Thursday, August 18, 2016

Bartering in ancient Egypt

In early Egypt, as in other early societies people were every self-sufficient. Each family provided its own food, shelter and clothing. Then, as Egyptian civilization developed, people started to specialize. Money did not exist in ancient Egypt. Instead of making purchases the Egyptians traded their goods and services. This is called bartering

Most of of the trading between Egyptians simply involved swapping one object for another.

Wages in ancient Egypt were paid in food and clothing. Farm workers received wheat and barley in payment for their work. They could exchange a bag of grain to get pottery from a craftsman or clothing from a weaver.

Coins were not used in ancient Egypt until about 500 BC.  Before that time, there existed a system in which metals such as gold were given values based on their weight.

This unit of weight was called a ‘deben’. Deben was not used to buy things, Instead, it was used to set the value of goods and services for bartering.
Bartering in ancient Egypt

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