28 February 2013

Ancient Economies!

I've been trying to find some decent, reliable information on how, exactly, ancient economies worked. It's a bigger pain in the ass than it seems!

First, obviously, the amount of information on the wars, battles, heroes, and tactics are all covered, in exhaustive detail, across a thousand thousand books. Literally 95% of history books are just about wars and generals and kings and conquerers and I can't blame them (warrior-kings are a whole lot more exciting to read about than prudent and responsible ones), but it does mean that when you're trying to be an armchair trader instead of an armchair general, your options are limited.

So imagine my delight when google revealed to me this treasure: Ancient Economies. Don't let the format fool you; it might be a horribly tacky and poorly formatted Tripod page, but the information within in scholarly, well-researched, and just plain interesting. Did you know that they used to collect gold dust with sheep skins? Me neither, but that's something that's good to know now.

It's pretty in-depth, and I hope there's some good information I can mine out of it.

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