Bronze steelyard (statera) with lead weights

Roman Britain, 1st or 2nd century AD
From Walbrook, London

Steelyards were in common use in the Roman world, especially by shopkeepers and traders, for weighing food and other commodities. This example has survived complete and in perfect condition because it was buried in waterlogged ground, which prevented it corroding.

One face of the scale arm retains eight numbered gradations. Objects could be hung on the double hook and weighed by moving the sliding weight along the arm. If the object weighed more than eight Roman pounds, the user could turn the bar over and hang the steelyard from the other hook nearer the end of the bar.

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Dimensions

Length: 186.000 mm (beam)

Museum number

P&EE 1935 10-28 1

BCB14314

Location

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