ECONOMICS & SALT                  

       At the beginning of the Roman period the sea level was at least 2m below present levels.    Salt making was well established on the Western European coasts, and the Mediterranean. These vast flat coastal areas ideal for making salt, were gradually inundated - until by about 400 AD, (what were to become) the Meers, Broads, Clairs and the traditional Roman salt flats of  Ostia, Aquilea, and Ravenna had all been flooded.     

Rome's port was moved inland three times. The effects of this sea level rise to nearly 2 m above present day levels was also catastrophic for western European salt makers.   During the 'Dark Ages' salt traffic almost disappeared and the coasts of Britain and France became deserted.
     The general population density fell in spite of an influx of Germanic tribes from the north.    Rome was forced to establish 'via salaria' to such forsaken places as the Dead Sea, the African and Asian salt mines the desert lakes such as the Tatta [Tuz Golu].     These  became the inland salt havens for the European civilization. 
      From about 700 AD the sea level began receding and coastal flats again re-emerged.    According to the Doomesday book by 1086 hundreds of saltpans were again operating in the English estuaries, and the 'Bay' salt of Bourgneuf began supplying a revitalized Europe from Scandinavia to the Baltic.   The vacuum was suddenly filled with Norsemen taking over British and French salt centers, and even Arabs invaded Spain finally clashing with the Normans in Provence. Ravenna, Venice, and Yarmouth in England began to thrive.  Concurrently the inland Asian and African sources lost their importance to the maritime nations. 
The data available today, due to the Global warming research, has shown that these eustatic sea level changes were possible, and Archaeological data from more than 200 submerged  Mediterranean sites is confirming them. 
     The salt monopolies established during the previous inundation , at the turn of the millennium, such as  the Gabelle [fr]/gabellum [latin]/quabala [arabic]/gavia [hebrew] were the basis for a 'relatively' ordered but still  authoritarian Medieval history.    They were administered by the monks, and their Royal siblings. The customs and salt tax 'limes' delineating the local inland salt monopoly became the future frontier lines  of today's 'sovereign' states. It also led to the misunderstanding that a government monopoly in certain public sectors must be efficient and for 'our own' good
.

Mankind can live without gold...but not without Salt -[CASSIODORUS]

ESSAY  - SALT and the evolution of MONEY

ESSAY  - SALT and the community loss of civil liberty

ESSAY  - SALT and the evolution of MONOPOLY

ESSAY  - SALT and the evolution of TAX מעשר

ESSAY   [ המלח והתפתחות המונופול ]

 

The  MONEY CRISIS and  our complete misconception of money

Money as a means of exchange is not a commodity but a concept and thus in the classic meaning,  its availability can not be limited. It has no intrinsic value. Only after  it is spent - does it represent the intrinsic value of the items or services purchased . Throughout history many kinds of money were invented including cowry shells, salt, medals and gold - none of them with the exception of salt had serious intrinsic value.  Today even gold it might be argued has little value relative to its real usefulness .

Salt was and still is a commodity and it's intrinsic value was governed by it's sometimes precarious availability - Even when  very difficult to obtain salt was possibly available even in extreme cases  in return for the life it saved.  Human bondage, as the means of exchange was a slave and slavery.

In such extreme circumstances  slaves were only a drastic exchange alternative  likened to money  or gold or Chinese Cowry shells provided they satisfied the supplier that they represented the current value of salt.  Money does not have intrinsic value.

It was the lack of availability [or monopolizing] of salt that increased its value and not the lack of money or slaves-  Availability was mainly determined by   the vagaries of climate which allowed ruthless authoritarians to periodically make the rules .  Tax collection in times of famine added to the burden. 

Gold for example as a defined measure of the weight of salt or other valued commodities was useful,  but greater values had to be measured by digital means and other forms of recorded guarantees and promises

ROLE OF the BANKS

Up until the present crisis Banks have been adding [or subtracting] and manipulating the measured value until it no longer represented the original asset value. Inflation and even worse, deflation came into being. On the other hand countries' regimes  have also very successfully sold paper money to the rest of the world which it has accepted  as a consensus of valuation.   [It is difficult to understand why this is called debt and not investment since any money should represent collateral and therefore an interest in the expected improved value of that collateral  ]

Money can and is printed by authorities and banks as a recorded measure of exchange by any credible trading  authority without limit for the purpose of exchange.   The asset or work-in-progress described by Aristotle and later by Keynes can be passed on and change ownership using this measure of exchange. These total assets are what planet earth is worth and almost impossible to measure in value. It might even be impossible to print enough money to represent earthly value.   So why is there a liquidity problem ?   Clearly the answer is not about money but about ownership.

Unfortunately BANKS have been treating money as if it were an asset  with intrinsic value  -   Even worse banks have been inflating this measure by compounding commissions and interest.  The role of a bank should only be to oversee investments and earn a profit from this service. Collecting capital and holding deposits are clearly two separate businesses .

The measured capital used for investments should always equal the perceived value of an economy and is only a tool which should never  be owned by the bank. If a bank has to write down badly spent capital it must bear the marginal loss as a recorded perceived value reflecting its reputation and goodwill. However the principle still represents an economic value albeit depreciated and eroding the market's consensus of opinion

A sum of money may represent an item, or service with a value as perceived by a market  with the freedom of choice. That sum of money however has not been consummated as a recorded value until the exchange has  been made and only then has the item or asset been given a temporary measure of exchange in the form of a credit or debit.  Such a credit or debit is not a commodity, but only a record of exchange

A quantity of money held as a deposit may represent the perceived value of an item or service ,  however if that perceived value changes then any money offered as a means of exchange will be dependent upon the perceived value of this item of collateral held by those offering or printing the money or by mutual agreement.  The measured value of any item of collateral is by a mutual trade agreement .   The total value of an economy therefore is by mutual agreement and not by unilateral declaration.

However much money is deposited or printed it cannot be less than the perceived value of the economy it represents.    It would also be impossible to spend more money than the goods, services and work in progress that are available in that economy.  There only remains the political question as to who should spend it .  It may also be argued that not spending it causes a relative reduction in the availability and the usefulness of available goods and services, and work in progress.

Since the available collateral created or discovered on this planet is mostly owned by countries,  then such countries ought to able to print or mint money according to the rest of the worlds perceived value of that country's economic worth.  A group of countries eg the EUROZONE or the United States of America  may have advantages in terms of size however individual states or countries within the group would not be able to manipulate local fiscal conditions.

There cannot be a limiting ceiling to the value of this collateral (generally known as an "economy" ) so long as there is a an objective consensus of opinion as to the perceived value monitored by the rest of the world. Credit grading bodies eg S&P may provide indication of status/

In practice the rest of the world  reacts to devaluation or revaluation  of an economy by choice in buying [or not buying]  its goods and services indicated by the exchange rate of its currency

 
Salt Money -  Salt Trade - Slavery  
   
SALT MONOPOLIES
                    India
                    France
The Levant
Salt Monopolies -    Japan
Salt Monopolies -    China
 
[India the secret monopoly]-
legabelle
The silk road - Levant coast to China Wall
[Japan]
[China]
Salt tax in China  Salt tax in Judea LMLK seals  
TAX and מעשר  
 
SALT           INDUSTRIES     TOBACCO INDUSTRIES
 
Production industry
Transport industries -
Protection industries -
Secret Production

The silent trade

Temple Industries -
 

ESSAY  - SALT and the evolution of MONEY

ESSAY   [ המלח והתפתחות המונופול ]

The historical scars of the salt monopolies are still in evidence and the quaint legislation on many country statutes was still operative at the beginning of the 20th century vividly demonstrated by Gandhi in India. Even today China's salt police, 25,000 officers strong with red epaulettes and gold badges in the shape of salt crystals still enforce one of the oldest economic policies in the world: the Chinese government's exclusive right toproduce and sell salt for the past 2600 years. [Although now it is iodized salt needed for the health of the population. [21 Fackler ]

The monopolies ran concurrently with periods of salt famine. Episodes such as the controversial and violent latter part of the Roman period and the move to the Levant and Byzantia, or the despicable inequality of the Gabelle regime were necessarily accompanied hand-in-hand with fiercely authoritarian regimes to protect and oversee their implementation.  המלח והתפתחות המונופול     Possibly the most recent period of slavery from West Africa to  America bears witness to the worst form of salt famine.    Towards the end of the Greek and early Roman period the resulting social upheaval forced the focus of communities away from the slowly flooding coastal salt sources that had been synonymous with more liberal civilizations and undisturbed coastal salt making. They were drawn toward the few known highly protected inland salt quarries, brine springs and salt lakes  catered by military with supply lines and ‘via salarium’.     The salt famines provided periodical significance to those places that have regularly suffered the cycle of prosperity and then decay in unison with the fluctuating sea. Peaceful maritime Trade and liberal regimes grew with the ability of those   blessed with salt sources, to supply themselves and barter their salted goods.   War, on the other hand, cursed those same communities when the lines of supply became unreliable and defense and protection became synonymous with monopoly and coercion. It is perhaps no coincidence that the word for ‘war’ in ancient Hebrew [mel’chama] means literally “a fight for [salt and bread] “ Similarly we may also find the words for salt in the etymology of "peace" : salaam, shalom, saluti, salvete! And even a rejoicing, [Greek; salt=hal] 'hallelujah!

The salt monopolies and their enforcement were the cruelest but perhaps the most practical of instruments for consolidating and wielding power until the start of the Industrial Revolution. The inventive use of modern burning fuels suddenly allowed the efficient mass production of salt for everyone with unlimited supply. The remnants of these authoritarian regimes are still with us, because anti-trust law is not yet fully recognized or perhaps even understood.

The tobacco monopolies were paired with the salt monopolies

Saltpetre impregnated fungus - Polyphorus fomentarius - known all over Europe as 'amadoo' - was widely used as tinder from early times. It was collected from old trees and treated by boiling, soaking in saltpetre, then dried and used in a tinder box. This contained flint, steel and material - the tinder - to ignite easily and was an essential household article before the invention of matches as well as a personal possession as the cigarette lighter is today. Tobacco leaf was almost certainly used for impregnation to produce such tinder and this would explain the pairing of these two monopolies.


__________________________________________________

SALT as MONEY   -  Aristotle and Keynes

Aristotle believed that primitive barter trading of standardized commodities 'hall-marked" by an authority for correct weight and quality, represented the first use of "money". He says......."as the the necessaries of nature were not all easily portable, people agreed for the purposes of barter, mutually to give and receive some article which.....was practically easy to handle in the business of life.....The trading of standardized pieces of salt, and gold metal have all the the aspects of dealing in what we call today....money.

The key to this concept was the word "hall- marked" [  [hal -  αλάτι - alati = Greek= salt]  a marking to guarantee  a weight or quantity of salt in terms of the perceived value.  This mark  was therefore a measurement of its intrinsic value. Money  developed into a record of guaranteed measurement which reflected an intrinsic value without the intrinsic value having to be present or portable at the time of an exchange trade.    Thus the means of exchange - money became credible in its own right and separated from the asset or intrinsic value.   Unfortunately since the commodity gold is still considered to have intrinsic asset value;  the same criteria seem to mistakenly have been applied to money which clearly is not a commodity with value but only a measure of value.   This  has caused modern economies to erroneously give importance to the availability of money as though it was a commodity and thus artificially causing increases and decreases in the cost of money.  This in turn may artificially create assets that do not exist.  

__________________________________________________

Minor Unit of Salt-bar Money [Pitt Rivers Museum, South Parks Road Oxford.]      The Museum has many fine examples of local currencies from around the world—shell money, feather money, stone money, salt money

__________________________________________________
 

For instance bread-like moles of salt each weighing about 5 kg still circulate in Ethiopia as a means of payment     The Horn of Africa is  presently considered to be one of the poorest parts of Africa and  salt "Amoles"  were only until recently still used as means of exchange

 

 

An old Persian word for the shekel was  a [pathuka]--a 'ram'" (Dandamaev and Lukonin) It also meant five fingers [or worth a handful of salt?] possibly the handful of salt was the  amount required to de-hydrate by osmosis the meat of one ram and render it "kosher"

 

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Pliny following Aristotle's ideas, interprets the use of salt as a means of payment ..."in Rome...the soldier's pay was originally salt and the word salary derives from it..." Plinius Naturalis Historia. XXXI -

 [  Pliny may well have interpreted this payment wrongly.  To judge from the missions and the locations to which the Roman army was dispatched,  it would seem that protecting the salt sources and securing the 'via salarium' roads was  the true military objective - The first "legions" aka : LEGIO : ie "levying"  [ for the monarchy],  were not paid  since the collection of salt from those sources which was clearly the ultimate value itself,  was the Military business and responsibility.  It was necessary for their economic viability as a domesticated entity.   The minting of money and its perceived representative value has always depended upon the health of the economy and on the effectiveness of the regime's governance.  Failing these  the mint could only rely on an intrinsic mint value - eg salt.  Thus Rome may not have "fallen" into decadent bankruptcy but only moved  to a location where this basic value  was available - the eastern end of the Mediterranean   where Jerusalem's Dead Sea salt and  the Tuz Golu  salt lake in Cappadocia gave apparent valuation to the economy.   ].  



 

Marco Polo writes about salt as if it were a treasure as precious as gold.... "KAIN-du is a Chinese pro vince...where the money or currency they make use of, is thus prepared: their gold is formed into small rods and being cut to certain lengths , passes according to its weight without any stamp......This is their greater money. The smaller [money] is of the following description...".in this country there are salt springs from which they manufacture salt by boiling it in small pans. When the water has boiled for an hour it becomes a kind of paste which is formed into cakes of the value of twopence each. These, flat on the lower, and convex on the upper side, are placed upon hot tiles near a fire in order to dry and harden. On these latter species of money , the stamp of the Grand Khan is impressed, and cannot be impressed by any other than its own officers. When these are carried to little frequented parts they obtain a 'saggio' of gold for sixty, fifty or even forty salt cakes....the further removed from the towns....."

Heller money  printed in the City of HALLE [hal -  αλάτι - alati = Greek salt αλατίζων saltworker eg slave ]           The term heller (Czech: haléř, Slovak: halier) was also used for a coin valued at 1/100 of koruna in the Czech Republic (Czech koruna) and Slovakia (Slovak koruna),

Understanding the history of salt, may help us to understand
what money represents AND ITS REAL PLACE  IN TODAY'S ECONOMY :-

It may also help us to understand how and why we have almost self destructed our civilizations following the relative freedom of  the Aegean democracies.  Our modern civilization still reflects  the monopolies and corruption inherent in the regimes of socialism and capitalism  of many of today's governments.  [Winston Churchill claimed democracy was only the lesser evil of the two]    But Both these regimes would seem to be destined to collapse so long as they are enhanced by monopoly and corruption dominated sectors.   Perhaps Churchill meant that The only real difference between the two regimes is that democracy does have Strong regulation of anti-trust legislation whereas socialism is about centralisation.   We are still confused as to whether state monopolies are efficient use of resources or recipes for corruption and manipulation

ESSAY  - SALT and the community loss of civil liberty

ESSAY  - SALT and the evolution of MONOPOLY

ESSAY  - SALT and the evolution of TAX מעשר

 

MONOPOLY  - India  - The Near East India Co.

MONOPOLY  - China

MONOPOLY  - France

MONOPOLY - Israel


                PRINCIPALS OF MONEY

MONEY  represents VALUE [  money  should be specifically used as a means of measurement and not as a commodity ]

MONEY fulfils its representative  value when it is spent on an article or service of value to society and which improves the living standard.

MONEY represents little or no value when  those 'who know not'  how to spend it, and do not improve their quality of life.

MONEY represents negative book value   when wrongly or badly spent   [inflation]

MONEY represents increased value   when spending it improves 'life' on this earth   [deflation]

MONEY which is borrowed representing accompanying collateral should be earning either as commission or interest as the profit,  and should  reflect the added value of the goods, services and work in progress AND NOT TO INFLATE THE [so-called product ] MONEY

ESSAY   - SALT and the evolution of MONEY

[המלח והתפתחות המונופול]

Means of payment or "primitive money" is not yet money in the sense of G.F.Knapp's "State theory" of money, however by introducing the "tally" system - "tessera" or "talea" in Latin, "kerbholz" [notched wood] in German, "Teomim" in Hebrew, "symbolon" in Greek, Chih-chi" in Chinese ....the essential element in the evolvement of money currency became possible, ..eg: the deposits of stored valued goods [salt] were represented by the tally, which then itself became a means of payment.

The tally was treated as currency.  Metal coinage and and paper money both became mass produced tallies, cheap to make but also easy to imitate, and so eventually limited to "smaller money" and used to pay individual tax. . A further refinement - the records of the tally's existence, became tangible and transferable, and so on, until even work and services could be "notched up" as transferable value. Thus paper 'value' began to replace the wooden tally system. It was the State's "charter" which gave such transactions their value and credibility, and state monopolies on valuable goods, which ensured intrinsic value. For example, in China in 1329 AD, all tax was paid in paper money,  82% of which came from the salt monopoly.tally money notched wood


The Tally was conventionally, a willow stick up to eight feet long and notched to indicate the sums loaned to government, receipts and advances were normally only in very large amounts in millions of pounds. On repayment the split halves were matched together. Tallies were abolished only in 1826. The burning of these old tallies caused [by chance] the destruction of the Houses of Parliament in 1834


 

AN EXAMPLE OF THE ABUSING OF MONEY

MONOPOLISING the salt supply allowed control of the meaning and the value which money represented  As recently as 1930  this was demonstrated by Ghandi in India.  In particular the French Revolution also demonstrated the viciousness of this control  could hurt inhabitants.

 
MONOPOLY 1 -
French Gabelle

Table Showing the results of Mr. Necker’s investigating to the salt duties in France (18th century)
[108] 

Divisions of France  Number of inhabitants Quality of quintals of salt consumed in each division  Price in each of the quintal of salt
Les Provinces de Grandes Gabelle 8300000 760000  62 livres
Les Provinces de Petites Gabelle  460000 60000  33 Livers 10 sous 
Les Provinces de Salines  1960000  275000 21 Livers 10 sous 
Les Provinces Redimees  4625000 830000  from 6 to 12 livers
Les Provinces Franches 4739000 830000  from 2 to 9 livers 
Les Pays of Quart Boullion  585000  115000  16 livres 
24800000 3450000 

N.B. A quintal of salt is equal to 100 French pounds which is equal to 112 English pounds, or 50 kg


http://www.iway.fr/sc/tribune/articles/mon1.htm
Whereas anyone could buy or sell salt, its distribution was subject to legal controls and restrictions (amounts imported, licences, commercial documents, etc...) and to a specific tax - gabelle - paid to the ruler. The salt gabelle - a legacy of the gabelle that Charles of Anjou instituted in 1259 to finance his conquest of the Kingdom of Naples - was introduced in France as a temporary measure in 1317 and definitively in 1340.
Because it was variable according to time and place, it very soon became synonymous with fiscal injustice and was at the origin of riots instigated by both those who feared the loss of their privileges and those who had nothing to lose (e.g. in 1548 in Western France and in 1639 in Normandy). Much friction arose from constantly putting off the equalization of the gabelle throughout the French kingdom. The Finance minister Sully's attempts to organise salt supplies and tax-collecting at the end of the 16th C under the reign of Henry IV were not entirely successful. The ruling on the gabelle and its various ratifications 80 years later also failed to unify or just simplify procedures. All this was essentially because, until the French revolution, those with official tenure at the storehouse - who cared little for the royal tax but much for the social prerogatives that went with it - and the agents to whom the tax was farmed out - who paid a fixed sum out of their own personal fortunes for this privilege and for whom the proceeds of the tax were vital - did not always see eye to eye. Too many people, great or small - keepers, clerks, tax collectors and inspectors - had a vested interest to defend. All were willing to help repress smuggling arising from the inequalities in the tax regime. Offenders could even be condemned to the galleys, a sentence that did much to sustain hatred of the gabelle and for its associated exemption, the 'franc salé'.
 Although the gabelle was revoked in 1790 by the Constitutive Assembly, it was very soon re-established and not finally abolished until the 1946 Finance Law. In Germany, a similar tax on table salt was not revoked until 1993 !

NEWS "FLASH"

JAPANESE TO PRIVATIZE SALT BUSINESS. Japan's Finance Ministry has announced an end to the 90 year old monopoly of the salt market in March, 1997. Japan Tobacco Inc. has handled all salt sales in Japan; domestic Japanese production is done by seven companies who sell their salt to JTI. The new structure will provide "free competition amongst private companies engaged in importation, production and wholesale of salt," according to the Ministry. SIR96-2...........end



                              Chance interest in salt ?

One day in 1938, a convoy was grinding slowly up the road from the Dead Sea to Jerusalem. Suddenly, the trucks halted and the armed escort disappeared into the hills. Shots rang out and shortly afterwards the police returned with the bodies of two Bedouin. There was a monopoly on salt in force the sergeant explained and the men were suspected of smuggling.

It was not the first such incident. The Palestine Post of December 4, 1938 carried this report: 'two British constables .. were acquitted of the killing of a Bedouin and the wounding of his companion, who were suspected of smuggling contraband salt...The policemen were pursueing the Bedouin, and they fired when the fugitives appeared to be getting away...'

Why should a monopoly be so deadly?   And why should men have risked their lives for a few kilos of salt?

 


MONOPOLY - Israel

07/06/2001 21:10
Anti-Trust Authority: Salt Industries willing to scrap cartel with Dead Sea Works
Salt Industries has agreements with Dead Sea Works for buying fixed quantities of salt at fixed prices until 2010.
Sapir Peretz

Salt Industries today expressed willingness to cancel its cartel with Dead Sea Works and pledged not to engage in restrictive trade practices in the future, an Anti-Trust Authority source told “Globes” today.

Salt Industries’ reaction was not available by web-posting time.

Published by Israel's Business Arena on 7 June, 2001

 


 

Mankind can live without gold...but not without Salt -[CASSIODORUS]

 

TRANSPORT - "The silent Trade"

It is probably not coincidence that amongst the earliest known urban settlements were sites around Jericho and that they spread from the Dead Sea up the Jordan Valley. Rivers were then the only practical routes for bulk cargoes, salt going in one direction ad farm produce in the other. The great navigable rivers all over the world were used in this way. In Egypt, early farming depended on boats bringing salt up the Nile from the swamps of the river delta as well as by caravan traveling from the salt lakes in the desert. The hinterland of France was supplied with salt carried up the Rhone from the Camargue; the interior of Russia by a rout up the Dnieper River from the Black Sea.

Overland, caravans of camels, horses, donkeys and llamas carried salt across deserts and over mountains to salt-hungry populations b, . Until very recently a great caravan of 2000 camels, each bearing a load of 150 kg, made the 700 km journey to the market at Timbuctu from the Taoeni salt centers in the Sahara twice a year. It carried 300 tons of salt for the Nigerian farmers and returned with food for the salt miners, each convoy being guarded against robbers by a battalion of the French Foreign Legion. , One 150-ton ship could do the work of a thousand camels and so salt was an important item in ocean-going commerce. During antiquity , great fleets served the salt and salt-fish trade in the Mediterranean . Later, in the Middle Ages , a similar traffic (mainly the Hanseatic fleet) cruised along the Atlantic and Baltic coasts from France to bring the “Bay Salt” to the Netherlands, Britian, Scandinavia and Russia. Spain and Portugal traded salt to Africa, India and the Americas. Britian , a latecomer, joined in the trade by shipping salt from Cheshire where it was produced with the help of coal.

Table Comparison of ancient and modern transport methods
Quantity(tons)  Means of transport  Men employed  Velocity Period 
10000  1 Liberty ship  50  20 km/h present 
10000  60000 camels  5000  2 km/h ancient 
desert transport up to present 
10000  30 ships (Hansa)  1000  10 km/h 13th to 15th century 
10000  100 river trains (barges)  5000 horses  5000 Germany, 18th century 
10000  200 motor trucks rail/road  250  50 km/h present 

Since salt was produced in relatively few places often far from urban and agricultural areas where it is required and consumed, transport was an important part of its cost. Salt derived from ocean water could mostly be loaded onto ships, and it paid to transport the salt over great distances by sea. During the Middle Ages, for example salt was brought from Spain and France to England, Holland, Scandinavia, and Russia by the vessels of the Hansa fleet [up to 800 tons] Cheshire salt was shipped from England to the Indies, and from Portugal to Brazil during the 18th and 19th centuries, and from Spain, Sardinia, Turkey and Egypt to Japan.

Where river transport was possible inland sources were cheap enough. Those parts of the great continents that were not easily connected by river or later by rail, to sources such as inner Africa, had to use animals of burden such as mules, camels, Llama, and horses.

A caravan of a thousand camels cared for by one hundred men was the equivilent to a ship carrying 150 tons of salt before the Industrial revolution To study the important role that salt played in the history of man, one would be well advised to study the history of the gold trade of the flourishing trans-Saharan market.: between the North African littoral and the African Kingdoms to the south of the desert.  

The great salt caravan trains linked the cities that grew to exclusively protect and serve them enroute.

Berbers, Arabs, Jews, and Christians drew on the wealth of the Sudanese who live west of Lake Chad . The gold came from "Wangara" and the four gold districts of Bambuk, Bura, Lobi and Ashanti.photo DAN HELLER  HTTP://WWW.DANHELLER.COM

The methods of trading were known as the "silent trade", or "dumb barter". Similar methods were known in the silk trade.
..."The procedure was this: when the merchants reached [the river] they beat great drums to summon the natives, who would not appear in the presence of the strangers, The merchants arranged their goods [salt] in piles, and retired out of site. The natives then appeared and put a heap of gold beside each pile, and retired. If the mechants were satisfied, they took the gold, beating their drums to signal completion.
There is a Moorish proverb....The price of a negro ...is salt "
 

Bill Thayer's Web Site
where you will find:

  1. salt flats of Cervia

  2. Salinae
  3. Libra
  4. Roman Money
  5. Mint
  6. Via Salaria
  7. Porta Salaria

 

 


 


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