The discovery of nonlocal objects at many archaeological sites strongly suggests that trade existed in prehistoric times. Anthropologists and other explorers have found trade institutions among diverse peoples throughout the world. The ceremonially elaborate kula trade ring of the Trobriand Islands, the gift-giving potlatch of W Canada's Kwakiutl, and the desert caravan of N Africa and the Arabian peninsula are among the more famous examples. In the Western world a number of peoples, including the Egyptians, Sumerians, Cretans, Phoenicians, and Greeks, at one time or another dominated trade. The Crusades did much to widen European trade horizons and prefaced the passing of trade superiority from Constantinople to Venice and other cities of N Italy.
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