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Aberdeen harbour has always had close links with its surrounding area. Products from the local area have supplied the harbour's North Sea trade since the 13th century. Medieval exports included salmon from the rivers Dee and Don and wool, hides and tallow. Imports included luxury and manufactured products, such as wine, cloth and gold and silverwork. By the 1800s, imports included raw materials for industry: iron for shipbuilding and esparto grass for papermaking. Exports were similar to those of previous centuries: salted herrings, stones and woollen goods.

Aberdeen harbour is currently associated with oil but other trade continues. Goods passing through include forest products, livestock and grain. 

Coin HoardComplete Pot from 1983 St Nicholas Street Coin Hoard, 13th to 14th century
During the construction of the St Nicholas Centre, workmen found two locally made pottery jugs containing around 7000 silver pennies. This is one of the hoards dating to the 13th to 14th century. The group of 14th-century coin hoards found in Aberdeen city centre is unparalleled in Britain and may even be unequalled in the whole of western Europe. Coins were buried because during the medieval period there were no banks, and the hiding of money in this way kept it safe. When the owner did not return to collect the money, it remained safe until the ground was disturbed, in this case 640 years later.