How Was Salt Used in Ancient Times?

Salt is a mineral that has been used by humans for thousands of years. In ancient times, salt was a valuable commodity and played an important role in many aspects of society. Let’s take a closer look at how salt was used in ancient times.

The Importance of Salt

Salt was used as a preservative for food, which was especially important in ancient times when there were no refrigerators. It helped to keep meat and fish from spoiling, allowing people to store food for longer periods of time. This was particularly important during the winter months when fresh food was scarce.

The Role of Salt in Trade

Salt was also an important commodity for trade. In fact, the word “salary” comes from the Latin word “salarium,” which means “salt money.”

In some cultures, salt was even used as currency. For example, the ancient Romans paid their soldiers in salt.

Salt in Religious Ceremonies

Salt also played a role in religious ceremonies in many ancient cultures. In Judaism, salt is used to purify meat before it is eaten. In Hinduism, salt is used to ward off evil spirits during religious ceremonies.

Health Benefits of Salt

In addition to its use as a preservative and commodity, salt also had health benefits in ancient times. It was believed to have medicinal properties and was often used to treat ailments such as sore throats and toothaches.

Salt Mining

Salt mining was an important industry in many ancient civilizations. The Romans were particularly skilled at mining salt and developed advanced techniques for extracting it from underground deposits.

Salt Production Techniques

One popular method for producing salt involved evaporating seawater or brine in shallow pans. This method was commonly used in areas where there were no underground deposits of salt.

  • Another method involved mining salt from underground deposits.
  • Once the salt was mined, it was often crushed into small pieces and then heated in large ovens to remove any impurities.
  • The final product was then packaged and sold.


In conclusion, salt played a significant role in ancient times. From its use as a preservative and commodity to its importance in trade and religion, salt was a valuable mineral that had many uses.

Today, salt is still an important part of our lives, although we may take it for granted. It’s amazing to think about how something so simple has had such a profound impact on human history.