Got change for an axe? Thousands of years ago, people used bronze objects such as neck rings, axe blades and “ribs” (curved, flattened rods) as a type of prehistoric currency, making them the oldest known form of money in the world. 

Archaeologists recently analyzed more than 5,000 of these ancient metal artifacts dating to the early Bronze Age (2150 B.C. to 1700 B.C.), from approximately 100 stashes around Central Europe.