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Steelyard from Egypt or Syria, ninth to tenth century (Benaki Museum, Athens. Inv. No. 13275). In imperial Rome and during late antiquity, scales with arms of unequal length were constructed in the thousands along the model of the Roman steelyard. The individual components, such as the rotating design of the hanging scale pan, changed over time, however. The balance depicted here, whose scale is furnished with Arabic characters, shows how an originally Roman technology found its way into the Islamic cultural realm.