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Byzantine steelyard weight found in Hadrianopolis


A 1,600-year-old steelyard weight has been discovered during the ongoing excavations in the ancient city of Hadrianopolis, located in the Eskipazar district of Turkey's northern Karabük province.


Byzantine steelyard weight found in Hadrianopolis
Ersin Çelikbaş shows the steelyard weight found in the ancient city of Hadrianopolis,
Karabük, northern Turkey [Credit: AA]

Hadrianopolis is believed to have been used as a settlement area in the late Hellenistic, Roman and early Byzantine eras. This year's excavations in the ancient city focused on the emergence of a square structure, Karabük University archaeologist Ersin Çelikbaş, who is supervising the excavations, told Anadolu Agency (AA). 




The 1,600-year-old steelyard weight – used as a counterweight in steelyard balances – was unearthed in the square structure, which was uncovered 50 meters (164 feet) south of an ancient church during excavations. Arrowheads and masks were also discovered during the dig, said Çelikbaş.


Byzantine steelyard weight found in Hadrianopolis
A close-up of the steelyard weight found in the ancient city of Hadrianopolis,
Karabük, northern Turkey [Credit: AA]

He said that the steelyard weight is disc-shaped with the Greek inscription: Θεόδωρος, αξιωματούχος του αυτοκρατορικού θησαυροφυλακίου or "Theodoros, official in charge of the imperial treasury,” a marking that tells scholars a great deal about the artifact and its setting.




According to Çelikbaş, being "in charge of the imperial treasury” denotes the center of the Byzantine Empire – namely Constantinople. "From the weight we have, we can say that there was an important trade network in Hadrianopolis,” he said. "This is important data proving that commercial elements were supplied from the capital of the empire here,” he added. "The weight we have belongs to the fourth century, or about 1,600 years ago,” he explained.


Byzantine steelyard weight found in Hadrianopolis
Aerial view of the square structure where the steelyard weight was found in the ancient city
of Hadrianopolis, Karabük, northern Turkey [Credit: AA]

Excavations in Hadrianopolis over the last year have uncovered structures such as two baths, churches, one defense structure, tombs, an amphitheater, one arched and domed structure, a monumental cultic niche, city walls, villas and other monumental buildings.


Source: Anadolu Agency [December 01, 2021]



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