Talk:Knotted cord

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This is not a quippa. its referenced in pages about Egyptian land measure which need the information on this page, not the information about quippas.Rktect 16:07, August 27, 2005 (UTC)


This article contains much information irrelevant to Knotted cords. It needs to be tidied up accordingly. Ian Cairns 21:49, 27 August 2005 (UTC)

I've removed the two irrelevant images. Ian Cairns 23:51, 27 August 2005 (UTC)

  • The first image is 3kr, The god of the land himself. He shows up on both Scorpions and Narmers pallettes and I have much better images but I don't have a clue what the proper copyright is because they have been copied all over the web. He's the personified st3t Narmer is shown controlling, ie Narmer and Scorpion get their men to dig the irrigation ditches so they control the water. They control the water so they control the land.

The second image is of one of the 10 stadia landmarks that predate the milestones of the Romans. It was taken in the high mountains near Khamis Mushat in 93.Rktect 03:34, August 28, 2005 (UTC)

Knotted cords were used by rope stretchers or royal surveyors who measured out the sides of fields (Egyptian 3ht) using knotted cords (Egyptian ht) of 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.

[Egyptian rope stretchers using knotted cord for survey]

Land in Egypt was measured in several different units. According to khaty the most common units used to measure 3ht or fields were the mht3 or land cubit and the aroura or thousand. Gardiner discusses the mh or cubit, the nibw or double foot and the ht or rod of cord.

Knotted cords would have had their knots spaced in feet, mh t3 or land cubits, remen, royal cubits, rods or ha3t as required for the distance to be measured but generally the lengths of the cord were in multiples of 100 units in Egypt and Mesopotamia. A measure of 21 rods of cord equal to 2100 royal cubits used for measuring roads is also discussed by Gardiner who also discusses the itrw or river measure which we are informed by Herodotus is equal to the Grek Schoenus.

The longest measured length listed in the Rhind papyrus is a circumference of about a Roman mile with a diameter of 9 khet. The most common length is a ht or rod of cord of 100 units which can include, spans, quarters, bw, pes, pous, feet, remen, ku. bw, small cubits, long cubits, nibw, ellen, yards, paces, orquiya, fathoms,and hayt. With the fathom there is a clear connection to the cable and chain.

Knotted cords were used for surveying fields until they were replaced by surveyors chains. Cables and chains are associated with Nautical lengths such as the nautical mile which is ten chains of a length equal to a Greek stadion of 600 pous. Ten chains of 185 m = 1850 m.

In discussing the itrw Herodotus says it is the same as the Greek schoenus which is 60 stadions or 6 chains. Gardiner discusses the distance between stele on the hill east of Akhenaten as being itrw n itrw 6 ht remen hsb mh 4. Here we have 6 cords composed of the remen of 4 cubits.

The itrw is thus approximately 60 stadia = 6 chains of 1837.5 m = 11.025 km = 10 times the 21 rods of cord mentioned by Gardiner

Other cultures[edit]

Were knotted cords used solely by surveyers in Egypt or did other suveyers of other cultures also use knotted cords as basic instruments for measuring distance before metal working made surveyer's chains practical? The article seems to say only Egypt used these but it may be speaking about ones specifically calibrated in egyptian units of length. RJFJR 20:32, 25 September 2005 (UTC)

Knotted cords were used by many ancient cultures. The Greek schoenus is refered to as a rope used to measure land. Ropes generally became cables and chains with Pythagorus 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, [roman cord]

One of the more interesting uses of a knotted cord was to lay out a 3 4 5 triangle to make the corner of a field or building foundation sqaure. Rktect 16:03, 26 September 2005 (UTC)

  • I added this material. Thank you! I think this really adds something. RJFJR 18:03, 1 October 2005 (UTC)


Was banned in October 2005 from artices dealing with weights and measures - see Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Rktect. He comes back from time to time with socks. Dougweller (talk) 07:01, 11 December 2013 (UTC)

3-4-5 triangle a myth?[edit]

I was a little worried when I saw that the only reference was to an unsourced article on a popular website. According to Eli Maor's The Pythagorean Theorem, pp. 14-15, the story that the Egyptians engineers used a cord knotted into a 3-4-5 triangle (which this article doesn't quite say) is a myth. Are there sources for the rest of the claims in this article? Allispaul (talk) 19:43, 4 August 2016 (UTC)

The whole area of pyramids and wonderful Ancient knowledge is flaky. Other articles like Mathematics and art and Mathematics and architecture are now more carefully cited and fact-checked. Probably the article needs a thorough overhaul; anything unreliably cited or uncited is suspect. Chiswick Chap (talk) 10:00, 27 August 2016 (UTC)
@Allispaul and Chiswick Chap:The article was created by a fringe editor who was one of the few editors I know of to have been indefinitely blocked for original research. His socks pop up from time to time. So it probably needs the thorough article suggested although most of his original edits are gone. I must take a look at the others he created.[1] Doug Weller talk 10:19, 27 August 2016 (UTC)