Ancient Scale Weights and the Advent of Coinage


By: Stuart Kleven

Docent – Oriental Institute


Friday, November 22, 2019


McCrone Research Institute

2820 S. Michigan Avenue

Chicago, IL 60616


6:00 PM: Mediterranean Dinner – Tariff: $15.00 (if eating)

Contact Freddie Smith for Reservations/Cancellations at 312-842-7100 or by Noon, Thursday, November 21st .


7:00 PM, Presentation:

The presentation will address how the start of economic systems required a means for controlling and measuring products and items used as currency.  Ancient scale weights were developed and used for approximately four thousand years.  Weights are still in use to this very day.  The accuracy of ancient weights is extremely close and amazing compared with the modern methods of manufacture.  The majority of the weights discussed will center on ancient Mesopotamian, Syrian, Israelite, Egyptian, Greek and Roman types.  Metals were used initially for currency.  Around 700 to 600 BCE coinage began to replace metals as a means of payment.



Stuart Kleven is nondestructive testing engineer who has worked in the metal working industry in forgings, plate rolling, welding, fabrication, nuclear and fossil fuel power and in a testing lab environment for the past 46 years.   His current employment for the past 27 years is with Alloyweld Inspection Company, Inc. in Bensenville. Illinois.  He is an AWS CWI (American Welding Society) Certified Welding Inspector and an ASNT (American Society for

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Nondestructive Testing) Level 3 certified inspector in radiography, ultrasonics, liquid penetrant and magnetic particle inspection.  He is currently on the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) E07 committees that produce voluntary consensus standards for nondestructive testing in radiography, liquid penetrant and magnetic particle.  He has authored numerous articles on nondestructive testing that have been published in the ASNT Journal, “Materials Evaluation”.   He is interested in history and performs tours as a docent at the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago.  Some of the notable projects he has participated in are the Confederate Civil War submarine, The Hunley, and artifacts from the ship The Belle from 1684 used by French explorer LaSalle during his voyage to plot the mouth of the Mississippi River.



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