Ancient 'debit card' discovered

Published: 26 April 2011 y., Tuesday

Archaeologists in the town of Wittenberg, Saxony–Anhalt, have unearthed a 453–year–old wooden “tally stick” used to keep track of debts.

The antiquated debt counter measures 30 centimetres in length and displays 23 notches, with both a name and the date 1558 visible. Archaeologists made the exciting find during excavations in the small easterly university town of Wittenberg, made famous by the Protestant theologian Martin Luther.

The well–preserved tally stick was used in the Middle Ages to count the debts owed by the holder in a time when most people were unable to read or write.

“Debts would have been carved into the stick in the form of small notches. Then the stick would have been split lengthways, with the creditor and the borrower each keeping a half,” explained Hille.

Šaltinis: thelocal.de
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