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Journal Article

Money in Mesopotamia

Marvin A. Powell
Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient
Vol. 39, No. 3, Money in the Orient (1996), pp. 224-242
Published by: Brill
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3632646
Page Count: 19

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Topics: Silver, Cuneiform, Coinage, Sumer, Barley, Prices, Bronzes, Money, Tin, Grains
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Money in Mesopotamia
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Abstract

Although contemporary preconceptions about what money is or is not sometimes evoke doubt about the existence of money in ancient Mesopotamia, it seems clear that it did exist. Money was substance oriented, and coins, when they finally appear are weighed like any other valuable metal. The most common money substances were barely as cheap money and silver as the more expensive, but other substances were also used. As to the forms or shapes in which money circulated, a number of words in the ancient languages can be identified that probably refer to these forms, but their specific appearance remains, in most cases, unknown.

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