Iron Age Economy - West Asia answers questions

Iron Age Economy - West Asia

(Phoenician glass
found in Carthage)

The rise of the Assyrian empire (in modern Iraq) and of the Phoenicians (in modern Lebanon) about 900 BC created a new economic boom in West Asia. The Phoenicians traded all over the Mediterranean Sea in ships, and established trading posts at Carthage and in Spain and Sicily. They made glass beads and little glass perfume jars to sell, and they also sold things that other people had made, like pepper and cinnamon from India. The Phoenicians traded these things for Spanish silver, and for slaves and wood and furs. They traded with the Etruscans, and then with the Romans. They also traded with the Egyptians.

The Assyrians were also active traders. They acted as middlemen between India and Iran and the rest of West Asia.

Learn by doing: make some perfume
Parthian and Sassanian economy

Bibliography and further reading about the West Asian economy in the Iron Age:

Find Out About Mesopotamia: What Life Was Like in Ancient Sumer, Babylon and Assyria, by Lorna Oakes (2004). Easy reading.

The Assyrians, by Elaine Landau (1997). Easy reading.

Ancient Near Eastern History and Culture, by William H. Stiebing (2002). Expensive, and hard to read, but it's a good up to date account.

Everyday Life in Ancient Mesopotamia, by Jean Bottero and others (2001).

Daily Life in Ancient Mesopotamia, by Karen Rhea Nemet-Nejat (2002).

West Asian Economy - Parthians
More about West Asia home

Professor Carr

Karen Eva Carr, PhD.
Assoc. Professor Emerita, History
Portland State University

Professor Carr holds a B.A. with high honors from Cornell University in classics and archaeology, and her M.A. and PhD. from the University of Michigan in Classical Art and Archaeology. She has excavated in Scotland, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, and Tunisia, and she has been teaching history to university students for a very long time.

Professor Carr's PSU page

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