The beginning of international trade relations in the eastern Mediterranean basin has been set in the latter part of the third millennium BCE; however the development of this system by an extensive network of trade did not occur prior to the Late Bronze Age (the second half of the second millennium BCE).

My lecture will compare two important sources about this network of commercial ties in the Late Bronze Age and Iron Age. The first source is the cargo of a shipwreck from Ulu-Burun that was carrying a load of raw material including copper and tin ingots, glass ingots, elephant and hippopotamus tusks and the remains of ebony. In addition to this, dozens of ‘Canaanite’ jars and pithoi were found in the boat. This boat’s cargo can be viewed as credible reflection of the characteristics of the commercial activity in the Late Bronze Age throughout the Ancient East.

The second source that will be discussed in the lecture is the ‘catalogue of goods’ in the prophecy of Ezekiel, which appears in the downfall of Tyre (Chapter 27). In this prophecy Ezekiel equates Tyre with a magnificent ship and details the assortment of goods and countries that were connected to the commercial activity of Tyre in the first half of the first millennium BCE. A comparison of the goods in both of these sources will enable us to examine the changes that transpired in international trade in the eastern basin of the Mediterranean Sea during the periods under discussion.