Explore highlights
Granite weight in the form of a duck

 

Length: 19.500 inches
Width: 12.000 inches
Weight: 60555.000 g

ME 104724

Room 56: Mesopotamia

    Granite weight in the form of a duck

    Kingdom of Lagash, about 2150-2000 BC
    Probably from southern Iraq

    The weight is inscribed in cuneiform with the name of Ur-Ningirsu, ruler of the city-state of Lagash as the successor to Gudea. Ur-Ningirsu ruled in a period following the decline of the empire of Agade (Akkad) and the rise of a new political power centred on the city of Ur.

    Although all the administrators of city states in southern Mesopotamia used the cuneiform writing system, they used various methods of weighing and measuring. With the formation of the empires of Agade and Ur the cities were united under one king. Attempts were made to reorganize the administration and introduce standardization. This must have helped communication and control.

    The weight of this stone is given as 2 talents. A talent was approximately 30 kilos and could be divided into 60 minas. Stone was preferred for weights of different standards in the Bronze Age (about 3000-1000 BC). There was a gradual shift to metals in the first millennium BC (for example, two bronze weights in the form of a lion, also in The British Museum).

    British Museum, A guide to the Babylonian and, 3rd ed. (London, British Museum, 1922)

    Highlights

    Browse or search over 4,000 highlights from the Museum collection

    On display: Room 56: Mesopotamia

    Shop Online

    History of Assyrian palace sculptures, £9.99

    History of Assyrian palace sculptures, £9.99