Byzantine Bronze 20 Dirhem Polyhedral Trade Weight 8th - 13th century CE

£155.00 $196.59 Product Code: 2023072104

Technical Description 

A bronze polyhedral trade weight dating to the Byzantine period, 8th - 13th century. Produced in the Islamic region of the Umayyad, Abbasid and Seljuk dynasties. Made from a copper alloy (heavily leaded bronze). Similar to those excavated in Aqaba, Jordan and Southern Anatolia (Turkey). The weight features concentric circles on the top and an obscured indent bottom; an additional 5 rows of 40 facets envelop the body and are full of ‘bird’s eye’ annulet motifs, the central row being slightly larger.

 

Polyhedral weights are more commonly found to be ten dirhems, twenty dirhem examples are rarer and the high number of facets is also a more uncommon feature. Weighs 57.9g which corresponds to twenty dirhems or 14 mithqal. Deep grey/brown patina with hints of red.

Date & Origin 

Byzantine Anatolia, 8th - 13th century CE, c750 - c1299.

Condition

A few minor abrasions, mild encrustation and a deep grey/brown patina.

Dimensions

Height: 1.8cm
Diameter: 2.4cm

Historical Context 

Produced around the time of the Macedonian Renaissance in Anatolia and the Holy Land Crusades over the following centuries.

Documented Examples

The MET has given a date range of 750 - 1050 CE, however, this covers a range of weights. The Anatolian Civilizations Museum in Ankara has given the earliest estimate as the 10th century CE.

 

MET: https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/478112
Anatolian Civilizations Museum: https://journals.openedition.org/anatoliaantiqua/383

 

 

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