Knotted cord

Knotted cords were a primitive surveyor's tool for measuring distances. It is literally a length of cord with knots at regular intervals. They were eventually replaced by surveyor's chains, which being made of metal were less prone to stretching and thus were more accurate and consistent.

Knotted cords were used by many ancient cultures. The Greek schoenus is referred to as a rope used to measure land. Ropes generally became cables and chains with Pythagoras making the Greek agros a chain of 10 stadia equal to a nautical mile c 540 BC. The Romans used a waxed cord for measuring distances.

An interesting form of a knotted cord is one 12 lengths long (the units do not matter) which is closed into a loop. This cord can be used to layout a right angle by forming the loop of cord into a 3-4-5 triangle. This could be used for laying out the corner of a field or a building foundation, for instance.

Ancient Egypt

Knotted cords were used by rope stretchers, royal surveyors who measured out the sides of fields (Egyptian "3ht"). The knotted cords (Egyptian "ht") were 100 royal cubits in length with a knot every "hayt" or 10 royal cubits. The rope stretchers stretched the rope in order to take the sag out it and keep the measures uniform.

Since land in Egypt was measured in several different units there would have been knotted cords with the knots spaced in each unit including "mh t3" or land cubits, remen royal cubits, rods or "ha3t", generally the lengths in multiples of 100 units. The longest measured length listed in the Rhind papyrus is a circumference of about a Roman mile with a diameter of 9 khet.

External links

* [ Egyptian rope stretchers using knotted cord for survey]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Knotted — Knot ted, a. 1. Full of knots; having knots; knurled; as, a knotted cord; the knotted oak. Dryden. [1913 Webster] 2. Interwoven; matted; entangled. [1913 Webster] Make . . . thy knotted and combined locks to part. Shak. [1913 Webster] 3. Having… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • cord — noun 1 string/rope ADJECTIVE ▪ thick, thin ▪ long, short ▪ strong ▪ elastic, leather …   Collocations dictionary

  • Umbilical cord — of a three minute old child. A medical clamp has been applied. Latin funiculus umbilicalis Code …   Wikipedia

  • Parachute cord — (also paracord or 550 cord) is a lightweight nylon kernmantle rope originally used in the suspension lines of US parachutes during World War II. Once in the field, paratroopers found this cord useful for many other tasks. It is now used as a… …   Wikipedia

  • Witch's ladder — A witch s ladder (also known as rope and feathers , witches ladder, witches ladder, or witch ladder) is a fetish, in folk magic or witchcraft that is made from knotted cord or hair, that normally constitutes a curse. Charms are knotted or braided …   Wikipedia

  • AGRICULTURAL LAND-MANAGEMENT METHODS AND IMPLEMENTS IN ANCIENT EREẒ ISRAEL — Ereẓ Israel is a small country with a topographically fragmented territory, each geographical region having a distinctive character of its own. These regions include: the coastal plain, the lowlands, the hilly country, the inland valleys, the… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Tally sticks — A tally (or tally stick) was an ancient memory aid device to record and document numbers, quantities, or even messages. While the origin of this technique is lost in prehistory, archaeological proof of the existence of such devices is ample. One… …   Wikipedia

  • Tally stick — A tally (or tally stick) was an ancient memory aid device to record and document numbers, quantities, or even messages. Tally sticks first appear as notches carved on animal bones, in the Upper Paleolithic. A notable example is the Ishango Bone.… …   Wikipedia

  • rosary — /roh zeuh ree/, n., pl. rosaries. 1. Rom. Cath. Ch. a. a series of prayers, usually consisting of 15 decades of aves, each decade being preceded by a paternoster and followed by a Gloria Patri, one of the mysteries or events in the life of Christ …   Universalium

  • cordelière — ˌkȯ(r)dəlˈye(ə)r noun ( s) Etymology: French, from Middle French, knotted rope worn by Cordeliers, from Cordelier, a kind of Franciscan friar, from cordel, diminutive of corde cord, rope more at cord …   Useful english dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.