A grain-shaped weight of dark brown hematite (Fig. 1) was found by J. Sharvit in April 2004 at Palmahim, c. 40 m north of the promontory where Yavne-Yam is located and 10 m from the shoreline (map ref. NIG 17118/64790; OIG 12118/14790).
The weight (22 mm long, 9 mm wide, max. height 8 mm, weigh 4.19 grams) has a worn surface, with small missing chips.
The sphenoid or grain-like shape is a classical form of ancient scale weights. It originated in Mesopotamia and was widespread over many areas and during many periods, including Cisjordan in the second to first millennia BCE. Most of these weights lack inscriptions and they probably belonged to more than one system of weight. The Palmahim weight-unit can be identified with half a Mesopotamian Sheqel of c. 8.4 grams. A close comparison was found offshore at Palmahim in 1989 by E. Galili and J. Sharvit (weight 4.1855 grams, Reg. No. 50/78, permit no. A-1637; not yet published; E. Galili, pers. comm.); it was part of a group of similar weights, perhaps from a shipwreck.