2,000 Year Old Market Uncovered

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Big news this week in discovery:  “The top of a rare 2000-year-old measuring table used for liquid items such as wine and olive oil has been discovered in what appears to be a major town square along the Pilgrimage Road in Jerusalem, during excavations conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority in the City of David National Park” (City of David Press Release here).

The Smithsonian Magazine penned an article about it on 1/7/2020, saying–

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The most notable specimen is a small stone table with vertical cavities that resemble cup holders. Used to calibrate sellers’ vessels for selling liquids such as wine and oil, the measuring table is only the third of its kind found to date in the Jerusalem area.

As Ruth Schuster explains for Haaretz, each cavity had a known volume. To dispense the proper amount of liquid, the measurements inspector would use their finger to plug a hole at the bottom of a cavity, then fill the stone tool with water. Once a buyer had placed their vessel under the hole, the inspector would release their finger. After the buyer’s vessel was filled with water, the seller marked the liquid level, confirming the agreed-upon volume for the actual purchase.

Interesting video about this find–

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