Read the excerpt from "Benin Plaque: The Oba with Europeans."
The Portuguese galleons, cutting out all the middlemen and able to carry much bigger cargoes, offered a totally new kind of trading opportunity. They and their Dutch and English competitors, who followed later in the sixteenth century, carried gold and ivory to Europe and in return brought commodities from all over the world that were greatly valued by the Oba's court, including coral from the Mediterranean, cowry shells from the Indian Ocean to serve as money, cloth from the Far East and, from Europe itself, larger quantities of brass than had ever before reached West Africa. This was the raw material from which the Benin plaques were made.
Which central idea is best supported by the details in the excerpt?