Replica of Arundel Metrological Marble

Description
This plaster cast is a full-sized replica of the Arundel metrological marble at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. The original relief was probably made around 460–430 BCE in western Asia Minor or Greece. It illustrates traditional units of measurement based on the human body, including a fathom (the width of the outstretched arms) and an ell (the distance from the elbow to the fingertip). In this example, the fathom is 6 feet, 9-57/64 inches long in modern English units, and the ell is 20-15/32 inches. It is very faint in this replica, but a human foot is shown above the figure's right arm. Seven of these feet are equal to one fathom on the relief. The Smithsonian received the replica in 1961. Earlier cataloguing suggests the British firm of Archer, Cowley & Co. made the replica.
Reference: "The Metrological Relief," ref. no. AN.Michaelis 83, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, http://www.ashmolean.org/ash/faqs/q002/.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
1961
maker
Archer, Cowley & Company
place made
United Kingdom: England, Oxford
Physical Description
plaster (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 25 in x 65 in x 8 in; 63.5 cm x 165.1 cm x 20.32 cm
ID Number
MA.319896
accession number
239611
catalog number
319896
Credit Line
Gift of Department of Antiquities, Ashmolean Museum
subject
Mathematics
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Measuring & Mapping
Scale Rules
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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