How did people salt their food before they discovered rock salt?

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Was everything they ate just really bland? Were they suffering from sodium defficiency?

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People have been using natural salt water for salt longer than mining rock salt. They would have communal boiling pans where salt scum was scraped off the top. Salt peter was also used at times I think, and it grows naturally in urine and on dead things. (ancient peoples used urine for a lot of chemical needs.) Another thing to note is that most meat was preserved in salt so most recipes called for washing the salt off the food. As it would be TOO salty to eat.

We do not know. It is not uncommon to extract salt from the ocean and this is fairly easy to do. But we do not know when people figured this out or when people started mining rock salt. The record of human civilization does not go further back. And we even see animals lick rocks or eat dirt to get salt in their diet. So the practice might be older then humans.