When and where was salt as valuable as gold?

In the 6th century, sub-Saharan Moorish merchants traded one ounce of salt for one ounce of gold, and cakes of the former were used as money in many areas of Africa.

When was salt more valuable than gold?

Recorded history also soundly refutes the myth that salt was more valuable than gold. YouTube historian Lindybeige cites Venetian trade documents from the height of the salt trade in 1590 that establish the value of 1 ton of salt as 33 gold ducats.

When did salt become valuable?

During the era when the Phoenicians ruled the Mediterranean sea and surrounding territories (cerca 1550 – 300 B.C.), salt was indeed a highly precious commodity. After this, the Romans became the dominant force in the Mediterranean, though the value of salt did not immediately decline by any means.

How valuable was salt in ancient times?

During Roman times, salt was worth its weight in gold and soldiers were sometimes paid in salt, hence the word “salary”

Why was salt valuable in the past?

It helped eliminate dependence on seasonal availability of food, and made it possible to transport food over large distances. However, salt was often difficult to obtain, so it was a highly valued trade item, and was considered a form of currency by certain people.

How expensive was salt in medieval times?

For most of this time, salt was cheaper than wheat, per bushel, varying from 58% of the price of wheat to exceeding the price of wheat in the most expensive two decades (the 1380s and 1440s).

Why is African salt more valuable than gold?

People wanted gold for its beauty, but they needed salt in their diets to survive. Salt, which could be used to preserve food, also made bland food tasty. These qualities made salt very valuable. In fact, Africans sometimes cut up slabs of salt and used the pieces as money.

Why was salt valuable as gold?

As the human diet moved away from salt-rich game to grains, more salt was needed. Surface salt is relatively rare and mining was difficult – and so, as civilisation spread, it became a precious commodity and trading routes were established all around the world.

Why did the Romans value salt?

In Roman times, and throughout the Middle Ages, salt was a valuable commodity, also referred to as “white gold.” This high demand for salt was due to its important use in preserving food, especially meat and fish. Being so valuable, soldiers in the Roman army were sometimes paid with salt instead of money.

What country did salt originate from?

The earliest evidence we have for people producing salt comes from northern China, where people seem to have been harvesting salt from a salt lake, Lake Yuncheng, by 6000 BC and maybe earlier.

Why did Africa trade gold for salt?


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Did Ghana trade gold for salt?

The king of Ghana also used his power to spread international trade. At its peak, Ghana was chiefly bartering gold, ivory and slaves for salt from Arabs and horses, cloth, swords and books from North Africans and Europeans. Back then, salt was worth its weight in gold.

Where did salt originate in Africa?

A human necessity and source of commerce, salt has been in high demand in West Africa since the 12th century when it was first found in the sand dunes of the desert. Its discovery gave rise to a robust commodity trade that quickly paved a near-mythical trail connecting Timbuktu with Europe, southern Africa, and Persia.

Who traded salt for gold?

Many items were traded between North Africa and West Africa, but the two goods that were most in demand were gold and salt. The North Africans wanted gold, which came from the forest region south of Ghana. The people in the forests wanted salt, which came from the Sahara.