Inscribed Cubit Rod card

Courtesy of National Museums Liverpool, World Museum

Inscribed Cubit Rod


On display


A wooden cubit rod, with the divisions of the cubit marked on it. One edge of the measure is bevelled. The unit of length was used to measure objects and short distances, the length was that from the elbow to the fingertips of a tall man. This was then divided into seven 'palms' and twenty eight 'digits'. On this rod the divisions are marked on average 19, 38 and 76 mm. Hieroglyphic text is incised on one side with a prayer to Amun-Ra, Ptah and Thoth for Nakhy, a workman from the village of Deir el Medina. The workman Nakhy and his wife are also known from stela no. 50010 in the Turin Museum and a limestone tomb-relief in the British Museum no. 281 (Bierbrier, M L, Hieroglyphic Texts from Egyptian Stelae etc., Part 10, London, BMP, 1982) and from funerary cones discovered in pit 1138 at Deir el-Medina (B. Bruyere, 'Rapport sur les fouilles de Deir el Médineh; (1928)' (Cairo, 1929), 12-16).