qdt 𓐪 𓏏 𓊌
qɛdɛt, kɛdɛt, kdt

In the New Kingdom of ancient Egypt, introduced 12ᵗʰ – 18ᵗʰ Dynasties to ?, a unit of mass = ¹⁄₁₀ dbn, about 9.0 to 9.5 grams. Filling in the vowels, it is often spelled “qedet” or “kedet”. In 19ᵗʰ century scholarship it was called a kat. Often called the “kite”.

A 1 qedet stone weight

One qedet stone balance weight, circa 1981 - 1640 bce

Courtesy Metropolitan Museum of Art, acc # 15.3.625

Hieroglyph notations for the qedet

Gardiner number (a list of hieroglyphs): Aa28-X1:O39

Unicode numbers U+1342A; U+133CF; U+1328C; 𓐪 𓏏 𓊌 At present, web browsers do not recognize the Unicode Egyptian Hieroglyph Format Controls, which position the glyphs. In this case, 133CF should be above 1328C



The weights of the kedet unit range from 8.812 grammes (136 grains) (fixed by Petrie as the lowest limit) to 10.108 grammes (156 grains). This gives an average weight of 9.460 grammes or 146 grains.

A. K. Evans.
Minoan Weights and Mediums of Currency from Crete, Mycenae, and Cyprus.
Corolla Numismatica, numismatic essays in honour of Barclay V. Head.
London: H. Frowde, 1906.
Page 339.


The Qedet Standard

This is by far the most numerous standard in Egypt, and has generally been regarded as especially Egyptian. It is the basis of nearly all statements of weight from the XVIIIᵗʰ dynasty onward. The multiple of 10 qedets was termed the deben, and 10 debens were termed the sep, in the XXVIᵗʰ dynasty (P.S.P.A., 1893, 309). Deben is however a name applied also to other standards.

Flinders Petrie.
Ancient Weights and Measures Ilustrated by the Egyptian Collection in University College, London.
London: Department of Egyptology, University College, 1926.
Page 13.


[Describing a histogram] Les “pics” correspondent à des valeurs qui ont entre elles des rapports entiers; si l'on prend la valeur de 9 g-9.5 g indiquée par l'un des “pics” les plus nets, valeur reconnue du kdt, on peut dresser le tableau suivant. [table omitted here]

Une grande partie des poids se classe donc dans des tranches de valeur qui sont en rapport entier avec une unité située entre 9 g et 9.5 g.

The peaks correspond to values which are related by integer ratios; if we take the value of 9 - 9.5 grams indicated by the clearest peak, a value recognized as the kdt, we may construct the following table: [table omitted]

A large part of the weights thus classified into groups with a value which is an integer multiple of a unit situated between 9 grams and 9.5 grams.

M. Cour-Marty.
La Collection de Poids du Musée du Caire Revisitée.
Revue d’égyptologie, vol 36, pages 189-200 (1985).
Page 190.

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