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weight

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    91117

  • Description

    Polished diorite pyramidal weight: weight of two karsha (Old Persian, Elamite) = 1/3 mana (Babylonian); trilingual inscription with five, seven and eight lines respectively stating that "I [am] Darius, the great king, the son of Hystaspes, an Achaemenian"

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 6thC BC-5thC BC
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 4.9 centimetres
    • Width: 4.2 centimetres (max, near base)
    • Thickness: 4.5 centimetres
    • Weight: 166.29 grammes
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Script

        cuneiform
      • Inscription Language

        Elamite
      • Inscription Translation

        2 karsha. I [am] Darius, the great king, the son of Hystaspes, an Achaemenian
      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Script

        cuneiform
      • Inscription Language

        Babylonian
      • Inscription Translation

        1/3 mana. I [am] Darius, the great king, the son of Hystaspes, an Achaemenian
      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Script

        cuneiform
      • Inscription Language

        Old Persian
      • Inscription Translation

        2 karsha. I [am] Darius, the great king, the son of Hystaspes, an Achaemenian
      • Inscription Comment

        Abbreviated version of standard inscription on a series of pyramidal stone weights of Darius, which in full can be translated as "I (am) Darius the Great King, King of Kings, King of Countries, King in this earth, son of Hystaspes, an Achaemenian".
  • Curator's comments

    Material wrongly labelled as "basalt" in the 1975 Iran Gallery display.
    Previously moulded as a commercially available cast (when listed in the BM Facsimile Service, Catalogue of Replicas). The cast is listed as available in the British Museum Facsimile Service 'Catalogue of Replicas from British Museum collections' (n.d.), in the series "Assyrian Inscriptions".

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  • Bibliography

    • Kent RG 1950a 114: Wa bibliographic details
    • Curtis & Tallis 2005 cat.300 bibliographic details
    • Asmussen 1960a illustration opp. p.96 bibliographic details
    • Pinder-Wilson 1971a no.28 bibliographic details
    • Schmidt EF 1957a p.105 bibliographic details
    • Leichty E et al 1988a p.151 bibliographic details
    • Guide 1900a p.172 bibliographic details
    • Trousdale W 1968a p.279, figs 1-4 bibliographic details
    • Walker 1980a p.81 bibliographic details
    • Budge 1920a vol. I, p.268 bibliographic details
    • Kent 1953 Wa bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G52/dc3

  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:

    2006 7 Mar-11 Jun, Barcelona, Fundacion La Caixa, 'L'imperi Oblidat'
    2005-2006 Sept-Jan, London, BM, 'Forgotten Empire'
    1995-2005 17 Nov-Aug BM, G52/IRAN/6/2, from official opening
    1994 16 Jun-23 Dec BM, G49/IRAN/6, no. 14
    1975-ca 1990 Jul- BM, Iranian Room [IR], case ?, no. 1
    1971, BM, 'Royal Persia: a commemoration of Cyrus the Great and his successors on the occasion of the 2500th anniversary of the founding of the Persian Empire'.
    Persian Room, wall-case [WC] 15, top shelf.
    Babylonian & Assyrian Room, Table-Case G (1900 Guide)

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1888

  • Acquisition notes

    Acquired by the British Museum as a result of Budge's second mission to Egypt and Mesopotamia in 1887-1888; the mission was intended to investigate the "leakage" of tablets from sites supposedly guarded on behalf of the British Museum. Further notes on acquisition and bibliographic references relating to acquisition in catalogue introduction pp.xv-xvii.

  • Department

    Middle East

  • BM/Big number

    91117

  • Registration number

    1888,0512,Bu.257

Polished diorite weight; inscribed; weight of two karsha (Old Persian, Elamite, Old Babylonian), the equivalent of one third Babylonian mina.

Polished diorite weight; inscribed; weight of two karsha (Old Persian, Elamite, Old Babylonian), the equivalent of one third Babylonian mina.

Image description

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