Friendly political relations between states were kept by a regular exchange of ceremonial gifts during the last centuries of the third millennium bc. The regional states of Ebla and Mari exchanged messengers at least once in a year. They brought the same amounts of clothes and silver. Only two kinds of goods travelled one way: lapis lazuli from Mari to Ebla, and gold from Ebla to Mari. Thirty five yearly accounts allow to determine the amount of lapis which reached the court of Ebla. Minor amounts of this stone was acquired on the market. Carapeces of turtle (Rafetus euphraticus) and Tridacna shells also were appreciated, and reached Ebla through the route along the Euphrates. This material was used for stone and wood inlays.