ROMAN Steelyard Weights
Finds from Wirral
LVPL-391B06 – ROMAN Steelyard Weights
Recent Finds. Steelyard Weights
These are a couple of our recent finds that have been placed onto the Portable Antiquities Scheme. (www.finds.org.uk)
On the left is a Roman (AD43-410) bi-conical steelyard weight. It weighs 131.8 grams
PAS reference. LVPL-391B06 https://finds.org.uk/database/artefacts/record/id/1099363
A steelyard is a portable scale with beam arms of unequal length and weights are moved along on a scale. They are used to weigh relatively large items of multiple kilograms either domestically or commercially.
These are the weights that would be hung from the beam arms from hooks in the weights. The left one has an iron core which can be seen at each end but any hooks by which it was suspended have rusted away.
Most steelyard weights recorded on PAS are Roman.
On the right is another Steelyard weight. This is rounded and is also listed as possibly Roman (AD 43-410) and it weighs 95.2 grams. This weight has a cast in iron centre but again the loop or hook by which it would be suspended has rusted away.
It must be stressed that it is also possible that the right hand one may be a later weight.
PAS state that medieval weights usually had a copper alloy shell so it is likely to be either Roman or later Post Medieval.
Both were found in close proximity to each other and will hopefully add some more pieces to our investigation of Wirral history.
Wirral Archaeology CIC.
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