In the fourteenth century BCE, around 3,400 years ago, commerce among the empires of the Ancient Near East expanded, reaching unprecedented heights. Caravans of merchants traveled between the main centers, connecting Egypt in the South with Babylonia in the East and Hatti in the North, while merchant vessels crossed the sea between Egypt and Cyprus, the Aegean Islands, and mainland Greece. The most popular commodities were copper from Cyprus, gold from Egypt and Anatolia, silver from Assyria, tin distributed from Ugarit on the Syrian coast, and precious liquids from Cyprus and Greece marketed in delicate pottery containers. The most important anchorages in southern Canaan were on the Carmel coast and in the Akko bay. From these points, wine, oil, resin, meat, olives, and honey were shipped throughout the entire Eastern Mediterranean basin. They were stored in Canaanite jars, the preeminent maritime transport vessel, which have come to light in archaeological excavations throughout the region. This trade was not privately initiated by Canaanites but rather conducted under Egyptian auspices. It was one of the means by which Egypt exploited Canaan and used its products for the benefit of the Egyptian crown.