COMPLETE METROLOGICAL TABLE FOR CAPACITY OR VOLUME SYSTEM C

MS 2723
MS Short Title COMPLETE METROLOGICAL TABLE FOR CAPACITY OR VOLUME SYSTEM C
Text COMPLETE METROLOGICAL TABLE FOR CAPACITY OR VOLUME SYSTEM C, RANGING FROM 1 SHEKEL (GIN) OF BARLEY (1/60 LITRE) TO 2.603 GUR (129 600 000 LITRES)
Description MS in Old Babylonian on clay, probably Larsa, Babylonia, 2000-1700 BC, 1 hexagonal prism, h. 11,0, diam. 5,0, each side 2,5 cm, 6 columns, ca. 32 lines on each side (159 lines) in cuneiform script, hole with diam. 0,8 cm through the centre.
Commentary The present MS is the only complete metrological table for system C known so far. In the Old Babylonian capacity system there were 60 gin (shekels) to 1 sila (ca. 1 litre), 10 sila to 1 ban (10 litres), 60 ban to 1 barig (bushel or basket of ca. 60 litres), and 50 barig to 1 gur (barrel of ca. 300 litres). Today's oil barrels are 42 gallons (168 litres). The highest volume in the table, 129 600 cubic meters, is the size of a large modern crude oil tank ship.
Published Jöran Friberg: A remarkable Collection of Babylonian Mathematical Texts. Springer 2007. Sources and Studies in the History of Mathematics and Physical Sciences. Manuscripts in the Schøyen Collection, vol. 6, Cuneiform Texts I. pp. 107-109, 385-387.
Place of origin Babylonia
Dates 2000-1700 BC

Location