Re: Pyramid as Mensuration Standard

Whittet (
25 Jul 1995 19:31:34 GMT

In article <3v30sk$>, says...
>In article <3us8cb$>, (Whittet) writes:
>|> There is nothing which says that proportions can't be incorporated as units
> of neasure,
>|> as for example the cubit forms the side of a cube whose volume is a standar
>d of measure
>|> for grain called an artaba. The sarcophaus of the Great Pyramid holds exac
>tly forty.
>|> Steve
>Waitaminute. Isn't that the same cubit that I've seen defined as the length
>of your forearm? Exactly forty of _whose_ cubic cubits? Sorry Steve, this
>gets less and less convincing...
>-J. T. Foote

While some would maintain that the primitive Egyptians were incapable of using
more sophisticated measures than the parts of their bodies, and while indeed
parts of peoples bodies very probably were used as measures, both initially
and as a "rule of thumb", we have many fine examples of Egyptian rulers and
"yardsticks" laid out in the increments of their various measures. We also
know, from the mathematical papyri, how they measured their grain and beer
in quedat and artabas, and the relative proportions of these.

Mensurasionists, like Livo Catulo Steccini of Harvard, have compared the
Egyptians known units of measure to their monuments and to English, Greek,
Roman and Persion units of measure and to their monuments.

Taylor found that the cubic capacity of the granite coffer was four times
what the British farmer still used as a standard measure of grain, the
quarter or eight bushels.

"In the ancient world one measures by feet and cubits. The cubit is equal
to 1 1/2 feet. The cubit is divided into six hands of four fingers each
(24 fingers) and the foot is divided into 4 hands (16 fingers) The division
of the foot into 12 finger, with which we are familiar, became common only
with the Romans. According to the Roman reckoning the cubit is 16 inches."

The appendix of Livo Catulu Stecchini to "The Secrets of the Great Pyramid"
by Peter Tompkins, Harper & Row, New York, 1971

"Scholars of Egyptology concluded that the Egyptians had started with a
foot of 300 millimeters and a coresponding cubit of 450 millimeters divided
into 16 and 24 fingers as in the rest of the ancient world, but then had
adopted as their linear basic unit a cubit called a Royal cubit of 525
millimeters. The royal cubit is composed of seven hands or 28 fingers:
It is an ordinary cubit with a seventh hand added."

Steccini proposes a "geographic cubit" of four hundred cubits = 1 stadium
of 600 feet. The cube of the geographic foot was the artaba. From the artaba
was derived a unit of three artabas which was the cube of the Roman cubit.
The edge of the cube of the ordinary Egyptian cubit is the Talent.

Thus 8 cubic royal cubits = 40 artabas.