Salt Trade

Current topics

Re: Salt Trade

Postby Boreades » 2:29 pm

Have we mentioned the Hallstatt Salt Mines in Austria? Worked since the bronze age. From whence the Hallstatt Celtic Culture with trade links to Britain, Ireland and Greece via Marseille. Marseille also matters to us because it was part of the Cornish/Devon tin trade route, by sea to Brittany & Bordeaux, then through the Garonne valley to the Med (to short-cut a long sea journey through the Bay of Biscay)
Boreades
 
Posts: 2014
Joined: 2:35 pm

Re: Salt Trade

Postby Rocky » 5:17 pm

You're right to point out the Hallstatt mines are central, geographically and commercially. The Hallstatt Celtic Culture seems quite late though it may be the 'Celtic' name is misleading. In all probability salt was traded northwards to the Baltic and fancy goods would get exchanged -- either for the salt or, perhaps more likely, as presents to the upper crust in exchange for the local salt monopoly.

The overall problem for the whole of the Baltic region is that the weather is too cold to evaporate sea salt naturally and the Baltic is too unsalty (two parts per thousand as against the normal thirty-five parts) for industrial saltmaking. So rock salt (from Hallstatt and places south) gets brought up the Elbe, the Oder, the Neisse etc. [Hence "Saxony", ie the land of the salt-people, is divided into Upper and Lower.]
Rocky
 
Posts: 23
Joined: 5:00 pm

Re: Salt Trade

Postby Donna » 5:58 pm

There are some who claim the Celts are Germanic. Perhaps because of the connections between salt, Saxon, sell and kell since sell-sel-sal are etymologically linked.
Donna
 
Posts: 29
Joined: 9:30 pm

Re: Salt Trade

Postby hvered » 6:07 pm

Marseille also matters to us because it was part of the Cornish/Devon tin trade route, by sea to Brittany & Bordeaux, then through the Garonne valley to the Med (to short-cut a long sea journey through the Bay of Biscay)

The overland route actually went a bit west of Marseille, terminating at the Golfe de Lion (the mouth of the Rhone). Marseille was founded by the Greeks who called it Massalia.

"Mercia" means something like "men of the border". Anyone want to speculate on what Murcia/ Marseille/ Masallia might mean?

There are some who claim the Celts are Germanic.

That seems to be a relatively modern claim.

Diodorus Siculus:
"It will now be useful to make a distinction which is unknown to most people. Those who live in the interior above Marseille, and those along the Alps, and those on this side of the Pyrenees are called Keltai, whereas those who settled above Celtica in the area stretching towards the north both in the region of the Ocean and in that of the Hercynian Mountains and all the people beyond them as far as Scythia are called Galatai; the Romans, however, include all these peoples together under one name and call them all Galli."

If Diororus is talking about everyone, then the distinction he draws between the Keltai and the Galatai appears to be the same as the distinction between Romance and Germanic. Perhaps the Romans considered all Europeans others than Romans and Greeks to be Galli, i.e. bloody foreigners.

But Diodorus might be referring only to the Megalithics in those respective territories.
hvered
 
Posts: 851
Joined: 10:22 pm

Re: Salt Trade

Postby Donna » 6:59 pm

"Mercia" means something like "men of the border". Anyone want to speculate on what Murcia/ Marseille/ Masallia might mean?


The tradition explanation for 'Murcia' is that it's named after its supposed founder Medinat Mursiya. As far as I know the English translation for the Arabic 'mursiya' is 'dirge' or 'elegy' (a song or poem of lamentation).

The name for the Greek colony of 'Massilia' is said to come from 'mas' a Ligurian word for 'Spring'. [The adding of the 'r' is supposedly because of the association with the Roman god 'Mars'.] Another point to mention is that the month of March (supposedly named after Mars) is the start of spring and the beginning of the military campaigning season.

As it stands I do not take these explanations as gospel but I do find it interesting that the Arabic 'mursiya' is often performed in concert with a 'marching' procession. We also know that the Carthaginians set down some roots in Massilia (Not to mention in Murcia as well).

English words that bear some resemblance to the above:

'mar' - to ruin or blemish
'mark' - a trace, sign, or scar on a surface
'march' - to walk in a military manner
'mercenary' - a hired soldier in foreign service (for reward)

And mark, Mercia, the Marches, March is a boundary: a starting-and-stopping.
Donna
 
Posts: 29
Joined: 9:30 pm

Re: Salt Trade

Postby Donna » 12:48 pm

hvered wrote: There are some who claim the Celts are Germanic.


The Veneti are equated with the Galli by Caesar but the only thing experts seem to agree on is that the Veneti / Galli are in north-east France, today's Picardy/Flanders.

This suggests that control of the main trade route, for salt and other valuable commodities such as amber, cloth and metal, between the North Sea and Channel ports and the Mediterranean ports, involved pacifying the 'Germanic' people en route.

The Veneti ships bear a striking resemblance to the Viking trading vessels known as knarr which researchers persist in calling 'Gallo-Roman' ships notwithstanding. Salt was an essential ingredient for the North Atlantic fishing industry from Newfoundland to Norway via the Scottish islands, which goes so far back that no-one can say when it began.
Donna
 
Posts: 29
Joined: 9:30 pm

Re: Salt Trade

Postby Boreades » 6:39 pm

Re "The Veneti ships bear a striking resemblance to the Viking trading vessels known as knarr which researchers persist in calling 'Gallo-Roman' ships notwithstanding. "

As with many things, some "researchers" get it back to front (or seriously sideways). The Roman invaders captured over 200 Veneti ships in the Battle of Morbihan in 56 BCE, between the Romans led by Decimus Junius Brutus Albinus. This naval battle was later immortalised in Julius Caesar's Gallic Wars (Volume Three)

'The Gauls' [Veneti] ships were made with much flatter bottoms [than Roman ships] to help them ride shallow water caused by shoals or ebb tides. Exceptionally high bows and sterns fitted them for use in heavy seas and violent gales, and the hulls were made entirely of oak, to enable them to stand any amount of shock and rough usage. The cross-timbers, which consisted of beams a foot wide, were fastened with iron bolts as thick as a man's thumb. The anchors were secured with chains instead of ropes. They used sails of raw hides or thin leather, either because they had no flax and were ignorant of its use, or more probably because they thought that ordinary sails would not stand the violent storms and squalls of the Atlantic and were not suitable for such heavy vessels … adapted for sailing such treacherous and stormy waters. We could not injure them by ramming because they were so solidly built, and their height made it difficult to reach them with missiles or board them with grappling irons. Moreover, when it began to blow hard and they were running before the wind, they weathered the storm more easily; they could bring in to shallow water with greater safety, and when left aground by the tide had nothing to fear from reefs or pointed rocks.'

The Romans recognised superior Celtic technology when they found it, and would have put some or many of the captured Veneti trading ships into use as part of their fleet. These were big craft with covered decks, with a capacity of c.200 cubic metres.

The Viking Knarr vessels were much smaller, open desk, clinker built and often propelled by oars as well as sail, to suit their role as river or coastal boats.
Boreades
 
Posts: 2014
Joined: 2:35 pm

Re: Salt Trade

Postby Penny » 7:40 pm

Boreades wrote:Have we mentioned the Hallstatt Salt Mines in Austria? Worked since the bronze age. From whence the Hallstatt Celtic Culture with trade links to Britain, Ireland and Greece via Marseille.


I'm glad you mentioned Hallstatt, Boreades. The name-giving place is a burial ground where they unearthed thousands and thousands of burials with what was later dubbed Hallstatt-style stuff. And that was and still is considered the ...er...starting point of continental Celtic culture. And Hall- means salt (I'm sure you knew that). La Tene is considered (again by ortho-archaeology) the follow-up to Hallstatt, and from there and with 'culture' in their backpacks, the Celts are supposed to spread westwards... and the rest is ortho-history.

It would make a lot of sense and it would explain some otherwise very strange happenings, i.e. the presence of tall mummified Caucasians with blond and red hair, wearing tartans and beards - at least the boys - in China (found in the Tarim/Takla Makan Desert, now residing in the Museum in Urumchi, well worth checking out!) What if these guys are 'Celts/Saxons', prospecting for salt along what later came to be known as the Silk Road?
Penny
 
Posts: 28
Joined: 3:22 pm

Re: Salt Trade

Postby Donna » 7:51 pm

And Hall- means salt

Ynys yr Halen is Salt Island (off Anglesey). Penny said Hallstatt means salt town. (stadt is town, statt is something like place.) Hallstatt, the "Celtic" place is a Celtic name?

But hal for salt is Greek, as in halogen (elements that form salts: fluorine, chlorine, bromine, iodine, astatine). So Welsh goes with the Greek (whose relationship to English and every other language I do not begin to fathom)?

Irish is salann. Seems like we all go with the Greek, or whatever it is, 'cos Sal = Hal. I've seen 's' and 'h' as cognate before, e.g. in Sind/Hind, something to do with Hindus and the lumber they (used to) export to the Med.

Curious that halo- = salt- and halo = disk of (sun) light. Cf. Ammon. Salt is the gift of the Gods or something?
Donna
 
Posts: 29
Joined: 9:30 pm

Re: Salt Trade

Postby Boreades » 10:49 pm

Penny wrote:
It would make a lot of sense and it would explain some otherwise very strange happenings, i.e. the presence of tall mummified Caucasians with blond and red hair, wearing tartans and beards - at least the boys - in China (found in the Tarim/Takla Makan Desert, now residing in the Museum in Urumchi, well worth checking out!) What if these guys are 'Celts/Saxons', prospecting for salt along what later came to be known as the Silk Road?


Yes, these strangely-placed Caucasians lived and died in the Uyghur region up to 4,000 years ago, in an area that Chinese historians say the Han Chinese did not move into until c.120BC. Coincidently, in the same area, ancient documents have been found written in Tokharian, an Indo-European language. Tokharian is in the same branch of the IE language tree as Celtic. A subject worthy of the AE forum?

The definitive book on this subject is The Mummies of Urumchi, by Elizabeth Wayland Barber. Now what is she doing with a famous megalithic trail spot for a middle name? But I digress. She makes the point that the Urumchi were wearing plaid tweed clothes. These are astonishingly similar to the plaid tweed twill cloths found in the salt mines of Hallstatt.

I was fortunate to find a 2nd-hand copy of her book on Amazon a few months ago, I must read it again.
Boreades
 
Posts: 2014
Joined: 2:35 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Index

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest