25 June 2022 The Future is the Product of the Past

Salt May Have Been Used as Money in Exchanges

Salt has always been a precious metal. Salt was needed in many areas, from the preservation of food to the taste of the food, to the feeding of animals, to its use in the field of health. Wars broke out for salt. Access to salt provided the advantage.

Described by Homer as a “sacred substance”, salt has also been used as a means of payment in shopping because it is a rare and troublesome product. Such that, In the Roman Empire, legionnaires’ salaries were made with salt. The English salary word “Salary” comes from salt money given to legions.

Salt gods stand out in North American culture. Many North American Indians are known to worship salt gods, often female. In America, salt was a very important product like other Asian and European countries.

Archaeologists discovered a striking 2500-year-old mural on the Mayan ruins in Calakmul, Yucatan, Mexico, depicting the salt exchange between buyers and sellers. This is the earliest record of salt as a commodity.

No wonder that salt played a major economic role in the ancient Maya as well. Archaeologists led by Heather McKillop of Louisiana State University recently documented an ancient Calakmul fresco in which a salt seller distributes salty dough wrapped in leaves to another person. The latter holding a large spoon over the basket.

Since 2004, Mckillop has uncovered a wealth of archaeological evidence relating to the salt trading networks of the ancient Maya. These include the remains of “salt kitchens”, buildings made of posts and straw that had been submerged and preserved in the saltwater lagoons of the mangrove forests of Belize.

Mayans, like the Romans, used salt as money.
Mayans, like the Romans, used salt as money.

Until today, Researchers have mapped 70 sites, including an extensive network of rooms and buildings called the Paynes Creek Salt Works.

This must have been an industrial-scale operation, as the archaeologists have identified 4,042 submerged architectural wooden posts, a canoe, an oar, a high-quality jadeite tool, stone tools used to salt fish and meat, and hundreds of pieces of pottery.

Alongside this recently described mural, this evidence suggests that salt cakes were transported in canoes along the coast and up rivers in southern Belize, the researchers wrote in the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology.

“I think the ancient Maya who worked here were producer-vendors and they would take the salt by canoe up the river. They were making large quantities of salt, much more than they needed for their immediate families. This was their living,” said McKillop in a statement.

Two of McKillop’s students even replicated some of the ancient Maya pottery using a 3d printer based on scans taken in Belize of some of the hundreds of pieces of pottery investigated at the site. This confirmed that the ceramic jars in which the Maya boiled the brine were standardized in volume.

“Produced as homogeneous units, salt may have been used as money in exchanges,” McKillop said.

Cover Photo: entrepreneur.com

Banner
Related Post

The world’s northernmost Palaeolithic settlement has been discovered on Kotelny Island in the Arctic

20 August 2021

20 August 2021

During the Paleolithic period, hominins lived in tiny groups and subsisted by collecting plants, fishing, and killing or scavenging wild...

Roman camp of 10,000 people discovered in northern Portugal

2 July 2021

2 July 2021

A camp used by 10,000 Roman soldiers sent to conquer northwestern Iberia has been discovered in the Portuguese city of...

A new study reveals the Achaemenid Kingdom paid its workers silver

21 September 2021

21 September 2021

A new study on inscribed clay tablets that were used in the treasury archives of the Achaemenid Empire revealed that...

New Research Shows Angkor Wat’s Incredible Population Density

11 May 2021

11 May 2021

Angkor Wat was the grand capital of ancient Cambodia. The population of Angkor Wat, one of the most magnificent cities...

Archaeologists discover bones of a woman who lived 14,000 years ago at a site in The Iberian Peninsula

13 August 2021

13 August 2021

Archaeologists have discovered the bones of a lady who lived 14,000 years ago, the earliest traces of a modern burial...

A 2000-year-old Rare Artifact was Found Near Poltava

25 May 2021

25 May 2021

Scarab beetle pendant found near the Ukrainian city of Poltava. During the building of the H-31 motorway in the Poltava...

Ancient Hippodrome, Subject of Ben-Hur Movie, Will Become “Arkeo Sports Park”

8 August 2021

8 August 2021

Ben-Hur, a wealthy prince living in Jerusalem, is a historical figure who struggled for the freedom of the Jews during...

The oldest evidence of human use of tobacco was discovered in Utah

11 October 2021

11 October 2021

According to recent research, burnt seeds discovered in the Utah desert suggest that humans used tobacco initially and that some...

Rare Prehistoric Animal Carvings Discovered For The First Time In Scotland

31 May 2021

31 May 2021

Animal carvings thousands of years old have been found for the first time in Scotland. The carvings, estimated to be...

In Turkey’s western Uşak province, 2,000-year-old statues have been unearthed

19 December 2021

19 December 2021

During the excavations in the ancient city of Blaundos in the Ulubey district of Uşak, two statues of 2000 years...

Altar site for Greek goddess Demeter unearthed in Turkey’s ancient city of Blaundus

21 December 2021

21 December 2021

An altar site for the Greek goddess Demeter was unearthed during the ongoing excavations in the ancient city of Blaundus,...

13th-Century skeletons Unearthed in Annaea Mound

8 May 2021

8 May 2021

At the historical Kadıkalesi archaeological site in Turkey’s western Aydin province’s Kuşadası district, a total of five skeletons thought to...

Maya Farmers May Have Planned Population Growth Contrary to Thought

19 November 2021

19 November 2021

Contrary to what was thought, Maya farmers may have planned for population growth, says a new study. According to a...

40 Skeletons in Giant Jars Found in the Corsica Necropolis

16 May 2021

16 May 2021

Archaeologists working on the French island of Corsica discovered around 40 ancient graves where persons were buried inside gigantic jars...

The world’s largest Byzantine winepresses have been discovered in Israel

11 October 2021

11 October 2021

Archaeologists say they’ve discovered the world’s largest known Byzantine-era winery in the city of Yavne, south of Tel Aviv. The...

Comments
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.