During the period of time known as the the Greek Dark Ages (ca. 1100 BC–750 BC) there was a little studied ruler, Fecyles, who ruled over the kingdom of Tout (fig. 1). Historians refer to his rule as the Brown Ages because Fecyles chose to use fecal matter to coin Toutan currency.

Like all the poor kingdoms of the Greek Dark Ages many of the Toutan people were starving, the economic system had collapsed, and their villages were in a state of ruins from war. During this period many of the Greek kingdoms began coining their own currency as an attempt to arise from the widespread poverty; this was difficult however, because creating currency was costly. It is recorded that King Fecyles ordered his council of Fundamus to develop the most inexpensive system of currency so that trade within his kingdom could flourish. The council of Fundamus returned with the idea to mix human waste with a blend of locally available minerals, shape the mix into coins, stamp them with the face of King Fecyles, and dry them in the sun (fig. 2).

The Brown Ages are known as such because the fecal matter coinage was such a success that their use soon spread into other kingdoms and became an important part of the Greek economy. Towards the end of the Greek Dark Ages it would have been nearly impossible to operate in Greece without coming in contact with those small brown coins of poop.

Figure 1.

Figure 2.



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