Profile image
By Ancient Origins
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views

Last Hour:
Last 24 Hours:

Why Did Ancient People Travel Thousands of Kilometers for Incense?

Monday, April 10, 2017 18:09
% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

(Before It's News)

A copper bowl burning frankincense.

In ancient times, people would travel thousands of kilometers across land and sea, along a network of trading routes, to acquire the precious commodities of myrrh and frankincense.

The ancient incense route was a network of major trade routes that connected the Mediterranean world with the sources of incense to its east and south. As its name suggests, this route was used to transport incense, primarily from the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula to the Mediterranean. Whilst this route is best known for its transportation of incense, other luxury goods, such as gold, pearls and animal skins also travelled on this trade route.

The ruins of Avdat, a city on the ancient incense route

The ruins of Avdat, a city on the ancient incense route. (CC BY-SA 3.0).

The value of incense

Incense was a very important commodity in the ancient world. Incense was used in a variety of ways, such as to embalm the dead, to flavour wine, and as a form of medication. Nevertheless, it was most commonly burnt to produce a pleasing aroma that would mask the less pleasing odours of the time. Incense, both frankincense and myrrh, are produced by drying the resin harvested from certain types of trees. These trees grow exclusively in the southern region of Arabia, Ethiopia and Somalia, hence making this commodity extremely valuable indeed.

Section: – Reconstructing the story of humanity’s past


Report abuse


Your Comments
Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

Top Stories
Recent Stories



Email this story
Email this story

If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.