4 June 2008
A BYZANTINE BRONZE STEELYARD AND WEIGHT
CIRCA 5TH CENTURY A.D.
The fulcrum square in section and tapering slightly, with incised calibrations on two faces, the attachment plate at the right end, rectangular in section and offset by a flange, with two suspension hooks corresponding with the calibrations of the fulcrum, the object to be weighed suspended by hooks attached to two lengths of chain joined to the fulcrum by linked U-shaped and \KW\k-shaped elements, terminating in adorsed stylized feline heads, the longer end of the shaft terminating in a conical boss; the weight, now emptied of its lead core, in the form of a draped youth, his mantle pinned at his right shoulder, his head turned slightly to his left, with cap-like hair, surmounted by a suspension loop, joined to a strap hook, squared to slide along the length of the fulcrum
Rod: 21 in. (53.3 cm.) long
Weight: 5 3/8 in. (13.7 cm.) high, excluding hook
Acquired in Israel in the late 1960s.
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For the type and a description of its use see pp. 32-33 in Vikan and Nesbitt, Security in Byzantium: Locking, Sealing and Weighing.
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