At least the workers were merry after being paid!
This is what I love about ancient history. You come across little treasures of information like this.
Beer. It’s not the most ideal payment to take home in exchange for a day’s work: it might spill, it could get warm, it might get polluted with dirt, dust and whatever insects are drawn to the sweet nectar while on the road, or you might not make it home at all.
But employers in the ancient Mesopotamian city of Uruk, located in modern-day Iraq, certainly knew how to treat their workers to a good time.
A roughly 5,000-year-old cuneiform stone tablet, in possession of the British Museum in London, shows how workers were paid their daily rations in liquid gold.
According to the New Scientist the tablet is the world’s oldest paycheck.
“On one tablet excavated from (Uruk) we can see a human head eating from a bowl, meaning ‘ration,’ and a conical vessel, meaning ‘beer,’” writes the New Scientist’s Alison George.
“Scattered around are scratches…
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