The characteristic features and importance of weights and money in different cultures will be illustrated with examples from ancient Egypt, Babylon, Israel and China. In most of these cultures there was a gradual change of the names of weights to the names of money. The weight stones and figures were calibrated with seeds of barley or wheat in the Mediterranean and seeds of millet or rice in China.
The weight of such seeds is rather constant and varies little under different climatic conditions as could be proved from our own investigations. Later these granular weight units were replaced by solid weight standards (e.g. stones or figures) which again were calibrated with counted seeds.
Different materials were used such as basalt, agate, bronze, lead, silver and gold. The metallic weights gradually developed into coins and were used sometimes as weight and as money like the silver Shekel. Chemical analysis with EDAX and X-ray diffraction analysis were carried out on some of these ancient materials. The use of this combination of methods also allowed to distinguish between genuine, original materials and imitations.