Babylonian Stone Weight

Near Eastern · ca. 1400-1200 B.C.

Material

Chlorite

Dimensions

H: 44.4 cm

Reference

12777

Price

$69,000

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Overview

This impressive weight, of an unusually large size, is carved from a monolithic block of pointed form; the surface is smooth and partially stained with bitumen. The top is pierced by a horizontal hole that may have served to transport and/or to suspend it. A small inscription, in four columns of cuneiform script, is engraved on the upper part of the weight: “one talent weight, calibrated, of the god Enlil, king of all countries”. Some other Babylonian weights of this size are known, but they are carved in the shape of ducks; the Babylonian talent officially weighed 30.520 kg.

Provenance

Art market, prior to 1970s;

Ex- E. Boustros collection, acquired in the 1970s

 

Bibliography

On the ancient ponderal syrods:

Measuring and Weighing in Ancient Times, Haifa, 2001.

SOUZO M.-G., Etude des monuments pondéraux de Suse, in Mémoires de la Délégation en Perse XII, 1911, pp. 1-50 (see in particular p. 31; p. 40, n. 1-2).