Before coins were put into circulation in Europe in the Bronze Age, jewelry, of standardized shape and weight, was used as currency, according to a study published in the scientific journal PLOS One, relayed by German wave.
Researchers at Leiden University have examined more than 5,000 bracelets, ax blades and rings from the period 2150 to 1700 BC. JC, from various European archaeological sites, notably in what is now southern Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, but also northern Germany and southern Scandinavia.
While these objects came from very different regions and time periods, scientists have surprisingly discovered that they “Had been standardized in weight and shape in many parts of Europe”, tells German radio. Thus, about 70% of the rings analyzed had an average weight of about 195 grams.
“Even in prehistoric times”, conclut Deutsche Welle, “people realized that objects had to be of a standard size in order to serve as a common currency that would be accepted ” in many places.