(Plural, berkovtsy.) In Russia, at least as early as the 12ᵗʰ – 19ᵗʰ century, a unit of mass, approximately 163.8 kilograms (about 361.13 pounds). One of the “ship pounds” of Northern Europe. Also romanized as berkovitz, berkowitz, berkowetz and bercherect.
The berkovets is mentioned in charters and other documents from the early 12ᵗʰ century.¹ The name comes from the old Russian “berkov’sk,” from Birko, the medieval name for the Swedish island of Björkö. Birka was a trading depot founded by Frisians that flourished between 800 and 975.
1. Pritsak, 1998, pages 58-60.
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