In ancient times, parts of the body were used to measure length. The Egyptians has a standard length from the elbow to the middle fingertip. This was called a ‘cubit’. The width of a hand, or four fingers, was called a ‘palm’ or ‘hand’. We still use ‘hands’ to measure the height of a horse. The distance between the outstretched hands was equal to a ‘fathom’ and was used to measure the depth of the sea. Since people come in different shapes and sizes, these measurements were hardly accurate.
Today most of us use a standard system, called the metric system, for measurement. One meter is equal to a hundred centimeters and each centimeter is equal to ten millimeters. Using a ruler, try to measure a cubit, a hand, fathom and a foot. You should get approximately the following answers:
Cubit = 45 centimeters
Hand = 10 centimeters
Fathom = 180 centimeters
178 total views, 1 views today