While there is considerable evidence for weights from diverse historical periods in the form of weight stones of various shapes, other measuring standards have to be deducted from architectural remains and the written evidence. Most cities had their own standards, but most centralized states since the Akkadian Dynasty began to impose unified weights and measures to be used throughout the country. Asimilar system was adopted by the Third Dynasty of Ur and remained in use throughout all subsequent periods. Such measures were also used for teaching purposes in scribal education. Since the basic mathematical system was sexagesimal, basic units were divided or multiplied in a sexagesimal manner.
   The measurements for length were based on the human body. The basic was the forearm or cubit (Akkadian ammatu)—about 50 centimeters. A “foot” was 2/3 of a cubit, a “palm” 1/2, and a “finger” 1/30 of a cubit. Larger units were the “rod,’’consisting of six cubits, and the “cord” of 120 cubits. Amile (Akkadian beru) was 180 cords or 21,600 cubits (10,692 kilometers). Surfaces were measured by “garden plots” (Akkadian musaru) c. 35 square meters; there were also multiples called iku 100 musaru and buru 18 iku ({{}}6 hectare). The capacity measure was the SILA (Akkadian qu) c. 1 liter.
   Different names and proportions were used for solid and liquid matter, and the terminology changed in different epochs. The basic weight unit was the mina c. 500 grams, subdivided into shekels (Akkadian siqlu) 1/60 of a mina, and a “grain” (Akkadian se) 1/180 of a mina. The multiples were the talent (Akkadian biltu) 60 minas.

Historical Dictionary of Mesopotamia. . 2012.

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