Israeli archaeologists have uncovered an ancient table that was reportedly used to measure wine and olive oil. They have also found several other stone measurement weights in the same vicinity.
The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) believes that the site, located in occupied east Jerusalem, once had a busy market. The IAA said the 2,000-year-old measuring table was unearthed in the City of David National Park, between the Old City and the flash point Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan.
The authority said the table, which is only the third artifact of its kind to be found so far in Jerusalem, could be filled with liquid to give a unified measure.
Archaeologist Ari Levy of the IAA told AFP: "When shopkeepers wanted to make sure they were working with the same standard, they used to see... the manager of the market who owned the table." The archaeologist added that the latest discovery also provides evidence of trade in the area, which lies to the south of Jerusalem's Old City.
Mechanism of the measuring table
According to reports, the researchers suggest that this area was once home to the offices of the Agoranomos - the officer who was given charge of supervising measurements and weights in Jerusalem.
Prof. Ronny Reich, who is researching the recent discovery, told CBN News: "In a portion of the 'standard of volumes' table uncovered in the City of David, we see two of the deep cavities remain, each with a drain at its bottom."
"The drain at the bottom could be plugged with a finger, filled with a liquid of some type, and once the finger was removed, the liquid could be drained into a container, therefore determining the volume of the container, using the measurement table as a uniform guideline. This way, traders could calibrate their measuring instruments using a uniform standard," Prof. Reich added.
Meanwhile, the excavations in the City of David have been criticized by Palestinians. They believe that these efforts were a part of Israel's attempt to get its control over the area.