Logo Pondera Online
 
ARCHAEOLOGICAL DESCRIPTION OF THE WEIGHT
Authority
Aurelios Apollonios, f. Dionysios, agoranomos (Gaza)
Mint
Gaza
Denomination
1 Libra = 1 Litra
Material
Lead
Manufacture
Cast
Shape
Rectangle
Length
7.22 cm
Width
7.85 cm
Height
0.80 cm
Metrology
Mass (g) Mass (grain) Date of measurement Reference fragmented cleaned reference weight
366.15 - - Kushnir-Stein 2002, Auction Archaeological Center 2007 No No Yes
Iconography
Symbol Technique Direction Position Number Synecdoche
Bull / Cow / Calf Relief
Sceptre Relief
Cornucopia Relief
Female figure Relief LEFT Standing
Wear
Corrosion
Handle
Yes
Suspension hole
No
Recarved mould
No
Recarved weight
No
Intentionally destroyed
No
Archaeological description
Auction Archaeological Center 2007: Palestine, Gaza. A Roman Period rectangular lead weight with raised border and two handles (which are bent toward the obverse). 366.15 gr., 7.22×7.85 cm., 0.8 cm. thick. On the right side the city-goddess of Gaza is depicted, holding cornucopia and long scepter. At her feet there is a crouching heifer. A similar representation of the city-goddess is also found on coins minted in Gaza. The Greek inscription reads: ΕΤΟΥC ΒQC / ΑΕΞΑΜ Α/ΓΟΡΑ ΑΥΡ / ΑΠΟΛΛW/ΝΙΟΥ Δ .. ΛΙ Α “Year 292, first semester, Aurelios Apollonios, son of Dionysios, being agoranomos, one litra”. Year 292 according to the era of Gaza beginning 61 BC, is equal to 231/2 AD, during the reign of Severus Alexander. On the reverse there is a large encircled Phoenician letter mem in mirror-shape. The weight is slightly bent but in fair condition. (A. Spaer coll. no. W-74). Published by Alla Kushnir-Stein, 2002a, no. 1.
Kushnir-Stein 2002: A lead weight of roughly square form, with a horizontally elongated loop at its top and a semicircular handle at its bottom. Both the loop and the handle, as well as the lower left corner of the weight, are now bent towards the side bearing an inscription. On its reverse side there is a large Phoenician mem, written retrograde, within a circle. The side bearing the inscription has raised borders. Its right field is occupied by the figure of the city-goddess in a long dress, standing left and holding a cornucopia in her left and a long sceptre in her right hand. At her side, near the sceptre, stands an animal which can be identified, through comparison with coins, as a heifer.3 The space in the left field is filled by an 8-line inscription: “Year 292, first semester, Aurelios Apollonios, son of Dionysios, being agoranomos. One litra.”
Autopsy
No
INSCRIPTION
Language Technique Legend type
Phoenician Relief Mint
Greek Relief Authority, Date, Denomination
Fac simile

ΕΤΟΥC ΒQC
ΑΕΞΑΜ Α
ΓΟΡΑ ΑΥΡ
ΑΠΟΛΛW
ΝΙΟΥ Δ - -
- - - - - -
ΛΙ Α

Edition
Ἔτους βϙσ´ | (πρώτης) ἑξαμ(ήνου) ἀ|γορα(νομοῦντος) Αὐρ̣(ηλίου) | Ἀπολ̣λω̣|νίου Δ[ιο|νυσίου] | {Phoenician letter mem} | λί(τρα) (μία). || {Phoenician letter mem}
Monogram
ARCHAEOLOGICAL CONTEXT
Findspot (region)
Findspot (site)
context
CIRCUMSTANCES OF ACQUISITION
Region
City
Date of first acquisition
April 4, 2007
circumstances
Antiquities trade.
DATING OF THE WEIGHT
Curatorial Section
GREEK , ROMAN
Time frame
FROM 231 TO 232
Comments on Chronology
Year 292 of the Roman Era of Gaza = 231/232 CE.
Kushnir-Stein 2002: Year 292 by the Roman era of Gaza (falling in 61 B.C.) equals A.D. 231 / 2. The weight was thus manufactured during the reign of Severus Alexander.
COLLECTION HISTORY
Collection
Name Date of acquisition Inventory number
Antiquities Trade April 4, 2007 None
Spaer Collection None W-74
Bibliography
Reference Page/Column Reference (number) Plate / Figure Comment
Kushnir-Stein 2002b 37–38 1 fig. 1 None
Auction Archaeological Center 2007b 10–11 393 fig. 393 None
VARIA
Additional comment
Kushnir-Stein 2002: The ligature ΛΙ, comprising the letters Λ and Ι, appears fairly frequently on the weights of the region. Its use is attested on a few dated weights of the 1st and 2nd c. A.D.4 and becomes widespread during the Byzantine period. The word λίτρα is a Greek version of the Latin libra, but it does not always refer to the Roman weight standard, especially as far as the period of the Principate is concerned. In many cases (ours included), the term appears to have been applied to a local weight standard; this standard sometimes came close to the weight of the Roman libra (c.327 gm), but could sometimes differ from it substantially. The fact that on some weights the term λίτρα (written in full, represented by the ligature, or merely surmised) is defined as ἰταλική (italian) seems further to confirm that this term could have been used for various different weight standards.
Permalink
External link