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Pompeii (Campania), Italy

Mensa Ponderaria

Not far from the Forum a little fruit and vegetable market (Forum Holitorium) stood, flanked by a large latrine.

It had been created after 62 AD and probably was not yet finished or not in use at the time of the eruption. It is now used to store archeological finds;  there are on display some plaster casts of victims of the eruption.

The public office for weights and measures was located very close to the market, next to the east wall of the Temple of Apollo. The standard for calibration was the local Oscan metric system; as declared by the inscription on the façade, it was later changed to conform to the system introduced by Augustus.

The machine consisted of two overlapping limestone benches; each with a cavity corresponding to the different measures and a hole at the bottom for the item under measure to be pushed through.