Salt used to be a form of currency

Just the basics

  • Salt is an essential part of the human and animal diet
  • It plays an important role in many different rituals
  • In many cultures it is customary to offer guests bread and salt
  • It was expensive to acquire and was as valuable as gold
  • In Ancient Greece it was common to trade slaves for salt
  • Roman soldiers used to be paid in salt rations
  • To this day tribes in Ethiopia still use salt as a form of payment
  • In Ancient Greece it was common to trade slaves for salt

Bread and salt

Salt has been an important part of human life, long before the first societies were created, or the first pieces of history were even recorded. It is essential for our, as well as many animals’ diet, but throughout the centuries it has been used for so much more. It has always been associated with purity and plays an important role in many cleansing rituals and religions. In many cultures it is still customary to offer guests bread and salt as a form of welcome and it was custom, that no harm would come to a guest who was formally greeted.

The white gold

But probably its most important use was as money and it made the backbone of many economies. In ancient times its production was cumbersome and quite expensive. First a source of saltwater was required, and then some sort of mechanism to let it evaporate and extract the precious mineral within it. It became so valuable, that at times it was worth as much as gold. In Ancient Greece it was common practice to trade slaves for it, which gave meaning to the expression “not even worth his salt”.

Pay day

Throughout the Roman Empire soldiers were paid using salt rations, known as “salarium argentum”. A remnant of this can be still found in the word “salary”. Traces of the Latin “sal” can still be found in many other languages, primarily in words associated with food, like “sausage”, “sauce” or even “salad”. Incredibly, even today it is still used as money among the nomadic tribes of Ethiopia's Danakil Plains.

The oldest city in Europe

Solnitsata, which literally translates to “the saltern”, is believed to be the oldest town in Europe. It was an ancient town, located near the Black Sea in present day Bulgaria and it was the site of a salt production facility around 6 millennia ago. The town supplied salt throughout the Balkans, which drove the regions economy and may explain the large amount of gold objects, discovered in the area.

Share with your friends

References

Recent posts

15 Comments to “ Salt – The White gold”

  1. g think says :Reply

    This is my first time pay a quick visit at here and i
    am really pleassant to read all at one place.

  2. g your says :Reply

    Hi, this weekend is good for me, since this point
    in time i am reading this impressive informative paragraph here at my house.

  3. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be really something which I think I would never understand.
    It seems too complicated and extremely broad for me.
    I am looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get
    the hang of it!

  4. Fantastic items from you, man. I have take into account your
    stuff prior to and you are simply too excellent. I really like what you’ve received here, certainly like what you
    are saying and the way in which by which you are saying it.

    You’re making it enjoyable and you still care for to keep it sensible.
    I can’t wait to read much more from you. That is actually a great web site.

  5. Hello! Do you know if they make any plugins to
    protect against hackers? I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve
    worked hard on. Any suggestions?

  6. bookmarked!!, I like your site!

  7. Hi, I read your new stuff daily. Your humoristic style is witty,
    keep it up! adreamoftrains web hosting companies

  8. Very good post. I will be dealing with many of these issues as well..

  9. This is the right site for everyone who would like to understand this topic.
    You realize so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I
    really would want to…HaHa). You definitely put a fresh spin on a
    subject that has been discussed for many years. Great stuff, just
    wonderful!

  10. This is very attention-grabbing, You’re an excessively skilled blogger.
    I have joined your feed and look ahead to in quest of more of your fantastic post.
    Additionally, I’ve shared your site in my social networks

  11. Thank you, I have just been searching for information about this subject for a long time and yours is the
    greatest I have came upon so far. However, what concerning the conclusion? Are
    you sure about the source?

  12. I used to be recommended this website by way of my cousin. I’m now not sure whether or
    not this put up is written by way of him as
    no one else know such precise about my problem.

    You are wonderful! Thanks!

  13. Fantastic goods from you, man. I’ve have in mind your stuff prior
    to and you are simply too excellent. I really like what you
    have obtained here, really like what you’re stating and the way in which you are
    saying it. You make it enjoyable and you continue to care for
    to stay it smart. I cant wait to learn far more from you.
    That is actually a wonderful website.

  14. I really enjoy the blog.Really thank you! Really Cool. Esther Altmire

  15. Choose 3 times for 150-160m, 4 times for 140-150m, and 5 times for 130-140m. http://et.vmm789.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

TOP