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Commodity valuations in exchange

In the absence of currency, a transregional economy required units of value.

Conversion is a recurrent feature of economic documents.
Ability to convert efficiently is one of the talents expected of the accountant, in the Problems set by the longest mathematical papyrus to survive ('Papyrus Rhind' after its first modern owner, now in the British Museum, EA 10057-8).

Commodity valuations can be seen at both institutional and interpersonal levels:

Centralised/state institutions

Local/inter-personal exchange

The local commodity exchange is widely attested in the record from Deir el-Medina

Nineteenth Dynasty Deir el-Medina records cite a unit called sniw, from the old shena'ty.

This might be taken to indicate that there was only one system of exchange, for both national and local exchange.



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