The First Merchants (History Documentary)
Trade is believed to have taken place throughout much of human history. There is evidence of the trading of obsidian and flint during the stone age.
The common thread that joined all great ancient powers was the need to trade.
Large scale trade began on the Eurasian Steppes with the domestication of the horse in Kazakhstan about 6500 years ago. Traders first used the horse as a pack animal until the wagon was invented 5500 years ago, then horses could move large amounts of goods. Cities and urban life began with this large scale trade, some people gave up their nomadic lifestyle and began settling in one place to manufacture tools, cooking utensils, jewelry, cloth, pottery and weapons as trade goods. Trade facilitated the transition to specialized skilled labor. Large scale trade also facilitated the invention of writing because now some people had to keep accurate sales records, record ownership and draw up contracts.