Duck Weight


The weighing of silver, gold, precious objects, wool, textiles and other items was one of the most necessary processes in administration to guarantee a correct transaction.

Therefore different weights were used: Besides standardised “normal” stones also animal-shaped weights were in common. The size of the weight depends on the unit of weight:

The pictured duck weight dates to king Shulgi (ca. 2092-2045 BC), one of the most famous rulers of the third millennium BC.

The inscription mentions on the one hand a praise to the Moon-God Nanna initiated by king Shulgi but on the other hand the actual weight of the duck – namely 5 ma-na. This 5 ma-na corresponds to the modern weight of ca. 2500 g and the actual weight of the object itself - 2478 g.