Anglo-Saxon Balance set

Contributed by Vale and Downland Museum

Anglo-Saxon Balance set

This beautiful copper alloy scales set was found in an Anglo Saxon grave of a young man who died around AD 520 - 70, and was buried in Watchfield, Oxfordshire. The weights are made from old coins- mainly Roman coins, one possibly Byzantine and one Greek coin. Anglo Saxon weight sets often feature pre-Saxon coins, this is because they retained no monetary value. They were often marked or filed to adapt them for use as weights.
An early form of recycling, when absolutely nothing went to waste!
This is a rare find and it is thought that the balance was used to weigh bullion from abroad at a time when coins were not being minted in England.
The scales are from the Oxfordshire County Museum's Service Collection
OXCMS : 1985.89.sf83.158

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