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Some aspects regarding exchange of salt in 6th - 2nd millennia BC in the Carpatho-Danubian area

Journal: Tyragetia (Vol.IV, No. 1)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 7-34

Keywords : south-east and east-central Europe; prehistory; salt production; salt exchange;

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The article deals with prehistoric salt production and exchange of salt in south-east and east-central Europe. The major points of the article are: 1. the modeling of the traditional forms of salt production and exchange in the area; 2. the identification of archaeological indications specific to every type of salt production and exchange; 3. the classification of available archaeological evidence of prehistoric salt production and exchange in Carpatho-Danubian zone. Salt had two major senses during prehistoric period: on one hand it was as a good of daily consumption and thrifty use, on the other hand it was the exotic good. Every of these senses implied different types of production and exchange. The daily consumption and thrifty use salt could be made both within domestic and industrial productions. Of these, only industrial one was intended for long-distance exchange of salt. Salt as the exotic good was made only within special i.e. „sacred" type of production. This type of industry produced „miraculous" salt which was mainly, if not exclusively, intended for long-distance exchange. More attention is paid in the article to the end of Middle and Late Bronze Age (the end of 17th-9th centuries BC) salt mining centers from Transylvania and Maramureş: Băile Figa, Caila, Săsarm, Ocna Dej, Valea Florilor, Valea Regilor (Tisolovo) and Solotvino (Ocna Slatina) (Case Study). By all the available evidence, these centers seem to have been involved in the large-scale salt production and long-distance trade. Blocks of rock salt were traded from these centers to Hungarian Plane, by Someş and Tisa rivers. It is well-known fact that the period of functioning of the above salt mining production centers was the one of widest spread of tin bronze objects in the area. That is why, it seems likely that in exchange of salt its owners get, among other goods, tin.

Last modified: 2017-03-18 16:57:05