Why was salt in ancient times so expensive?

The relationship between humans and salt began from ancient times. Sodium chloride is an essential life-forming element of a person who needs to consume every day. Already from ancient times, a person added salt into his food. But it was not at all the seasoning, to which the modern person was used: the plants were burned in the sea water burned, leaving after themselves a saltwaten ash, which foods sprinkled.

Salt was actively used in agriculture, in animal husbandry and, of course, Sol served as an excellent antiseptic that defended products from rotting. In other words, salt was a valuable and indispensable resource. For thousands of years, she was worth a fabulous money, and to afford to have on the table with salt, filled with salt, only wealthy people could. Pretty strange, given the fact that the salt is common throughout the planet, and can be produced in many ways.

It should not be thought that our ancestors knew about the methods of salt mining. For example, on the Black Sea coast, an ancient center for the manufacture of salt was found by archaeologists. According to approximate estimates, by the end of the 5th millennium BC, about 5 tons of salts were made here annually.

Why was the salt in antiquity so expensive? The entire history of salt to the newest time is characterized by the fact that its prey has never time for its consumption, making it a scarce product. This was largely due to the imperfection of salt mining technologies, as well as poorly developed logistics. For example, to organize the evaporation of the salt, it was necessary to have a huge army of workers who will support constant fire, pour water, export a finished product and deliver it to the warehouse. At the same time, solevating centers and traveling from there caravans like magnets attracted gangster hays to themselves - so it was not to do without additional security. All this required a huge cash costs, which is why the price has just made the salt has already initially turned out to be high.

Over the centuries, salt mining was the task of state importance, so permits for its production were issued only to a limited number of companies that operated on the market as monopolists, establishing overestimated prices for the product.

In addition, the very state itself played a role in increasing the price of a resource by introducing the so-called "tax on salt" - a certain percentage, which the mining company was obliged to be given to the state from each submitted salt. Because of the small number of salvastivating centers, such a tax was convenient, simply and profitable, so most countries were not in a hurry with his cancellation until the end of the 19th century. But finally, the cancellation of the tax on salt to the technological progress in the field of energy resources collapsed the price of salt, which became available to the absolute majority of the population, having ceased to be considered a scarce product.