A small weight, which experts believe was used by forgers in the period leading up to the destruction of the First Temple (589 to 587 B.C.E.), was discovered in the main drainage ditch in Jerusalem, near the foundations of the Western Wall.
The tiny, smooth stone weight is 14 mm in diameter and 12 mm in height, and has two small and thick notches on its surface, used to indicate that the stone’s weight is 0.944 grams.
It was discovered when archeologists cleaned soil in the Tzurim Valley National Park as part of the "Archaeological Experience" offered to the general public by the City of David archeological site. It is only the second such discovery made in Israel.
After its discovery, the finding was weighed, and the researchers were surprised to find that it weighed no less than 3.61 grams - more than three times its expected weight.
According to the researchers, the most obvious conclusion was that the stone was used to forge the weight of good’s during the trading process, and deceived the buyers.
"The Bible indicates that the problem of weight deception was nothing new. Merchants cheated and held separate heavy and lightweight systems and used them when buying or selling goods," the researchers explained.
The issue is referenced in the book of Leviticus and in Deuteronomy: “Do not have two differing weights in your bag—one heavy, one light. Do not have two differing measures in your house—one large, one small. You must have accurate and honest weights and measures, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”
First published: 11:19, 09.02.21