WEIGHTS AND MEASURES
   While there is considerable evidence for weights from diverse historical periods in the form of weight stones of various shapes, other measuring standards have to be deducted from architectural remains and the written evidence. Most cities had their own standards, but most centralized states since the Akkadian Dynasty began to impose unified weights and measures to be used throughout the country. Asimilar system was adopted by the Third Dynasty of Ur and remained in use throughout all subsequent periods. Such measures were also used for teaching purposes in scribal education. Since the basic mathematical system was sexagesimal, basic units were divided or multiplied in a sexagesimal manner.
   The measurements for length were based on the human body. The basic was the forearm or cubit (Akkadian ammatu)—about 50 centimeters. A “foot” was 2/3 of a cubit, a “palm” 1/2, and a “finger” 1/30 of a cubit. Larger units were the “rod,’’consisting of six cubits, and the “cord” of 120 cubits. Amile (Akkadian beru) was 180 cords or 21,600 cubits (10,692 kilometers). Surfaces were measured by “garden plots” (Akkadian musaru) c. 35 square meters; there were also multiples called iku 100 musaru and buru 18 iku ({{}}6 hectare). The capacity measure was the SILA (Akkadian qu) c. 1 liter.
   Different names and proportions were used for solid and liquid matter, and the terminology changed in different epochs. The basic weight unit was the mina c. 500 grams, subdivided into shekels (Akkadian siqlu) 1/60 of a mina, and a “grain” (Akkadian se) 1/180 of a mina. The multiples were the talent (Akkadian biltu) 60 minas.

Historical Dictionary of Mesopotamia. . 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • weights and measures — A comprehensive legal term for uniform standards ascribed to the quantity, capacity, volume, or dimensions of anything. Dictionary from West s Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005. weights and measures …   Law dictionary

  • WEIGHTS AND MEASURES — From the earliest period of their history the Jews were alive to the necessity of an accurate system of weights and measures, and an honest handling of them. The first legislation in the interest of economic righteousness in general is found in… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • weights and measures —    Mercantile activities, including buying and selling; money exchanging; and trade, both local and foreign, as well as reckoning the sizes of land parcels and erecting large buildings, necessitated the development of standards of weights and… …   Ancient Mesopotamia dictioary

  • weights and measures — The law [[➝ Law]] in OT times demanded honest weights and measures (Lev. 19:35 f.), though this was not always observed (Amos 8:4–5). There was no unified system covering the whole country. Metals were weighed in talents; one was divisible into… …   Dictionary of the Bible

  • Weights and Measures — Exponents immediately follow the ^ symbol throughout this appendix. Mathematical Power Name 10^18 or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 one quintillion 10^15 or 1,000,000,000,000,000 one quadrillion 10^12 or 1,000,000,000,000 one trillion 10^9 or… …   Universalium

  • weights and measures — noun The science and regulation of standards for the quantification of size, weight, temperature, etc …   Wiktionary

  • Weights and Measures Act (R.S. 1985) — is a Canadian law governing the units of measurements used in Canada.Originally passed in 1970 as part of the federal government s plan for metrication of Canada from Imperial measures, it was stopped in 1985 and changes were made to the Act. The …   Wikipedia

  • Weights and Measures Act — A Weights and Measures Act is an Act of Parliament determining trade law where the weight or size of the goods being traded are important. For example, if a bottle of milk is for sale and has a label saying it contains one pint, then the law… …   Wikipedia

  • Weights and Measures (album) — Infobox Album | Name = Weights and Measures Type = Album Artist = Spirit of the West Released = 1997 Recorded = 1997 Genre = Folk rock Length = 43:56 Label = Warner Music Canada Producer = Michael Phillip Wojewoda and Spirit of the West Reviews …   Wikipedia

  • National Conference on Weights and Measures — The National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM) is a not for profit corporation dedicated to developing and regulating the United States technical standards for weights and measures. The organization s official mission is to advance a… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”