jan Kipo is confused about the whole thing and, frankly, doesn't give a damn (sorry, just found a Rhett Butler plate in an attic). I don't see that shopping is more central to American lifestyle than to say British or German or French, although stereotypes do have a grain of truth and there may be a higher percentage of the believers in retail therapy in America than in most other countries -- or else they show up more clearly. And, of course, I don't see what all this has to do with 'esun,' which will do for any sort of exchange of goods and services, not just shopping (which, in its purest American form, involves no exchanges whatsoever) nor even just those involving money (indeed, it is tricky to get money into an esun sentence, as so far developed). As for money being as old as human culture, that turns out to be tricky (as noted earlier); there may have been standardized exchange rates, for example (one lactating cow for a wife, say) without cows being money. You can even have government-issued tokens (and this is way late in civilization, maybe 5000 years ago) and still not have money (cf the notes of the Continental Congress, which were traded in free-fall). Cynically, I would say you don't have money until you have counterfeiters (back to that -3000 again, I think). So, anyhow, esun is an essential part of every culture and may, indeed, be part of what defines a culture as opposed to a species instinct (but then we do seem to get some culture among the other jan). And money comes in when it is handy to do so and a government to make it work. And the point of the cited article was that the so-called beads gave every indication of being the leftovers from a lunch, neither ornament or money (or trade goods) but just trash (and so available in excess of need for money and ornament.