During the reign of Senwosret III, an expedition of sailors travelled to Byblos. As preserved, the ruler of this famed city allowed them to dock at its harbour. Thereafter followed mediations and interventions to help secure a prized commodity for Egypt: aS-wood. This episode adds to a growing body of material on the mechanisms of long-distance exchange between Egypt and the Levant from the Middle to early New Kingdom. But how did such exchange emerge following periods of state ‘collapse’? How was it maintained? Why was it even important? Dr. Anna-Latifa Mourad draws from her ongoing research into ancient cultural interactions to explore these questions, and look into the roles of diverse individuals and groups who contributed to ‘building bridges’ across the Mediterranean.