Vases of Proto-Corinthian and mainly Corinthian pottery, which were used for carrying perfumes, esential oils, olive oil and wine, were found in different regions and testify to the fact that trade in the 7th century BC had spread beyond the geographical limits of the Greek mainland. This impetus continued throughout the 6th century BC too, when Attic black-figure pottery inundated markets from France and Italy as far as Russia and Near East. Naturally a big part in that had colonies and trade stations. They supported a net of transactions whose centres were Miletus, Corinth, Aegina and finally Athens. For instance, amphorae of the Massalian style, which were used to carry wine, have been found in the larger region of South France and in South-East Spain. The peoples of East France, South-West Germany and North-West Switzerland imported wine, luxury articles and drinking vases.

Originally, this trade net was sustained by adventurers -members of the upper classes- who along with their people were responsible for transactions. In the 6th century BC, however, independent ship owners -who could belong to lower classes too- controlled trade and were plying the Mediterranean in quest of profit.

An example of a product which was in great demand, was the wine of Chios. It had become renowned since the end of the 8th century BC and was being carried in the famous white Chian amphora of that time, which has been found in various places, such as Smyrna. Another product equally in request was the wine of Samos.

There were, however, instances of export prohibition. References have survived in Athens and Selymbria in the Thracian coasts. In Athens only the export of olive oil was allowed and in Selymbria the export of grain had been prohibited for a certain period (Pseudo-Aristotle, Oeconomica 1348b33-1349a3).

| introduction | agriculture | trade | state organization | Archaic Period

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