Ancient/Classical History/question

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good day
throughout history value have differed. For example today oil is valuable while centuries ago it was not. I believe gold and silver has always been valuable.
interested in finding out what were the top 5 to 10 most valuable commodities besides gold and silver. Somewhere I read salt used to be valuable at one time.
also where can i find additional research on which commodities were valuable at different periods in history.

Answer
When it comes to what was valuable when, well that is mostly out of my expertise, but I do know some things. Much if of it is what the market will bare. You can google it and see what comes up. Salt was valuable, but in the ancient past much of it depended on when in history and where in the world you are talking about. In the desert water is valuable. Food has always been valuable, especially when its hard to come by. We can't understand in the modern day how food could be valuable, because living in modern day America food is really cheap. In modern day America food is plentiful and it is mass produced by large agribusiness corporations for pennies compared to how hard it was to produce food in the past. Also clothing was very valuable in the past. People didn't own much clothing in the historical past. But now we have machinery and other modern day inventions which make producing clothing cheap. We can go to Walmart and buy a suit of clothes for less than a day's wages these days. Especially since we import almost all of our clothing from third world countries where the dollar is strong and on the exchange rate their labor costs almost nothing for American companies to buy up clothing to sell in the American market. That was impossible in the historical past. In modern day America labor is expensive. If you go to a car mechanic or to the doctor or to see a therapist you could spend a large percentage of your wages in just visiting each. Do you know how much a divorce costs in modern day America? Legal fees can be up to $500 per hour or more, while a shirt could only cost $20 or less. Imagine a Walmart employee paying for a divorce. And how much does land cost? In the ancient past land was not as expensive as today, and there were no such things as real estate agents making 6% on the sale of your house just for a small percentage of their time. Some jobs which are plentiful today never existed in the past. There were no speech pathologists, or therapists, or counselors, etc. There were no occupational therapists or people who made money on computers or the internet. And some jobs today where people make a good living paid next to nothing in the past. School teachers were paid a pittance in the past as compared to today. And clergy made a lot of money in the past, while now-a-days some churches can barely survive because people don't give like they used to and don't attend church or believe in God like they once did. And dentists and medical doctors made no where near the amounts they do today. A hospital visit in the past would not bankrupt a person, and back then there were no health insurance companies either. An insurance agent has the ability to carry a million dollars worth of assets in a briefcase, because all it is is a piece of paper with a promise to paid if something bad happens. Salesmen could make a good living in the past, but not like today. In the past people made good livings if they had a lot of land to farm and produce a lot of food or other goods needed to make things, like clothing. Now farmers make a pittance compared to what they used to make. Now the big bucks are in services, like medical, dental, legal, therapeutic, etc. The value of things changes from one time period to another, based on a lot of variables. What something is worth is based on what demand is there for it and what is the supply. If there was only one chicken in the world which produced eggs those eggs would be super expensive, but because there are millions of chickens producing billions of eggs it means that one egg costs only pennies. Often times the demand is man made because people are forced into things, like a divorce (which could cost someone their entire life savings), because the courts force people to pay for it, often times against their will, creating a man made market out of nothing. But for the legal profession its great, because people come to them and they could potentially charge hundreds of dollars per hour because that's the going rate, and if you don't like it try to find someone who costs less. And so things don't have value because they intrinsically have that value, but because of the market. Whatever the market will bare determines the value of a product. Capitalism 101.  

Ancient/Classical History

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Alex Gorecki

Expertise

I am knowledgeable about Ancient History. But my expertise in this category is mostly in Biblical and Church History from Antiquity.

Experience

Mostly in Biblical and Church History from Antiquity.

Education/Credentials
I hold a BA and an MA in History from a State University in New England.

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