MESOPOTAMIAN MENSURATION BALANCE PAN WEIGHTS FROM NIPPUR 1 BY W.B. HAFFORD* Abstract Balance pan weights are used in both manufacture and trade and therefore are a correlate of economic activity. Ancient examples can provide insight into the nature and extent of ancient economies. Many ancient weights have been discovered at the site of Nippur in Iraq and most are here analyzed for the fi rst time. Common weight forms at Nippur are those that are typical across the ancient Near East, but a single system of weight measurement is strongly indicated in statistical analysis. This is in contradiction to most analyzed sites farther north, where many weight systems are simultaneously in play. It seems to indicate Nippur’s rela- tive isolation within a socio-economic system, re fl ecting a general lack of incoming mer- chants or craftspeople from distant regions. Utilisés à la fois dans la manufacture et le commerce, les poids de balance à plateaux représentent un correlat de l’activité économique. Ceux datant de l’Antiquité peuvent donc nous donner un aperçu de la nature et de l’étendue des économies antiques. Ils sont nom- breux à avoir été découverts sur le site de Nippur, en Irak, et la plupart
Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2005
Keywords: NIPPUR; MENSURATION; BALANCE-PAN WEIGHTS
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