Antiquities > Weights and Scales

Lead weights with Greek Letters (and Syrian Tetradrachm)

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Thanks, Russ.  I was just starting to look through the google book previews in search of this (I am a low budget researcher!).  Your efforts are much appreciated.  Regards, jimi

Hi Jimi,

     Just an additional note. Petrie's chart on plate XLVI "Register of Metal and Late Weights 5205-5414, SELA, UNGIA", under Sela indicates that all of the "612 forms" (No. 5228) were found at Beyrout, except 5207 which was found at Marathus.


I think the standard rule is postings of parts of copyrighted works to make a point are fine.  You are not duplicating any material for profit.  It was a very useful image and allowed direct identification.


Hi Shawn,

     Thanks for the clarification. It's much appreciated.

Apologies for weighing in on this discussion so late (and excuse the pun, please)! I have a similar "set" of weights, although mine were acquired individually, and only one of them is known to have originated from Caesareia Maritima.

I've always understood these to be Hellenistic or Early Roman coin weights used for weighing drachms, didrachms and tetradrachms, from the Eastern Mediterranean, where various weight standards were in operation and where quite a lot of money-changing would have gone on (e.g. by the money-changers at the Temple whose tables Jesus overturned, and who provided the Phoenician silver coins that were required for paying the Temple Tax). They have a characteristic "stretched ox-hide" shape - there was an ancient tradition of casting metal ingots in the shape of an ox-hide.

(Parallel to these are other, heavier and bulkier weights likewise with Greek letter-numerals on them, but these are market weights, and the units are based on the uncia.)

The most interesting is the drachm weight with LA. This weighs 3.91 g, which is close to the weight of the common Attic-standard drachmae of Aradus (around 4.15 g). From Caesareia Maritima. The L in front of the A suggests an Egyptian connection (the symbol appears preceding regnal year numbers on Alexandreian coins), and we know from the "sands of Caesareia" imitation dichalkoi that Caesareia and Egypt were commercially linked.

- Francis


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