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The Art of Weights and Measures

Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation Anatolian Weights and Measures Collection

Setting forth concepts related to weighing and measuring meant developing both practical and philosophical links with the world. When ancient civilizations used seeds produced in the fertile soils of Mesopotamia to establish the first units of weight, the observations they made in relation to the act of measuring created a springboard for civilizations to thrive. The 2nd millennium BC saw the frontiers of discovery advancing along the trade routes between Mesopotamia and Anatolia.

While the fascination with precision in weighing and measuring continued, there was a corresponding migration of myths from the realms of the gods to the land of mortals, and concepts like truth and justice became associated with the balancing of the suspended pans of weighing scales. In ancient Egypt the sins of the deceased were weighed on a set of scales, while in ancient Greek and Roman cultures, the weighing scale was a symbol of justice and an indispensable illustrative element in the depiction of gods and goddesses. In Byzantine society, too, the act of just and accurate weighing resonated deeply with ethical sensibilities and recalled the weighing of souls. And in the Ottoman Empire, precise weighing represented the foundations of trust, not only in trade but also just as notably in religious life.

“Man is the measure of all things: of the things that are, that they are, of the things that are not, that they are not,” proclaimed Protagoras. The endeavor to measure the world with a handful of units brought forth the capacity to recreate it in the abstract. As the measurement of discovery became the substance of myths, weighing and measuring, beyond being mere physical actions, became an important means of self-expression to those captivated by the universe and what lay beyond the boundaries of knowledge.

With a selection of objects from the Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation Anatolian Weights and Measures Collection, The Art of Weights and Measures aims to explore, through the eyes of civilizations, gods, merchants, master craftsmen, and their apprentices from the 2nd millennium BC to the present day, how weights and measures have shaped economies, cultures, and intercultural relations, their impact on social dynamics of trust, and their journey towards becoming standardized units.

3D Virtual Tour

Exhibition Catalogue

The Art of Weights and Measures

The Art of Weights and Measures

The Art of Weights and Measures catalog, featuring articles and a selection of objects from the Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation’s Anatolian Weights and Measures Collection, explores, through the eyes of civilizations, gods, merchants, masters and apprentices, the economy, culture, intercultural system relationships and the dynamics of social trust shaped around the weights and measuring instruments used in Anatolia and neighboring regions from the 2nd millennium BCE to the present and the journey of standardization of units and offers a perspective of what has changed and what has remained.

"And The Stone Fell by Reason of Its Great Weight" <br> Trade and Weight Measurement System in Kültepe <br> Prof. Dr. Fikri Kulakoğlu

"And The Stone Fell by Reason of Its Great Weight"
Trade and Weight Measurement System in Kültepe
Prof. Dr. Fikri Kulakoğlu

The speech will explore how developed the trade system in Kültepe-Kanesh was and the importance of standardization in international trade from antiquity onwards.

"And The Stone Fell by Reason of Its Great Weight" <br> Measures and Measurement in the Hittites <br> Prof. Dr. İlknur Taş

"And The Stone Fell by Reason of Its Great Weight"
Measures and Measurement in the Hittites
Prof. Dr. İlknur Taş

In the second speech of the series, Prof. İlknur Taş will explain, to the extent allowed by the modern concepts we use to perceive our world, the measures and measurements used by the Hittite State and the mathematical concepts that ultimately emerged.

“And the Stone Fell by Reason of Its Weight” <br> Roman Merchants and Bankers in Anatolia <br> Yavuz Selim Güler

“And the Stone Fell by Reason of Its Weight”
Roman Merchants and Bankers in Anatolia
Yavuz Selim Güler

The third talk of the series will explore Roman merchants and bankers’ commercial and financial activities, organizations, and relations with local communities in the province of Asia during the Late Republic and Roman Empire, in light of historical, epigraphical and archeological sources.

“And the Stone Fell by Reason of Its Weight” <br> State, Arts and Weighing Instruments in Byzantium<br>Brigitte Pitarakis

“And the Stone Fell by Reason of Its Weight”
State, Arts and Weighing Instruments in Byzantium
Brigitte Pitarakis

Based on the relationship between money and weight measures in Byzantium, this talk aims to examine the weighing devices produced in the 4th-7th century from the perspective of imperial ideology and the state control mechanism, in order to place them within the context of their use.  

“And the Stone Fell by Reason of Its Great Weight” <br>A Chat in Ancient Marketplaces<br> Prof. Dr. Oğuz Tekin

“And the Stone Fell by Reason of Its Great Weight”
A Chat in Ancient Marketplaces
Prof. Dr. Oğuz Tekin

The discussions focus on the marketplaces in the city-states of Anatolia, which were the prominent locations of trade or daily shopping during the Classical, Hellenistic and the Roman Imperial period, and offer a closer look at the goods, scales, weights and coins used in these marketplaces.

Late Roman and Byzantine Coins

Late Roman and Byzantine Coins

In collaboration with the Koç University Suna & İnan Kıraç Research Center for Mediterranean Civilizations (AKMED) and the Istanbul Research Institute, the Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation Pera Museum presents the Late Roman and Byzantine Coins Seminar for undergraduate and graduate students as part of its Anatolian Weights and Measures Collection. The interdisciplinary seminar aims to equip young researchers working on the history and culture of the Late Roman and Byzantine periods with the necessary theoretical and practical knowledge of numismatics.

Epigraphy of Weights Workshop II

Epigraphy of Weights Workshop II

The program, which embraces an interdisciplinary perspective to explore the topics of weights and measures often overlooked in the studies on epigraphy, is designed to provide young researchers working on Ancient History and archaeology with the necessary theoretical and practical foundation.

Late Antique and Byzantine Weights and Measures Seminar

Late Antique and Byzantine Weights and Measures Seminar

The seminar seeks to provide young researchers engaged in the study of Late Antique and Byzantine economy, trade, and culture with a novel approach to the prevalent commerce and trade practices of the era.

Late Roman and Byzantine Coins Seminar II

Late Roman and Byzantine Coins Seminar II

The seminar, which adopts an interdisciplinary approach to the science of numismatics, aims to provide theoretical and practical skills for young researchers working on the archaeology, history, art, and culture of the Late Roman and Early Byzantine periods.

Seeds and Metaphors <br>The Art of Weights and Measures Exhibition Tour

Seeds and Metaphors
The Art of Weights and Measures Exhibition Tour

The guided exhibition tour explores the four-thousand-year social and economic history of Anatolia, focusing on metaphors shaped around the concepts of weight and measurement.

Video

Pera Learning

Collection Exhibitions Learning Programs

Running parallel to the permanent and temporary exhibitions, Pera Learning organizes creative and fun Online Learning Programs for school group (preschool, primary, middle and high school) students.

Half-Term Holiday Workshops

Pera Museum Learning Programs organizes online and face-to-face guided tours and workshops, as part of its Half-Term Workshops program.

Festival of Dreams

Pera Museum Learning Programs celebrates the April 23 National Sovereignty and Children's Day with the "Festival of Dreams" program, where entertaining workshops from different disciplines will be held for children! 

The adventure of the Big ‘K’

The adventure of the Big ‘K’

In a bid to review the International System of Units (SI), the International Bureau of Weights and Measures gathered at the 26th General Conference on Weights and Measures on November 16, 2018. Sixty member states have voted for changing four out of seven basic units of measurement. The kilogram is among the modified. Before describing the key points, let us have a closer look into the kilogram and its history.

Moscow Conceptualists

Moscow Conceptualists

Our institutions have been stuck on linear Neo-Platonic tracks for 24 centuries. These antiquated processes of deduction have lost their authority. Just like art it has fallen off its pedestal. Legal, educational and constitutional systems rigidly subscribe to these; they are 100% text based.

Giacometti’s Final Works

Giacometti’s Final Works

Giacometti was selected for three important retrospectives at the New York Museum of Modern Art, the Tate Gallery in London and the Louisiana Museum of Art in Denmark, all of which were a great success.