew how to live in these landscapes. Why did they live on the water and not the land? Control of trade as the rivers were the motorways of the day plus safety. Not that it helped this settlement, it seems the fire was not a domestic accident.

    As the finds could clearly be associated with a dwelling they found that there was a lot more going on than previously thought. Each house had 3 to 4 bronze axes, scythes (still sharp) and all sorts of other tools, plus the swords (still gleaming and sharp). There was also a lot of textile manufacture happening at all stages, not just weaving, and the quality was very fine indeed.

    Fascinating stuff.

    Bob Williams
    Forumite Points: 13,458

    I love that acronym Dave. 😁

    It was probably the first great Mediterranean seafarers who came to Western Britain for Tin and Copper – The Phoenicians:

    An amazing people, they were great sailors. They traded along the western coasts of what is now France, Spain and Portugal, as well as Britain. Shows that these islands were world traders and exporters, well before Rome was founded. Incidentally, the Chinese went a little further with Bronze edged weapons. They used Chromium to keep a sharp edge on the weapons . Such weapons were almost as effective as Iron ones.

    I watched “Britain’s Pompeii: A Village Lost in Time” too Dave, really great programme with my favourite historical story teller, Dr Alice Roberts, president of the Humanist Society. I am proud to be a member and recommend it to anyone who does not hold a belief in a recognised religion. Many scientists and Archaeologists are members, including Neil Oliver.

    Preaching? No, just the opposite.


    When the Thought Police arrive at your door, think -
    I'm out.

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