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A common theme thoroughthrough much of history seems to be ensuring that the recently defeated enemy cannot recover from the loss. A way to ensure that is restricting the ability to grow food -- i.e. "salting the earth", making it unable to grow food.

Presumably that needs a lot of salt; after all a lot of potential agricultural land would need to be destroyed. ButHowever, I've learned that salt was rare, scarce and expensive!

Is this just a figure of speech and actually mostly weeds were used? To quote from Wikipedia:

The custom of purifying or consecrating a destroyed city with salt and cursing anyone who dared to rebuild it was widespread in the ancient Near East, but historical accounts are unclear as to what the sowing of salt meant in that process.

Various Hittite and Assyrian texts speak of ceremonially strewing salt, minerals, or plants (weeds, "cress", or kudimmu, which are associated with salt and desolation) over destroyed cities ...

If so, how did this figure of speech (is that the right word?) gain traction?

A common theme thorough much of history seems to be ensuring that the recently defeated enemy cannot recover from the loss. A way to ensure that is restricting the ability to grow food -- i.e. "salting the earth", making it unable to grow food.

Presumably that needs a lot of salt; after all a lot of potential agricultural land would need to be destroyed. But I've learned that salt was rare, scarce and expensive!

Is this just a figure of speech and actually mostly weeds were used? To quote from Wikipedia:

The custom of purifying or consecrating a destroyed city with salt and cursing anyone who dared to rebuild it was widespread in the ancient Near East, but historical accounts are unclear as to what the sowing of salt meant in that process.

Various Hittite and Assyrian texts speak of ceremonially strewing salt, minerals, or plants (weeds, "cress", or kudimmu, which are associated with salt and desolation) over destroyed cities ...

If so, how did this figure of speech (is that the right word?) gain traction?

A common theme through much of history seems to be ensuring that the recently defeated enemy cannot recover from the loss. A way to ensure that is restricting the ability to grow food -- i.e. "salting the earth", making it unable to grow food.

Presumably that needs a lot of salt; after all a lot of potential agricultural land would need to be destroyed. However, I've learned that salt was rare, scarce and expensive!

Is this just a figure of speech and actually mostly weeds were used? To quote from Wikipedia:

The custom of purifying or consecrating a destroyed city with salt and cursing anyone who dared to rebuild it was widespread in the ancient Near East, but historical accounts are unclear as to what the sowing of salt meant in that process.

Various Hittite and Assyrian texts speak of ceremonially strewing salt, minerals, or plants (weeds, "cress", or kudimmu, which are associated with salt and desolation) over destroyed cities ...

If so, how did this figure of speech (is that the right word?) gain traction?

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If salt was scarce and expensive, how did people "salt the earth" to ensure their enemies would stay defeated?

A common theme thorough much of history seems to be ensuring that the recently defeated enemy cannot recover from the loss. A way to ensure that is restricting the ability to grow food -- i.e. "salting the earth", making it unable to grow food.

Presumably that needs a lot of salt; after all a lot of potential agricultural land would need to be destroyed. But I've learned that salt was rare, scarce and expensive!

Is this just a figure of speech and actually mostly weeds were used? To quote from Wikipedia:

The custom of purifying or consecrating a destroyed city with salt and cursing anyone who dared to rebuild it was widespread in the ancient Near East, but historical accounts are unclear as to what the sowing of salt meant in that process.

Various Hittite and Assyrian texts speak of ceremonially strewing salt, minerals, or plants (weeds, "cress", or kudimmu, which are associated with salt and desolation) over destroyed cities ...

If so, how did this figure of speech (is that the right word?) gain traction?