It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Ever wonder what the Aztecs used for money?

page: 1

log in


posted on May, 23 2010 @ 11:33 PM
Cacao beans!

That's right, unsweetened
dried out chocolate beans as money.
In the Aztec empire money grows on trees.

The only plant in the world that bears it's
fruit on the trunk and not on branches.
The fruit that grows in the midst
of the garden. I wonder why
it was originally verboten
to eat or even touch,
for gardeners.
It's money!

Well we have
lots of money types
but lets take a closer look
at one of the, arguably, more
primitive forms of money and it's use.

fully ripe avocado = 1 bean
large tomato = 1 bean
turkey egg = 3 beans
pumpkin = 4 beans
small rabbit = 30 cacao beans
turkey hen = 100 cacao beans
0.62kg gold statue = 250 beans
ones own child sells for about 600 cacao beans.

The royal storehouses had “vaults” full of this currency. One estimate listed the yearly expenditure of dried beans at 11,680,000. Some of these beans went to pay the king’s attendants. Others went into the king’s chocolate drinks—and he drank a lot of chocolate. Hernán Cortés relate that when Moctezuma II, emperor of the Aztecs, dined he took no other beverage than chocolate, served in a golden goblet and eaten with a golden spoon. Flavored with vanilla and spices, his chocolate was whipped into a froth that dissolved in the mouth. It is reported that no fewer than 50 portions each day may have been consumed by Montezuma II , and 200 more by the nobles of his court.

The tree is called Theobroma Cacao which literally means the food of the gods.
In the picture above Cacao tribute is drawn next to the two leopard skins.
-Codex Mendoza (c. 1541) Each flag above it represents 20 loads,
so 200 loads total was required in tribute from this tribe.

Now what does this tell us about the current day.
Well it looks like the Aztec court consumed
nine percent of the budget which makes
our current administration running at
twenty five to thirty percent look
worse for us than the Aztecs.
Second the rulers were
consumers and ruled
the producers.

this day we have
rule by the producers
and the ruled are consumers.
I guess since we can't eat the money
now the rules of the game have been reversed.

Which brings us to survivalists. On the day after what money will you use?

David Grouchy

posted on May, 23 2010 @ 11:57 PM
Huh? Well I'll be damned.....very interesting.
Wish I could drop a chocolate and pay my bank with that.

posted on May, 24 2010 @ 12:06 AM
reply to post by davidgrouchy

SnF for
the lay-out
and interesting OP

That last sentence is tenuous for survivalism.
Posting this in the Ancient and Lost
Civilisations forum would
have gained more

posted on May, 24 2010 @ 12:11 AM
I'm with everyone else. S&F. This what I love about economics. Doesn't anyone love how the Aztecs used Cacao beans!?

posted on May, 24 2010 @ 12:22 AM

Originally posted by Kandinsky
That last sentence is tenuous for survivalism.
Posting this in the Ancient and Lost
Civilisations forum would
have gained more

I can agree with that.
I feel that some discussion on
food as a money could be usefull
now for developing our own micro-
economies and testing out reactions
so we can be experienced if TS does HTF .

David Grouchy

posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 07:42 AM
Im thinking the new currency when SHTF may be edible plant seeds / antibiotics. Im stocking up on both

posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 12:19 AM
Haha, this is interesting and awesome to read. Thank OP for making me find out something new today.

posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 11:38 AM
reply to post by rajaten

i feel antibiotics is the way to go but more generally i think bartering system is what will come first. i have a bottle of aspirin and you have a live pig. i have a family and you have an infection. its beneficial for both sides.

posted on Jun, 6 2010 @ 02:46 PM
Imagine a government with a limited wallet....ahhhh....

posted on Jun, 6 2010 @ 03:09 PM
Great post ! S/F for you!

to answer this question:On the day after what money will you use?

At the moment im stocking up on tobacco(im a smoker)i think if the SHTF there would be alot of people out there Jonesing for a ciggerette,also it will be easier to break up into smaller portions for bartering then gold or silver coins . and i dont know anyone who ever had a physical addiction to gold..

Seeds will become very valuable again in my opinion if the SHTF but you need to be really careful which types you stock up on, some seeds germination rate drop drastically with each passing year...
although im not sure id be willing to trade mine, ive always been a long term thinker ....

in any event being prepared with stocks is only half the battle in a survival situation, more important than any stocks is the ability to replenish them, and this knowledge of living off the land and building without nails and things of the like will be PRICELESS


posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 11:09 AM
I was looking at this webpage on
the shelf life of candies.

Apparently Chocolate has a shelf life of about a year,
as long as its in undamage packaging and
stored in a cool try place.

According to the manufacturer, the life span of M&M's ® is up to thirteen (13) months providing that it remains in it's factory sealed package.

David Grouchy

posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 12:57 PM
Soap and shampoo, I get them free from the hotels I stay at for work. also I have over 200 sewing kits from hotels. Lots of people will be willing to trade for a thread and a needle or a small bottle of shampoo.

new topics

top topics


log in