Balance Stone Weights and Scale-Pans from Kültepe-Kanesh: On One of the Basic Elements of the Old Assyrian Trading System

in Overturning Certainties in Near Eastern Archaeology
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Hundreds of balance weight stones and bronze scale-pans have been recovered so far at Kültepe-Kanesh, the capital city of the earliest international trade system in Anatolia. Artifacts and written documents provide important information about weighing procedures and the importance of standardized units in trade. Almost every tablet concerning business activities documents units of weight, which differed according to owner, institution, or region. The texts also indicate the existence of official standard weights in Anatolia as well as in Mesopotamia. After the dynastic change in Assur at the end of Level ii in Kanesh, the trade route might have shifted from the Tigris region to Syria, where different standards in weighing units were in use. The use of different weight standards, if it can be shown to have existed in Level Ib, may also reflect this regional change. Comparison of weighing stones across levels, however, shows no differences based on the present collection.

Overturning Certainties in Near Eastern Archaeology

A Festschrift in Honor of K. Aslıhan Yener


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