Measuring scales go back into antiquity. The act of balancing an unknown quantity with a known quantity of weight is the simplest way to measure weight and assign value to goods for sale. Archaeologists have found evidence of these known quantities all over the world. One such find in Jerusalem appears to have quite a story.
Found in the northern part of the City of David in Jerusalem’s Old City and dating back to 2,700 years ago during the First Temple period, the weight in question is just 14 mm. in diameter and 12 mm. in height, and is only the second one of its kind to have been found in Israel. Made of hard limestone, the it contained engravings indicating it has a weight of two gerah, which equals 0.944 grams.
Despite this, however, the weight does not weigh two gerah. Rather, the researchers found that it weighed at least 3.61 grams, over three times as much.
Researchers believe traders used the weight to scam people. For example, if someone brought in their gold jewelry to sell, they could set six gerah of gold on the scale and be paid for only two gerah. This was apparently a problem in the ancient world, as several places in the Bible warn against the sin of using misleading weights and measures. Read more about the find at The Jerusalem Post. -via Strange Company
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