Money. Only with one word in humans there is a lot of feelings, thoughts and emotions. But you would agree to take the bar instead of the usual salary salt or a huge stone?
Since ancient times people attributed cash value of different objects and used as money amazing objects of different shapes, sizes and formats. And while much of this so-called currency today is impractical and inappropriate, it serves as an important reminder that people are valued in the past and why.
In this article we look at the ten incredible examples that are completely different from what we now call a familiar word "money».
Perhaps the most bizarre and terrible currency antiquity - is the teeth of dolphins, which were used in the Solomon Islands for several centuries, according to the old traditions. In 2008, the dollar has depreciated on the island. Local residents began to accumulate in response to the money, which in turn has led to a shortage of coins and further aggravate the situation. As a result of the circumstances in some parts of the islands people have decided to go back to the traditional currency - dolphin teeth. Unbelievable, but the cost of teeth of mammals increased almost 4 times. Local hunter dolphins Sukufatu Henry said: "Money is a white man, sooner or later will end, and the teeth of dolphins - never».
In January 2013, local newspapers were full of headlines that the inhabitants of the island of Malaita butchered 900 kinds of dolphins Bottlenose dolphins because of a dispute with a group of environmentalists. The Islanders have confirmed that they have renewed the annual shooting dolphins after the US environmental organization has not paid them the full agreed compensation for refusing to hunt marine mammals.
For a long time fur skins play an important role in the exchange and trade. In medieval times, the most valuable of all the fur was considered proteins, so it became the standard form of currency in Finland and Russia. Some believe that the murder of a protein for the money saved by coincidence, a significant portion of the Russian population from the bubonic plague. While Russia used not only squirrel pelts, but also faces and claws of these animals. Presumably, in Finland squirrel pelts is still accepted as a means of payment, as well as give them a use value and exchange value. So if you suddenly hear someone in Finland utter the words "squirrel skins," you know that we can talk about money.
Salt for thousands of years was considered a valuable commodity. She played a significant role in the development of early civilizations. References to it are found in several major religious traditions and texts. In 2200 BC, the Chinese Emperor Yu the Great salt paid first recorded in the history of the tax payment. The introduction of the salt tax was one of the causes of the French Revolution. The product itself has also played an important role in the US Civil War. Moreover, in ancient Rome, soldiers were often paid for their service with salt. And even today, some nomadic peoples of Ethiopia as the currency used "white death».
In ancient Greece, the deficit of black pepper was the cause of his unprecedented value. According to historical sources, in the V century, the first king of the Visigoths, Alaric and Attila the Hun leader captured Rome and demanded that the residents of the city as a ransom huge amount of black pepper.
In the Middle Ages, pepper was the accepted form of currency. In the XV century, the demand for the spice in Europe has grown so much that this fact played a huge role in the development of maritime routes from the Far East. Because of the high cost of a spice called "black gold" and until the XIX century, it was considered a luxury that can afford only very rich people. Today, black pepper is the most widespread spice in the world.
America became the first currency beads - particularly wampum. This is a traditional handmade beads, made of white and purple shells of gastropods and bivalves. When European settlers landed on the shores of North America beginning in the XVI-XVII centuries. They noticed that the indigenous people in a special way treated wampum, considering them sacred and precious objects. The colonists also found that Native Americans are more willing to share much-needed supplies, if they offered in exchange wampum. So, necklaces made of shells became the official currency, although the representatives of the indigenous population of North America did not regard them as money. After some time in European factories began mass production of wampum. However, ultimately, in 1663 necklace of shells were withdrawn from circulation in the colonies of New England - even in New York, they remained legal tender until the beginning of the XVIII century; and some European refineries continued production of wampum before 1900.
Another amazing ancient form of currency became tea bricks. For the production of this valuable product stems and leaves of the tea bush mixed with various herbs and sometimes dry wood chips. The resulting mixture is shaped bricks binder served as the blood of a bull or droppings. By tradition, the tea bricks depicted Chinese characters or applied the unique patterns and designs. In the XIX century, they were used as currency in China, Russia, Tibet, Siberia and Mongolia. For 12 of these blocks you could buy a sheep for 20 - to buy a horse. In Siberia during World War II, tea bricks used in food, as well as used as a medicine.
For some, the size may not matter, but not for the inhabitants of the island of Yap (Micronesia). There is every reason to believe that they have started to create their stones Rai back in 500 AD. To produce such an unusual form of currency they needed limestone, which can be found only on the neighboring island of Palau. There they hew out of the stone huge circular disks with a hole in the center and then transported them back to Yap. The diameter of some stones was more than 3, 5 meters, and weighs over 4 tons. Cost stones defined the process of their manufacture - is extremely dangerous and sometimes even fatal. After Rai stones were used as a means of payment, the place of their situation often remains unchanged. In fact, the physical exchange was not necessary, since all already knew, who owns Rai. The value of the stones fell with the arrival of the Europeans, whose technology has greatly facilitated the process of their manufacture. Today stones Rai participate in various rituals and ceremonies, and are also a national symbol of Federated States of Micronesia.
Cowrie shells (shells of porcelain snails) are one of the earliest forms of ancient currency. They are small in size, lightweight and durable, besides, they are very difficult to counterfeit (though some people still manage to make false cowrie shells from materials such as horn, bone, lead, and even silver and gold). From cowrie also produced stunning jewelry and ornaments. For the first time cowrie shells began to be used as a medium of exchange in China at the beginning of the XVI century BC. Later this type of currency circulated in the major shopping areas of Africa, Arabia and in some parts of Europe and Asia.
This truly marvelous ancient type of currency originated in the northern part of the Black Sea. At the beginning of VII century arrowheads were used as money in an area known as the Great Scythia, which covered the land of modern Ukraine, Central Asia, Eastern Europe, North Caucasus and part of Russia. The bronze tips appeared long before the usual ancient coins, and highly regarded for the strength and the ability to use as a weapon.
As arrowheads, the ancient Chinese were the knives and weapons, and currency. Money-knives are an indication that people appreciate at the time. This extraordinary currency first appeared in China around 600 BC, during the reign of the Zhou Dynasty. Historians believe that the coins in the form of knives have been created on the model of knives, scrapers, used by nomadic hunters in the northern and eastern parts of the country. In the money-knives often scratch out a number or a few words - such as "sheep" or "fish" - that most likely determined the value of each coin. All coins are also present inscription indicates that it is the official currency. Knives were used as currency for several hundred years before, as long as China's first emperor Qin Shi Huang did not cancel a given currency and said that from now on the only legal tender coins are round with a square hole in the middle.