The human who collects the nuts, catches and smokes the fish, weaves the basket, etc., will value these things according to how much effort it would take to get another one, how much utility they have for him or her, how much satisfaction was gained by having them, how beautiful they are, and perhaps many other sentimental or utilitarian reactions. The value to their possessor may change greatly when trading becomes a possibility.

A bow that a hunter had when he began to shoot may have been replaces by a stronger bow more suited to a sturdy adult hunter. To that hunter the old bow has little practical value. However, to a teenage boy from a passing family it may be exactly what is needed, and the boy's family may offer a product of that family's expertise, perhaps a set of spear points. The spear points may be very valuable to the hunter. The value of the old bow can clearly be dependent on the social context.

Put the above scenario in the context of a marketplace, and it is easy to see that this institution adds greatly to the wealth of all who participate in trading there. Produce can be sold, but it cannot be stored indefinitely. Produce traded for artifacts having value can thus be made a more enduring form of wealth, things that can in the future be traded for produce in a time of shortage or sudden need.

Humans have been saving not only produce but artifacts as well for as long as we have arcbaeological records of the home sapiens, and perhaps for the entire span in time of the genus Homo. The reasons are partly utilitarian, but also probably partly aesthetic or related to institutions such as religion. Aesthetically important objects can be exchanged for utilitarian reasons. But I think that it is clear that possessing and saving things is an almost inevitable result of the human ability to anticipate future consequences of present and past events and to act accordingly.

One of the odd things about humans is that they tend to horde, to accumulate far more than they have any reason to expect that they will need. Perhaps one reason for this tendency is that possession of, e.g., a surplus of nuts can give the individual power over other people who, from time to time, may need nuts to survive. The person to ask for aid in times of great need is often the person who can ask for aid in the form of service, perhaps to build a bridge over a stream that is difficult to ford. This dynamic is similar to that governing the tendency for isolated hunter-gatherers to give presents and hospitality to strangers who visit their camp. A general understanding among all hunter-gatherers in a region that hospitality should be given to travellers who wander in will provide for group survival over time.  Similarly, the presence of a few individuals who are especially good at acquiring and storing resources offers a kind of safety net to the entire group, providing that those with more wealth are not selfish and shortsighted.

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