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Thread: Pictures of Aztec Money

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  1. #31
    us
    Sep 2010
    294
    4 times
    Not saying that it was or wasn't a form of money, but just a theory to toss out there. Lets say for sake of argument that all people had a common origin and that when they became separated they didn't lose all of what they had in common. The Chinese used spear money, fish money, bridge money, and all made of copper or brass. They used this form of currency for hundreds of years because it was easier to use when trading in bulk...(I have a ship with a ton of fresh fish, I can't carry it all around with me so I'm using this fish money as a trade token good for 100 fish...). Starting to get what I mean? In Meso-America they might have used something similar as there were several Myan/Aztec settlements. They might have all been ruled by one person, maybe not. What about trade, though? They might all have something they can trade each other, and carrying it around to find out who needed it was a real task sometimes. Just saying, what was found and looks like common tools(but made of copper) may have been a form of currency. It's really not all that unlikely...

  2. #32
    ca
    May 2007
    1,722
    523 times
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mackaydon View Post
    I'd call these tools a form of 'commodity money' since they have value in themselves as well as for use as money.
    Coins did not come to the New World until the Spanards got to Mexico, built the first mint and created the first mint--in about 1536.
    Don.......
    Don:

    This fairly well describes where both coins and "Aztec Hoe Money" fall within the definition of "money",IMO :

    Money - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Many countries do not manufacture their own money,instead contracting the production to an outside source,such as De La Rue,in the UK.

    De La Rue - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Belize,for example,is on the list.Only one of many.
    Yet I doubt that anyone would call the Belize dollar a British dollar.

    I therefore have no problem with the description of these artifacts as "Aztec Hoe Money",regardless of who may have made them.

    Regards:SH.
    Hell,you ain't never too old to look!

  3. #33
    Charter Member

    Dec 2005
    Arizona
    5,725
    939 times
    Quote Originally Posted by somehiker View Post
    Joe:

    Are you saying that the presence of arsenic in these copper artifacts was deliberate ?
    How would this prove the "hoes,axes,scrapers,or chisels",as they have been called by various theorists,as NOT being of Aztec manufacture ?

    Regards:Wayne

    Wayne,

    It seems almost a sure bet that the constant presence of a small percentage of arsenic in the "hoe money" was deliberate and was done to create an early version of bronze. 2 to 5 percent arsenic added to copper was being used in Western Mexico, and many other places to create bronze tools. Higher percentages were use for other artifacts such as, bells.



    At the time of the Spanish Conquest bronze metallurgy was just coming into use by the Aztecs. Prior to that, the process was being used by their Tarascan foes. When the Aztec conquered lands on the Tarascan border they captured metalsmiths and major copper deposits. Prior to that, there does not seem to be that much of a copper industry by the Aztec, although they did some work in the metal. Once that happened, they had plenty of copper, which really had minimal value in their culture.


    I can see them trying to interest the Spaniards in that copper. It would seem to be a pretty smart move.

    Take care,

    Joe

  4. #34
    ca
    May 2007
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    523 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Joe:

    "I can see them trying to interest the Spaniards in that copper. It would seem to be a pretty smart move."

    Don't know about that.All those gifts of gold from Moctezuma to Cortez didn't work out too well........did they ?

    Regards:
    Hell,you ain't never too old to look!

  5. #35
    Charter Member

    Dec 2005
    Arizona
    5,725
    939 times
    Quote Originally Posted by somehiker View Post
    Joe:

    "I can see them trying to interest the Spaniards in that copper. It would seem to be a pretty smart move."

    Don't know about that.All those gifts of gold from Moctezuma to Cortez didn't work out too well........did they ?

    Regards:
    Wayne,

    Yes, it "didn't work out too well.....". After giving them all the gold they had, the gold they could beg borrow or steal from their neighbors, they were still being killed, tortured and having their gods and temples desecrated. The "hoe money" was "tribute items" from tribes the Aztecs had conquered.

    The idea for these items came from the south, places like Peru and Ecuador, where they were produced for burial, funerary goods. They originally had little monetary worth and their number in the graves reflected on the "social status of the buried person. All metal items were valued in that place and time, not necessarily for monetary value, but often for religious reasons.

    It seems unlikely that the Aztecs produced much, if any, "axe money". My guess is that it was a rare item, somewhat revered, and they might have assumed the Spaniards would fine it a worthwhile substitute for their dwindling supply of gold.

    It's all just my opinion based on what I have read. Much of the above can be found in a book by Dorothy Hosler, Heather Lechtman and Olaf Holm. It's title is "Axe-Monies And Their Relatives".

    Take care,

    Joe

  6. #36
    Charter Member

    Dec 2005
    Arizona
    5,725
    939 times
    Wayne,

    Maybe you can answer this question......If the Aztec "hoe money" was created strictly as a medium of exchange, why did they add arsenic to each and every artifact? The only reason that comes to mind, is that the artifacts were made for tools or weapons.

    Thanks,

    Joe

  7. #37
    ca
    May 2007
    1,722
    523 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by cactusjumper View Post
    Wayne,

    Maybe you can answer this question......If the Aztec "hoe money" was created strictly as a medium of exchange, why did they add arsenic to each and every artifact? The only reason that comes to mind, is that the artifacts were made for tools or weapons.

    Thanks,

    Joe

    Joe:

    I don't recall expressing the opinion that the Aztec "hoe money" was "created strictly as a medium of exchange".
    Nor,as I recall,do any of the references I cited previously.
    The addition of arsenic to copper was known to make copper more suitable for use as tools or weapons,just as elimination of arsenic from copper ore,during the refining process,can increase ductility/workability.
    Such alloys would be more durable when used as money,IMO.
    Arsenical bronze - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Has "each and every artifact" of this type been tested for arsenic content ?

    Regards:Wayne
    Hell,you ain't never too old to look!

  8. #38

    Apr 2012
    24
    3 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Good response, Joe, that would have been my guess as well. What I wonder is where were these found? I saw several examples of these tools at Gilcrease in Oklahoma.

    Monette Bebow-Reinhard
    Home - Monette Bebow-Reinhard

  9. #39
    Charter Member

    Dec 2005
    Arizona
    5,725
    939 times
    Wayne,

    It was a simple question. I didn't claim you had said anything at all.

    As I have mentioned many times, I don't know $#!t about rocks. Just trying to get my uninformed mind wrapped around the subject.

    Perhaps I should have said "each and every artifact"........that was tested.

    Take care,

    Joe
    Last edited by cactusjumper; Apr 27, 2012 at 12:53 PM.

  10. #40
    Charter Member

    Dec 2005
    Arizona
    5,725
    939 times
    Quote Originally Posted by Monette View Post
    Good response, Joe, that would have been my guess as well. What I wonder is where were these found? I saw several examples of these tools at Gilcrease in Oklahoma.

    Monette Bebow-Reinhard
    Home - Monette Bebow-Reinhard
    Monette,

    Welcome to TNet. It's good to see someone with your credentials joining in the conversation. I like your Website.


    I'm not really sure just how good my response was, as I am badly uninformed on the subject. Native American history, pre-history and archaeology is something I enjoy researching, as a hobby. That does not seem to inhibit my commenting on those subjects, sometimes to my detriment.

    The "hoe money" seems to have been more prevalent in Western Mexico and South America, as opposed to being a major player in the Aztec culture. At least, that is what I have gleaned from the small amount of research I have done. I realize a good argument can be made for both sides of the debate.

    What's your take on the subject?

    Thanks for your reply.

    Take care,

    Joe

  11. #41
    ca
    May 2007
    1,722
    523 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Monette:

    May I bid you a hearty welcome as well.
    The first few posts in this thread give the general location of the finds.Most of the subsequent debate centres around the use of the descriptive term "Aztec Hoe Money"...should it be called "Aztec" and should it be called "Money".
    Another area which could be explored,would be "Aztec Shell Money".

    Regards:SH.
    Hell,you ain't never too old to look!

  12. #42

    Mar 2012
    34
    2 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Just wondering if these interesting money devices have ever been carbondated ?
    Looking at their shapes they look like large pins, and a crown with a pin bottom.
    Knowing that Copper Conducts Electricty,Im thinking they may have been used in
    some type of mechanical or electrical device, therefore in my thinking,they may date
    to the building of the pyramids. Its possible they were first located inside or near a
    pyramid.To know for sure what their full chemical makeup is could indeed give more imformation.
    Are they magnetic ?, do they move a compass needle ? Could be part of a electronic perimeeter gate.who knows I dont.

  13. #43
    ca
    May 2007
    1,722
    523 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by motel6.5 View Post
    Just wondering if these interesting money devices have ever been carbondated ?
    Looking at their shapes they look like large pins, and a crown with a pin bottom.
    Knowing that Copper Conducts Electricty,Im thinking they may have been used in
    some type of mechanical or electrical device, therefore in my thinking,they may date
    to the building of the pyramids. Its possible they were first located inside or near a
    pyramid.To know for sure what their full chemical makeup is could indeed give more imformation.
    Are they magnetic ?, do they move a compass needle ? Could be part of a electronic perimeeter gate.who knows I dont.
    Don't know either,Motel,
    If they had electricity,what would they use it for ?
    Lava Lamps ?
    Neon signs...?..."Welcome to The Sacrifice Bar and Grill"
    * - Happy Hour 3-6 - *

    If they did,they could have used electrolysis to gold-plate the "hoe money".
    And really sucker them Conquistadors into thinking they were onto something good.
    Last edited by somehiker; Apr 28, 2012 at 06:49 AM.
    Hell,you ain't never too old to look!

  14. #44

    Mar 2012
    34
    2 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    I needed a good laugh before breakfast, I can just imagine the outcome if the Spanish were given fake gold,Im sure a scorched earth nazi plan would have been the 1st conquisador order of the day.

  15. #45
    ca
    May 2007
    1,722
    523 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    With smallpox and the wrecking iron,such a policy was unnecessary.
    The only thing I ever got from the Aztecs,was a Tequila Hangover.
    Hell,you ain't never too old to look!

 

 
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