Salt, a vital factor in the early societies of the Celts

by Evlampia Tsireli
(english translation by Athanasios Koutoupas)
It seems that Celts had a special relationship with the salt from the Iron Age even when the first group called themselves Celts, a warlike tribe near Hallstatt in Austria and specifically in Salzkammergut, about 50 km southeast of modern Saltsburgh in Upper Austria, began its mining. In fact, their initial superiority over their neighbors was probably due to the salt mining, which they could be traded, or use it in meat or fish.

This feature to store goods, allowed them to hunt plenty animals in the right season, which of course they could maintain in salt all winter, instead of following the movements of the herds. So they managed to create permanent settlements and to protect the salt storehouses from their competitors who wanted to take the ownership. Furthermore the domestication of animals and the planting of crops, important parts of their culture, were also encouraged by this product.
The Hallstatt culture spread throughout the continent and as early as the 5th century BC, it had conquered most of Europe, north of the Alps.


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