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Biblical Archaeology Review 46:3, Summer 2020

Strata: For Good Measure

On the ancient pilgrim road leading to the Jerusalem Temple, archaeologists discovered a stone table for measuring liquids. The table has two conical depressions with drains at their bases. Liquid would have been poured into these openings—with the drains temporarily sealed—to determine volume. Then the drains would have been opened to allow the liquid to flow into a container below.

Archaeologists found the table in what appears to be the main square of Jerusalem’s lower city. This large, open paved space next to the road would have been a center of trade activity in the days of Jesus and King Herod, some 2,000 years ago. The table, coupled with numerous stone weights found nearby, suggests that this space may have even held the offices of the agoranomos, the official inspector of weights and measures in Jerusalem.

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