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Measuring rod

A sensational discovery was made among the finds of the older excavations of Fort Niederburg: a Roman measuring rod.

The rod, which can be folded, is scaled with Roman length units. The fully extended length exactly equalled a Roman foot: 29.5cm. The foot was divided into units of four: "palmi", twelve: "unicae" (thumb width), and 14: "digiti" (finger width).

The foot was a key unit for construction. This foldable ruler may have been used by an architect responsible for water-work buildings. He could have used it to measure the diameter of pipes and sewage canals.

Bronze measuring rod, foldable, two rivets; length 29.5cm; Inv. Nr. 60057.

Marquart 1994, 28f.

Roman measuring stick
1 Roman measuring stick © Museen der Stadt Aschaffenburg

Bavarian State Conservation Office Landesstelle für die nichtstaatlichen Museen & Bavarian State Archaeological Collection with the support of the Bayerische Sparkassenstiftung