Metrological Relief

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Metrological Relief
Metrological Relief Ashmolean.JPG
Material Marble
Created 5th century BC
Discovered Turkey or Greek Islands by William Petty
Present location Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, United Kingdom

The Metrological Relief is an Ancient Greek relief of a man with arms outstretched, cut with hammer and chisel on a triangular, marble slab between 460 to 430 BC.[1] It was found in Turkey or the Greek Islands in 1625–26 AD by a chaplain called William Petty collecting sculptures for Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel. It was sold to Sir William Fermor in 1691 and then presented to Oxford University in 1755. It is now on display at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, United Kingdom. It was the only known metrological relief until 1988 when another was found on Salamis Island, Greece.


The relief measures 2.09 m long, 62 cm high by ca. 10 cm thick and is broken over the figure's left forearm but when complete it measured one Greek fathom or orguia.[2] There is also an image of a foot above the right forearm which measures 29.7 cm, an imprint of a clenched fist over the right forearm of 11 cm and fingers, which measure between 1.85 and 2 cm.[3] Eric Fernie studied the relief and noted its ancient measurement of the Greek fathom.[4]


  1. ^ Jay Kappraff (2002). Beyond measure: a guided tour through nature, myth, and number. World Scientific. pp. 237–. ISBN 978-981-02-4702-7. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  2. ^ Robert Tavernor (2007). Smoot's ear: the measure of humanity. Yale University Press. pp. 22–. ISBN 978-0-300-12492-7. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  3. ^ Eivind Lorenzen (1966). Technological studies in ancient metrology. Nyt Nordisk Forlag. Retrieved 23 April 2011. 
  4. ^ Society of Antiquaries of London (1981). The Antiquaries journal: being the journal of the Society of Antiquaries of London, The Greek Metrological Relief in Oxford by Eric J. Fernie, p. 255. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 23 April 2011. 

External links[edit]