Money references in common units (shekels):


1 shekel = 20 gerah

1 mina = 60 shekels

Units of weight assumed to be gold unless stated otherwise.


8 gur of corn/year for a field laborer. 100 shekels/year for a day laborer. This suggests that 1 gur= aprox 12 shekels.


Buildinga house--2 shekels per 35 sq meters of "surface."

Building a twenty ton boat; 2 shekels = one or two weeks pay--something wrong.

Hiring it is 1/6 shekel/day !!! (includes crew?)

Hire of ferry boat is 3 gerahs/day = 3/20 shekels

Hire of freight boat is 2.5 gerahs/day =2.5/20 shekels

Hiring figures are consistent, building figure is not.



Sailor's pay 6 gur of corn/year = 72 shekels

Plow oxen rental 4 gur of corn/year = 48 shekels

Her cattle 3 gur/year = 36 shekels

Field laborer gets 8 gur = 96 shekels

Ox driver gets 6 gur =72 shekels

Herdsman gets 8 gur = 96 shekels

Day laborer gets 100 shekels/year (assuming he works 365 days/year)

Artisans get a little less. (???)


Note: The consistency here is artificial, since I figured out the value of a gur in shekels by assuming that the two groups of wages were consistent.


The value of a ka of corn?


Hire of an ox for threshing is 20 ka of corn

an ass for threshing, twenty ka of corn

(Hire of a young animal for threshing is 10 ka of corn

hire of oxen, cart and driver is 180 ka of corn per day

cart alone is 40 ka per day


If we assume the cart has two oxen, and the cost per is the same as for threshing, then the driver is costing 100 ka of corn/day. That seems a bit high, given that the rental of oxen seems to be about half a laborer's wage--perhaps four oxen to the cart? Figure that a driver gets between 40 and 100 ka/day, which is about 80 shekels/year. If we again assume working every day, that gives us:


182-456 ka of corn = 1 shekel.  Scale up the value of the ka according to how many days less than 365 someone works.



Felling a tree: 30 shekels

Demanding a false claim by force, 2 shekels (1/3 mina in silver)

Slave prisoner dying, 20 shekels (plus debt cancelled?)

Divorce (upper class) without purchase price, 60 shekels

Ditto (middle class) 20 shekels

Seducing daughter in law to be: 30 shekels

Eye or broken bone (middle class) 60 shekels

Teeth (middle class) 20 shekels

Assault (upper class, equal rank) 60 shekels

Assault (middle class) 10 shekels

Accidental death from wounding in a quarrel (upper class) 30 shekels.

Same for middle class 20 shekels

Strikes woman (upper class), loses her child, 10 shekels

Ditto (middle class) 5 shekels

Ditto, maid servant, 2 shekels

Woman dies from blow that loses her child, (upper class) 30 shekels

Maid servant ditto 20 shekels

"Impresses an ox for forced labor" (???) 20 shekels

Goring ox, negligent, upper class, 30 shekels

As above, slave, 20 shekels

Steal a water wheel, 5 shekels

Steal a shadduf or plow, 3 shekels



Retrieve a runaway slave: 2 shekels

Physician for an operation: 10 shekels (upper class patient)

Middle class patient, 5 shekels

Slave patient, 2 shekels

Physician heals fracture or diseased soft part (upper class patient) 5 shekels

Ditto, middle class patient, 3 shekels

Slave, 2 shekels

Vet operation, ox or ass, 1/6 shekel



Usakini-drink is 5/6 of a ka of corn per ka of drink--paid at harvest








Other information:


Yield of a field about sixty gur of grain for every ten gan of area?



Building a boat costs two shekels, renting it costs about a shekel a week.