Ever since the exchange of good began, currency has been a vital component to fair trade. Humans have used a form of currency for over 40,000 years. Before currency’s conception people used a barter system. Two parties would make direct deals of multiple types of goods. The amount was agreed upon by both parties. However, there was no set exchange rate. Many times, one party would receive the short end of the stick, so to speak.
Once a need rose for a cash currency to enabling of gift giving, debt payment and a standard measure of trade. At first, people started using natural objects such as shells, but later moved on to using coins. This need rose due to enabling of gift giving, debt payment and a common measure of trade. Objects that rarely occur naturally served well as an early currency. The earliest known currency is the Mesopotamian shekel. The elites of this civilization would exchange wealth in the form of stamped gold or silver pieces.
The Mesopotamian shekel was the first of many coins used in many civilizations from all over Europe, Asia and North Africa. Coinage gained worldwide popularity due to its portability, resilience, and intrinsic worth; political leaders were also able to control the inflation through control of currency production. Political control also extended to taxes to support public works and military protection. Furthermore, coins helped to connect distant civilizations. Kusimba explained how merchants view the variety of their currency to be a source of pride. The more currencies a merchant has the more successful he is in worldwide trade.
Today currency is becoming digital through credit cards and services like PayPal, yet our ancient ancestors will still understand its purpose and use.
This article gives more detail on different types of coins from the ancient world. The true origin of coins in uncertain and because of this every early civilization claimed theirs to be the first. Many famous ancient scholars like Aristotle claim the first currencies were found in Greece and were minted by monarchs like the king Pheidon or Argos or Demodike of Kyrme. This article also includes how coins were spread around the entire known world. At the end of the article the author included a video of the history of Rome told through their coins.
Brandon Walter (wc: 390)