Opendata, web and dolomites


Weight metrology and its economic and social impact on Bronze Age Europe, West and South Asia

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 WEIGHTANDVALUE project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the WEIGHTANDVALUE project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "WEIGHTANDVALUE" about.

trade    archaeological    assessments    time    und    tool    identification    networks    economical    overlooked    analysed    significance    starts    elucidating    sufficiently    tools    finished    script    shape    3d    innovations    eurasia    document    economy    largely    artefacts    standardization    weight    tested    ancient    mostly    first    indus    hypotheses    unravel    origins    administrative    societal    bronze    earliest    rigorous    ignored    models    unknown    correlation    unexpected    raw    explores    coinage    understudied    silver    transformations    reconstruction    documented    statistical    connection    gap    seals    indications    weighing    extensive    prehistoric    weights    assumptions    commercial    opens    western    empirical    sources    age    economies    objects    systematically    provoked    mass    tin    atlantic    balance    class    scanning    world    nature    canonical    uncover    transfer    verify    money    currencies    exchange    documenting    intellectual    metal    progresses    metrology    frequently    emergence    material    conceptions   

Project "WEIGHTANDVALUE" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: 37073

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Germany [DE]
 Project website
 Total cost 1˙901˙427 €
 EC max contribution 1˙901˙427 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2014-CoG
 Funding Scheme ERC-COG
 Starting year 2015
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2015-08-01   to  2020-07-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
2    KOBENHAVNS UNIVERSITET DK (KOBENHAVN) participant 625˙151.00


 Project objective

This project explores the economical and societal transformations provoked by weights and measures during the Bronze Age in Western Eurasia. The impact and significance of weight-based measures for value assessments during the Bronze Age is largely unknown und understudied. My objective is to unravel this empirical and intellectual gap in studies of the prehistoric and ancient economy. The project will uncover new sources for the reconstruction of trade and exchange networks due to the identification of a mostly overlooked or ignored class of artefacts: early balance weights. This opens up a new understanding of the nature and extent of the earliest commercial economies in the world. The ambitious project aims to document for the first time potential weights, often of unexpected simple shape, as well as canonical weights, frequently not sufficiently documented in a selection of cases studies between the Atlantic and the Indus. Further focus will be on potential mass-related finished metal objects, standardization and pre-coinage currencies, contributing to the debate on the origins of money. Specific statistical methods and 3D scanning provide a novel tool package to verify assumptions in a rigorous way. Hypotheses to be tested include identifying the potential correlation of the emergence of weight metrology to elucidating the first extensive trade in raw material (like silver, tin), the connection of weights to other administrative and commercial tools like seals and script, and their impact of early conceptions of value. The early dissemination of weights and weighing systems will be analysed systematically on evidence from the Bronze Age in Western Eurasia. The proposed research starts with identifying and documenting potential balance weights and mass related objects by archaeological indications and the rigorous application of various statistical methods, but progresses to developing and testing models of exchange and transfer of innovations.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 Enrico Ascalone
Weights at Rakhigarhi and in the Ghaggar basin
published pages: 9-32, ISSN: 0578-9923, DOI:
Annali dell\'Istituto Italiano di Numismatica 64 2020-04-03
2019 Tobias Uhlig, Joachim Krüger, Gundula Lidke, Detlef Jantzen, Sebastian Lorenz, Nicola Ialongo, Thomas Terberger
Lost in combat? A scrap metal find from the Bronze Age battlefield site at Tollense
published pages: 1211-1230, ISSN: 0003-598X, DOI: 10.15184/aqy.2019.137
Antiquity 93/371 2020-03-05
2019 Lorenz Rahmstorf
Scales, weights and weight-regulated artefacts in Middle and Late Bronze Age Britain
published pages: 1197-1210, ISSN: 0003-598X, DOI: 10.15184/aqy.2018.257
Antiquity 93/371 2020-02-28
2016 Lorenz Rahmstorf
Snyd ikke på vægten! – nye fund af stenvægte fra den ægæiske bronzealder
published pages: 158–169, ISSN: 0084-9308, DOI:
Nationalmuseets Arbejdsmark (Copenhagen) 2016 2019-06-06
2018 E. Ascalone, G. P. Basello
Science and Metrology in Elam
published pages: 697-728, ISSN: , DOI:
The Elamite World 2019-04-04
2018 Nicola Ialongo, Agnese Vacca, Luca Peyronel
Breaking down the bullion. The compliance of bullion-currencies with official weight-systems in a case-study from the ancient Near East
published pages: 20-32, ISSN: 0305-4403, DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2018.01.002
Journal of Archaeological Science 91 2019-04-03
2018 Lorenz Rahmstorf
Of middens and markets: the phenomenology of the market place in the Bronze Age and beyond
published pages: 20-40, ISSN: , DOI:
Market as place & space of economic exchange. Perspectives from archaeology & anthropology 2019-04-04
2017 Lorenz Rahmstorf
The use of bronze objects in the third millennium BC – a survey between Atlantic and Indus
published pages: 184-210, ISSN: , DOI:
2018 Nicola Ialongo
The Earliest Balance Weights in the West: Towards an Independent Metrology for Bronze Age Europe
published pages: 1-22, ISSN: 0959-7743, DOI: 10.1017/S0959774318000392
Cambridge Archaeological Journal 2019-04-04
2016 Nichola Ialongo, Alesandro Vanzetti
The Intangible Weight of Things: Approximate Nominal Weights in Modern Society
published pages: 283-292, ISSN: , DOI:
The Intangible Elements of Culture in Ethnoarchaeological Researc 2019-04-04
2018 Nichola Ialongo, Agnese Vacca, Alessandro Vanzetti
Indeterminacy and approximation in Mediterranean weight systems, in the third and second millennia BC
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:

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