Thursday, May 3, 2018

The Tally Stick #georgiapioneers #genealogy

The Tally Stick

Bar Kochba CaveThe tally stick was first an staff, then a staff, upon which the names of the contracting parties were written. Then, the staff was split down the middle, and one half (called the "stock") was retained by one of the parties, while the other, "the bill", was held by the other. When the time came to settle the contract, the two parties would present their halves of the stick to the king. If they matched perfectly, it was plain that neither party had attempted to tinker with the document, and all conditions having been met, the two halves were rejoined and bound with a string in the hand of the king, and stored in the archives. The oldest known tallies were written in Latin and Hebrew. Found among the Dead Sea Scrolls in the the Bar Kochba Cave, at least 23 samples known as "tied deeds," a very old practice known in the ancient world carried forward into the first and second centuries.
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