© CHRISTIAN DECAMPS/DIST. RMN-GRAND PALAIS/ART RESOURCE, NY
SPECIAL DELIVERY. The Egyptians regularly used ships to convey grain to ports both near and far, as depicted in this 15th-century B.C. painting from the Tomb of Unsu in Thebes, Egypt. During the 13th century, Egyptian grain ships sailed to Syria and Anatolia to try to alleviate the devastating impacts of drought that had brought wide-spread famine to the land. Such droughts likely contributed to the period’s collapse.