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Natural Resources

The most plentiful natural resource of the mountains of mainland Greece was timber for building houses and ships, but deforestation1 may have already begun to occur in antiquity. In any case, Greeks eventually began to import timber from the regions north of them. Some deposits of metal ore were also scattered throughout Greek territory, as were clays suitable for making pottery and sculpture. Scattered quarries2 of fine stone such as marble provided material for special buildings and works of art. The uneven distribution of these resources meant that some areas and islands were considerably richer than others. The silver mines3 of Athens, for example, contributed greatly to that state's famous prosperity in the fifth century, its “Golden Age.”

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