How Salt Was Used in Ancient Times?

Salt has been an essential part of human history for thousands of years. It is one of the oldest and most widely used food seasonings in the world.

But did you know that salt was also used for various purposes in ancient times? Let’s take a look at how salt was used in different cultures and civilizations throughout history.

Ancient Egypt

In ancient Egypt, salt was not only used as a food seasoning but also as a form of currency. It was so valuable that it was even used to pay workers who built the pyramids.

The Egyptians also used salt for mummification, which involved removing moisture from the body to prevent decay. Salt was applied to the body to absorb moisture and preserve the flesh.

Ancient Rome

In ancient Rome, salt had such great importance that it gave rise to the word “salary.” Roman soldiers were paid with an allowance of salt, which was known as “salarium argentum” or “salt money.” Salt was also used as a preservative for food and wine, and it was added to bathwater for its cleansing properties.

The Middle Ages

During the Middle Ages, salt remained a valuable commodity and was often traded for other goods. Monasteries played an important role in the production and trade of salt, with many monasteries having their own salt pans or mines. In addition to its use as a seasoning and preservative, salt was also believed to have medicinal properties and was used to treat various ailments.

The Renaissance

The Renaissance saw an increase in scientific exploration and experimentation, including research into the properties of salt. In 1603, English physician William Gilbert discovered that different types of salts have different properties, leading to advancements in chemistry.

Modern Times

Today, we take salt for granted as a common seasoning in our food. However, salt still plays an important role in many industries, including agriculture, chemical production, and water treatment. Salt is also used in the production of paper, glass, and textiles.


Salt has been a vital part of human history for thousands of years. From ancient Egypt to modern times, it has been valued for its various properties and uses. Whether as a form of currency or a seasoning for food, salt remains an important part of our daily lives.