chapter  2
21 Pages

The products of the Erythraean area

THE products recorded in the P1\JE consist of two tnain groups: (r) Anitnal: tortoiseshell, ivory, and rhinoceros horn. (2) Plant: 'ar6tnata', i.e. spices, fragrant gun1s, incense, spikenard, kasia, tnalabathron, aloes, cinnabar, etc. (3) Less in quantity were precious stones, cloth, skins, silk, purple dye, indian ink (or indigo), tnurrhine ware, ghi, sesan1e oil, corn, wine, rice, and sugar. These were exported both to places in the Erythracan area and to Egypt and southern Europe. They were obtained largely, if not entirely, by exchange of things which the local people could not n1ake or produce themselves. Thus, to the ports on the north Sotnali coast were brought for exchange with ar6tnata, ivory, and tortoiseshell such things as clothing, glassware, cups and bowls, tin, iron, gold and silver, precious stones, corn, wine, and unripe olives, as ,,·ell as a little tnoney, not for trade but as presents to the natives. Money, in fact, does not seen1 to have been used for buying goods, but only for gifts, except that in certain civilised places where coinage \Vas in nonnal circulation, like Barugaza and the Tatnil coast, n1oney was itnported, son1etitnes in large quantities.