- Jul 11, 2013Dear Richerd, and ANE Members,

The offline discussion has now become online, so I re-send (below) my

earlier offline email to Richard.

I don't want list members to think that I am ingracious and do not try to

contribute to list members.

People may hold onto notions that Petrie held 120 years ago, when finding

biblical standards like "Beqa" in Early Dynastic Egypt, and may

seek correlations between various "standards" just based on weight, but I

do not recommend these things.

IN any case, while the Judean weights are 8-7 centuries BC, for accuracy in

ancient ANE weights they are the best evidence there is. This is because,

first they come from a well defined, limited area in time and space

(belonging to one clear system- while in vast Egypt or Mesopotamia systems

could change with time/region); and second, they are mostly inscribed so

the units ("standards") are proven.

Concerning economic mode (hacksilber) and techniques (scales) there was

no great difference between the Bronze and Iron Ages in ANE, before the

invention of coins.

Best,

Raz Kletter

University of Helsinki

"Dear Richard, and interested colleagues,

Petrie and Hemmy are old literature. There are newer studies but few deal

with accuracy of weights in depth. A problem is how to estimate accuracy

(how to define an ancient 'norm' - taking all the weights assumed and

working with averages? taking just inscribed weights or weights of good

preservation? working with statistcis? etc).

For Egypt try: Janssen 1975, Commodity Prices, shows fluctuation of prices

of up to 10% as acceptable in Egypt. Tanja Pommerening 2005, Die

Altagyptiche Hohlmasse, on Capacity measures and measuring vessels - not on

weights.Cour Marty, M. 1991. Weights in Ancient Egypt. in Schoske, S. ed.

SAK 4. Akten des vierten internatyionalen Agyptologische Kongress :

137-145.Cour-Marty, M. 1990. Les poids Egyptiens. Cahiers de recherches de

l'institute de papyrologie et d'Egyptologie de lille 12:17-55.

Mesopotamia:Powell, M. A. 1971. Sumerian Numeration and Metrology, PhD; and

1987-90 Masse und Gewichte RLA 7: 508-517.Studies by Italian scholars:

Archi, A. (eg on Ebla weights, Eblaitica 1987 ed C.H. Gordon:47-86); N.F.

Parisi; K.M. Petruso; M. Zaccagnini; M. Fales (on Neo Assyrian Weights).

Judah:

R. Kletter 1998. Economic Keystones. London. - table p. 76. The nice thing

is that many Judean weights are inscribed so standards are clear. The basic

unit is shekel=11.33g. Larger weights (2,4,8 shekels) are accurate, with

average deviation in realation to the 1 shekel less than 1 percent. Of

course absolute deviations are much higher. Smaller weights- shekel

particles - are very inaccurate (table p. 79). They tend to be heavier than

the norm, I think due to the production process. I add some papers - the

bibliographies may be helpful. Another venue is to try estimate accuracy

of ancient scales, but again few studies are available.

"

2013/7/11 richardwsproat <rws@...>

> **

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

>

>

> Thanks, though the Judean weights would presumably be much much later than

> the Indus weights, right?

>

> The reason for specifically focusing on third millenium bronze age

> cultures is to check the claim that has often been made that the Indus

> weights were so much more accurate than contemporaneous systems (such as

> Egypt or Mesopotamia).

>

> Richard Sproat

> New York, NY

>

> --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, George F Somsel <gfsomsel@...> wrote:

> >

> > You might want to check the entries in the bibliography of the article

> "Weights and Measures" in the Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary.� This may be

> somewhat dated by now, but it's a place to start.

> > � Bibliography Aharoni, Y. 1966. The Use of Hieratic Numerals in Hebrew

> Ostraca and the Shekel Weights. BASOR 184: 13��"19.

> > ��"��"��". 1971. A 40-Shekel Weight with a Hieratic Numeral. BASOR 201:

> 35��"36.

> > Ben-David, A. 1966. The Standard of the Sheqel. PEQ 98: 168��"69.

> > ��"��"��". 1968. The Talmud Was Right! The Weight of the Biblical

> Sheqel. PEQ 100: 145��"47.

> > ��"��"��". 1971. Jewish and Roman Bronze and Copper Coins: Their

> Reciprocal Relations in Mishnah and Talmud from Herod the Great to Trajan

> and Hadrian. PEQ 103: 109��"29.

> > ��"��"��". 1978. The Hebrew-Phoenician Cubit. PEQ 110: 27��"28.

> > ��"��"��". 1979. The Philistine Talent from Ashdod, the Ugarit Talent

> from Ras Shamra, The "PYM" and the "N-���-P." UF 11: 29��"45.

> > Diringer, D. 1942. The Early Hebrew Weights Found at Lachish. PEQ 74:

> 82��"103.

> > ��"��"��". 1958. Weights. Pp. 227��"30 in DOTT.

> > Foxhall, L., and Forbes, H. A. 1982. Sitometreia: The Role of Grain as a

> Staple Food in Classical Antiquity. Chiron 12: 41��"90.

> > Heltzer, M. 1976. Goods, Prices and the Organization of Trade in Ugarit.

> Wiesbaden.

> > Inge, C. H. 1941. Post-Scriptum. PEQ 73: 106��"9.

> > Kaplan, J. 1987. A Lead Weight from Ashdod with Jewish Symbols. IEJ 37:

> 50��"53.

> > Kaufman, A. S. 1984. Determining the Length of the Medium Cubit. PEQ

> 116: 120��"32.

> > Kaufman, I. T. 1967. New Evidence for Hieratic Numerals on Hebrew

> Weights. BASOR 188: 39��"41.

> > Kerkhof, V. I. 1966. An Inscribed Stone Weight from Shechem. BASOR 184:

> 20��"21.

> > Krauss, S. 1911. Masse, Gewichte, M��nzen. Vol. 2, pp. 382��"416 in

> Talmudische Arch��ologie. Leipzig.

> > Lifshitz, M. 1976. Bleigewichte aus Pal��stina und Syrien. ZDPV 92:

> 168��"87.

> > Meshorer, Y. 1970. A Stone Weight from the Reign of Herod. IEJ 20:

> 97��"98.

> > Parise, N. F. 1970��"71. Per uno studio del sistema ponderale ugaritico.

> Dialoghi di Archeologia 4: 3��"36.

> > ��"��"��". 1984. Unit� ponderali e rapporti di cambio nella Siria del

> nord. Pp. 125��"38 in Circulation of Goods in Non-Palatial Context in the

> Ancient Near East, ed. A. Archi. Incunabula Graeca 72. Rome.

> > Petrie, W. M. F. 1892. The Tomb Cutters Cubits at Jerusalem. PEQ 15:

> 28��"35.

> > ��"��"��". 1894. Inductive Metrology, The Recovery of Ancient Measures

> from the Monuments. London.

> > Pilcher, E. J. 1912. Weights of Ancient Palestine. PEQ 44: 136��"44,

> 178��"95.

> > ��"��"��". 1916. Hebrew Weights in the Book of Samuel. PEQ 48: 77��"85.

> > Powell, M. A. 1979. Ancient Mesopotamian Weight Metrology: Methods,

> Problems and Perspectives. Pp. 71��"109 in Studies in Honor of Tom B.

> Jones, ed. M. A. Powell and R. H. Sack. AOAT 203. Kevelaer.

> > Pritchard, J. B. 1959. Inscribed Weight. Pp. 29��"30 in Hebrew

> Inscriptions and Stamps from Gibeon. Philadelphia.

> > Scott, R. B. Y. 1958. The Hebrew Cubit. JBL 77: 205��"14.

> > ��"��"��". 1959. Weights and Measures of the Bible. BA 22: 22��"40.

> > ��"��"��". 1965. The Scale Weights from Ophel. PEQ 97: 128��"39.

> > ��"��"��". 1970. The N-���-P Weights from Judah. BASOR 200: 62��"66.

> > Shany, E. 1967. A New Unpublished "Beq��a" Weight in the Pontif. Bibl.

> Institute, Jerusalem. PEQ 99: 54��"55.

> > Spaer, A. 1982. A Group of Iron Age Stone Weights. IEJ 32: 251.

> > Viedebantt, O. 1917. Forschungen zur Metrologie des Altertums.

> Abhandlungen der philologisch-historischen Klasse der K��nigl. S��chsischen

> Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften34/3. Leipzig.

> > Zaccagnini, C. 1978. A Note on the Talent at Alalah (AT 401). Iraq 40:

> 67��"69.

> > �

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> > george

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