PHOTOS: See The Ancient Salt Mines Of Tibet

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Photo: Luke Duggleby

Once upon a time salt was treasured and used as currency. It actually lent its name to the base of the word ‘salary.’ Salt even traded for twice the price of gold.Nowadays, salt is ubiquitous and cheap if you by the industrial, refined kind.

But if you are reaching for artisanal salt from Hawaii, France and the Himalayas which has been been growing in popularity, you can pay dollars per ounce retail price (versus a couple of cents.) 

Why is gourmet salt that expensive?

Because it is rare as it is found only in specific locations that contain unique salt rock deposits or clay in their water, and as the process of gathering that salt is slow and unadulterated by chemicals.

Award-winning photo Luke Duggleby has captured the physically demanding process of salt making in Eastern Tibet, China in a stunning photo gallery.

A worker walks down to the terraces in the valley.

Source: Luke Duggleby

Ancient salt terraces on the river Mekong

Source: Luke Duggleby

A worker collects brine from a well.

Source: Luke Duggleby

Source: Luke Duggleby

Two girls collecting brine from a salt rich pool.

Source: Luke Duggleby

A young girl helps her mother carry brine.

Source: Luke Duggleby

Source: Luke Duggleby

Workers carry brine to the salt terraces.

Source: Luke Duggleby

A Tibetan girl pours brine on to the terraces.

Source: Luke Duggleby

Source: Luke Duggleby

Pouring brine into a collection pool

Source: Luke Duggleby

Source: Luke Duggleby

Workers taking a lunch break

Source: Luke Duggleby

A Buddhist stupa being built next to the terraces

Source: Luke Duggleby

Source: Luke Duggleby

A women scrapes salt from her terrace.

Source: Luke Duggleby

Carrying bagged salt to bring to the market.

Source: Luke Duggleby

Loading up a mule to take the salt to the market

Source: Luke Duggleby

Collected salt

Source: Luke Duggleby

Source: Luke Duggleby

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