The Mediterranean Sea was an important route for merchants and travelers during ancient times as it allowed for trade and cultural exchange between emergent peoples of the region.
Several ancient civilizations were located around its shores; thus it has had a major influence on those cultures. It provided routes for trade, colonization and war, and provided food (by fishing and the gathering of other seafood) for numerous communities throughout the ages.
This inland sea is bordered on the north by Europe, the east by Asia, and in the south by Africa. This 969,100 sq. mile body of water is approximately 2,300 miles in length, and has a maximum depth of 16,896 ft.
The typical Mediterranean climate is hot, with dry summers and mild, rainy winters. Major crops of the region include olives, grapes, oranges, tangerines, and cork.
Major subdivisions include the Adriatic Sea, Aegean Sea, Balearic Sea, Tyrrhenian Sea, Ionian Sea and Ligurian Sea.