Aqaba Archaeological Museum
Hegira first half of the 2nd century / AD first half of the 8th century
Height (in the range) 4–25 mm, width (in the range) 1.3–2.5 cm, weight (in the range) 2.1–149 g
Bronze weights that are not inscribed but which have a variety of shapes and decoration, the typology includes: the barrel form, a truncated bi-conical shape; the polyhedral type, with sides cut into polygonal facets; the very common brick shape; and the square shape. They are often pierced in the centre for safe-keeping, to keep them together as a unit, and in order to carry them easily.
These bronze weights relate to two monetary systems: the values for the dirham (silver) and dinar (gold) coins. The stratigraphic contexts of the Aqaba weights give some idea about the variations seen in these weights; heavier weights are more elaborate, the lighter weights simpler. The heavier weights could have been used to weigh merchandise heavier than coins.
Cast bronze weights from Ayla in Aqaba of a variety of shapes and decoration relating to two monetary systems: the values for the dirham (silver) and dinar (gold) coins. The heavier weights could have been for goods heavier than coins.
The weights were dated by their stratigraphic context and in relation to pottery shards found at the same site.
These weights were obtained during an archaeological excavation carried out in Aqaba in 1987–94.
The weights were recovered during an archaeological excavation in Aqaba, the original place of production is uncertain.
Whitcomb, D., Ayla: Art and Industry in the Islamic Fort of Aqaba, Chicago, 1995, p.19.
Aida Naghawy, Manal Basyouni "Weights" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2017. http://www.discoverislamicart.org/database_item.php?id=object;ISL;jo;Mus01_D;16;en
Prepared by: Aida NaghawyAida Naghawy
Aida Naghawy is an archaeologist and the Director of Jordan Archaeological Museum. She studied archaeology at the University of Jordan where she gained her MA. She was affiliated to the Jordanian Department of Antiquities from 1974 as a curator of Jordan Archaeological Museum. In 1981 she became inspector of Jerash antiquities and co-ordinator of the Jerash International Rehabilitation project. She was also head of the archaeological awareness section at the Department of Antiquities. Aida is the author of numerous publications on Islamic coins. She has carried out excavation work in Jerash and is the founder of Jerash Archaeological Museum and the Islamic Museum of the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs., Manal BasyouniManal Basyouni
Manal Basyouni is an archaeologist and Curator at Aqaba Museum at the Department of Antiquities of Jordan. She studied at the University of Jordan where she gained her BA in Archaeology. She has been affiliated to the Department of Antiquities as Curator of Aqaba Museum since 1997. She has carried out several excavations in the southern part of Jordan especially in al-Humayma, Wadi Rum and Ayla.
Copyedited by: Mandi Gomez
MWNF Working Number: JO 27
Islamic Dynasties / Period
On display in
Discover Islamic Art Exhibition(s)The Umayyads | Administrative Reforms
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