Salt Trade

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Re: Salt Trade

Postby Penny » 10:08 am

Tartan is supposed to be a new invention (17th - 18th century) created by the Scots and given a false pedigree. Its existence elsewhere and in even earlier times suggests that it may not be Scottish at all, but that it is genuinely ancient as opposed to being a modern romantic invention.

Urumchi mummies, apparently non-Chinese remains in China... Silk Road... tartan cloth and ginger hair... the inference is that Celts were doing business way over yonder.
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Re: Salt Trade

Postby Rocky » 10:14 am

I read that hunter-gatherer diets have plenty of salt. When you start eating wheat and potatoes, etc. as your staple, then you need to supplement your salt intake. So this need for salt goes back A LONG WAY - far beyond nice-to-haves like metals and spices. What I don't understand is how anybody knew they needed to add salt to their food! (On the other hand, if the Aquatic Ape Hypothesis has anything going for it, maybe we've known it for millions of years.)

And another thing... sea salt takes a lot of effort, boiling off the water. Being able to dig up big chunks of it must have been like writing your own cheques -- while it lasted.
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Re: Salt Trade

Postby Ajai » 10:17 am

'The Silk Road' and the spice trade seem to be linked. The original translation for silk road was misread and the interpretation should be 'salt road' (I think the original mistake was something like 'kings road' or something) as China was also a major exporter of salt but they added around 25% of a type of pepper to theirs.

Rock salt is the 'rock' form where old inland seas dry up and become super-saturates and then make flats or get buried. But it is also used to describe any salt that looks like a lump of rock, even Halites are included (but the proper term is compressed salt).

What's the position of salt in the desert? Is it plentiful? Do people need lots of it because of evaporation, food decay in the heat etc.? Can salt be carried economically on camels?
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Re: Salt Trade

Postby hvered » 3:53 pm

Penny wrote:Urumchi mummies, apparently non-Chinese remains in China... Silk Road... tartan cloth and ginger hair... the inference is that Celts were doing business way over yonder.

That could be why a bunch of Scythians made for Scotland of all places. Auld acquaintances ne'er forgot.
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Re: Salt Trade

Postby Iona » 11:55 pm

The Scythians are part of Scotland's national myth. Scythian appears to have been the Greekified name for a people the Persians called the Saca. One offshoot of this nation went on to call themselves the Sacasunen - Sons of the Saca - a name more familiar to us as the Saxons. Unbeknownst to them, the Scots were actually underpinning a kinship with the English.

By coincidence, a 19thC historian - Sharon Taylor - traced the Saxons all the way back to the Hindu Kush, where they raped and pillaged their way around the place before finally moving off in a westerly direction. Whether the Scots have a connection with the Sacasunen, or some other branch of the Saca is difficult to determine, but essentially they may all be the same people.
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Re: Salt Trade

Postby Boreades » 12:07 am

Iona wrote:The Scythians are part of Scotland's national myth. Scythian appears to have been the Greekified name for a people the Persians called the Saca. One offshoot of this nation went on to call themselves the Sacasunen - Sons of the Saca - a name more familiar to us as the Saxons. Unbeknownst to them, the Scots were actually underpinning a kinship with the English.

By coincidence, a 19thC historian - Sharon Taylor - traced the Saxons all the way back to the Hindu Kush, where they raped and pillaged their way around the place before finally moving off in a westerly direction. Whether the Scots have a connection with the Sacasunen, or some other branch of the Saca is difficult to determine, but essentially they may all be the same people.


I'm getting lost. Are you saying some Scots went to become salt miners in (what is called) Saxony? Or is this all jumbled in with the origins of Celts in the near east before being split east and west?
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Re: Salt Trade

Postby hvered » 12:28 pm

Ajai wrote:'What's the position of salt in the desert? Is it plentiful? Do people need lots of it because of evaporation, food decay in the heat etc.? Can salt be carried economically on camels?

Hi Ajai,
I don't think foodstuffs decay faster in the desert than elsewhere, food goes off quickest in humid conditions but once it's dried out it can often last a long time. The wide range of temperature in desert climates, from very hot by day to nighttime very cold, might make food go off quicker though (I'm always reading that I mustn't refreeze things once thawed).
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Re: Salt Trade

Postby Ajai » 5:56 pm

The Saka or Scythians could be responsible for bringing apples to Britain. The birthplace of apples is in Kazakhstan according to some Oxford research team or other.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... apple.html

It's hard to get to the bottom of this mainly because 80% of agricultural land was re-organised under the Soviets but they somewhat dubiously point to the former capital of Almaty, apparently meaning something like 'Father Apple', as supporting this claim.
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Re: Salt Trade

Postby hvered » 11:58 am

Hmm. Ev means home in Turkish. Just saying.
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Re: Salt Trade

Postby Boreades » 11:11 pm

Ev = Eve = Apple = Knowledge?
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