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I got the statement that the fathom was once defined as 1/100 of a cable, or 1/1000 of a nautical mile, or 1/1000 of a minute of latitude from a wikipedia article that gave the Oxford Dictionary of Weights, Measures and Units as the source of the definition. I found an inexpensive copy of the dictionary on the internet and decided to get it, partially to make sure it said what wikipedia said it said, and partially to see what else might be in the dictionary.

Sure enough, the dictionary says the fathom is usually 6 ft, but sometimes defined as 1/100 of a cable, and the dictionary says that the cable is defined by the Admiralty as 1/10 of a minute of latitude.

Here is a paragraph that is included in the definition of cubit: "The Great Pyramid of Ghiza was measured in the 1880s by Flinders Petrie as having sides of length 230.24 to 230.4m. with a mean of 230.355m. Postulating them as being 250 points to a cubit of about 461mm and a fathom of about 1.84m. i.e. very close to today's international nautical mile, the length of one minute of latitude. In turn this indicates that the Ancient Egyptians nearly 5000 years ago, measured Earth's radius." p. 53

First, I think Fenna meant to say 500 points to a cubit instead of 250, since 230.355/.461 = 499.7. Also, given a fathom equal to four cubits, 500 cubits equals 125 fathoms, and 230.355/125 = 1.842m. 1842m is a little bit short for an average minute of latitude, but it is accurate for minutes of latitude at the equator. Given 125 fathoms per side, this gives 500 fathoms for the perimeter, equal to 1/2 minute of latitude at the equator, which has of course been pointed out before, although perhaps not to my knowledge in fathoms.

The half-minute of latitude is a measure of the circumference and Fenna does not explain how he gets from there to radius, and a half minute of equatorial latitude x 2 x 60 x 360 / 2pi is still a bit short even for the polar radius, because the equatorial degrees of latitude are so short, but regardless of how he got there, I agree with him that the Ancient Egyptians did know the measure of the earth's radius and I was surprised and happy to find this statement in the current Oxford dictionary of weights, measures and units.

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Subject Views Written By Posted
Remen : Meridian 1957 Jim Alison 15-Nov-19 22:52
DUNE!: Remen : Meridian 153 Poster Boy 16-Nov-19 17:55
Re: DUNE!: Remen : Meridian 138 DUNE 17-Nov-19 09:56
Re: DUNE!: Remen : Meridian 113 Jim Alison 17-Nov-19 23:45
Re: DUNE!: Remen : Meridian 109 Poster Boy 17-Nov-19 23:59
Found it! 145 Poster Boy 18-Nov-19 02:55
Re: Found it! 112 Mercurial 20-Nov-19 11:44
Re: Found it! 99 Jim Alison 20-Nov-19 14:42
Squaring The Circle 114 Dr. Troglodyte 20-Nov-19 18:59
Re: Squaring The Circle 111 Jim Alison 20-Nov-19 20:02
Re: Squaring The Circle 110 Jim Alison 20-Nov-19 20:22
Remen references 120 Lee McGiffen 21-Nov-19 01:59
Re: Remen references 123 Jim Alison 21-Nov-19 04:29
Re: Remen references 94 magisterchessmutt 24-Nov-19 13:56
Re: Remen references 73 Jim Alison 24-Nov-19 20:05
Re: Remen references 90 magisterchessmutt 24-Nov-19 21:17
Re: Remen references 76 magisterchessmutt 25-Nov-19 01:24
Re: Remen references 77 magisterchessmutt 25-Nov-19 12:10
Re: Remen references 103 DUNE 25-Nov-19 13:17
Re: Remen references 48 Jim Alison 16-Jan-20 20:22
Drastic Geodetic Measures and Nippur Cubit 91 thinkitover 25-Nov-19 06:46
Re: Remen references 94 Jim Alison 26-Nov-19 08:04
Re: Remen references 102 Lee McGiffen 27-Nov-19 12:54
Re: Remen references 81 Mercurial 28-Nov-19 22:32
Re: Remen references 107 Jim Alison 01-Dec-19 06:15
Re: Squaring The Circle 125 magisterchessmutt 21-Nov-19 00:47
Re: Squaring The Circle 86 magisterchessmutt 21-Nov-19 02:32
Re: Squaring The Circle 90 Jim Alison 21-Nov-19 05:20
Re: Squaring The Circle 133 magisterchessmutt 21-Nov-19 06:26
Egyptian knowledge of √2 90 Lee McGiffen 22-Nov-19 06:39
Re: Egyptian knowledge of √2 75 magisterchessmutt 23-Nov-19 01:19
Re: Egyptian knowledge of √2 100 thinkitover 23-Nov-19 09:45
Re: Egyptian knowledge of √2 80 magisterchessmutt 23-Nov-19 14:42
Re: Egyptian knowledge of √2 75 Poster Boy 23-Nov-19 16:10
Everything Mick wrote here - 86 pages 87 geoffss 21-Nov-19 10:49
Re: Everything Mick wrote here - 86 pages 81 magisterchessmutt 21-Nov-19 11:54
Re: Squaring The Circle 47 molder 20-Dec-19 12:45
Re: Found it! 94 Mercurial 22-Nov-19 06:48
Re: Found it! 90 magisterchessmutt 22-Nov-19 12:01
Re: Found it! 86 Poster Boy 22-Nov-19 15:24
Re: Found it! 92 magisterchessmutt 22-Nov-19 23:55
Re: Found it! 78 Poster Boy 23-Nov-19 02:06
Re: Found it! 78 magisterchessmutt 23-Nov-19 02:36
Re: Found it! 78 Poster Boy 23-Nov-19 03:37
Re: Found it! 85 DUNE 23-Nov-19 18:42
Re: Found it! 73 Poster Boy 23-Nov-19 19:37
Re: Found it! 82 DUNE 23-Nov-19 20:14
Re: Found it! 73 Poster Boy 23-Nov-19 20:27
Re: Found it! 74 Poster Boy 23-Nov-19 20:46
Re: Found it! 79 DUNE 23-Nov-19 21:37
Re: Found it! 77 Poster Boy 23-Nov-19 21:55
Re: Found it! 81 DUNE 23-Nov-19 22:24
Re: Found it! 74 Poster Boy 23-Nov-19 22:44
Re: Found it! 107 Poster Boy 24-Nov-19 17:44
Re: Found it! 78 DUNE 24-Nov-19 18:29
Re: Found it! 81 Poster Boy 24-Nov-19 18:34
Re: Found it! 78 Poster Boy 23-Nov-19 20:59
Re: Found it! 74 magisterchessmutt 23-Nov-19 19:55
Totally debunked 79 Lee McGiffen 24-Nov-19 05:23
NOT Totally debunked 75 Poster Boy 24-Nov-19 05:41
eg: NOT Totally debunked 87 Poster Boy 24-Nov-19 06:12
Khufu <> Khafre 94 Dr. Troglodyte 23-Nov-19 00:28
Re: Khufu <> Khafre 71 Mercurial 24-Nov-19 19:12
Khufu <> Khafre - Update 34 Dr. Troglodyte 11-Jan-20 19:56
Re: Found it! 94 Jim Alison 23-Nov-19 01:35
Re: DUNE!: Remen : Meridian 94 magisterchessmutt 19-Nov-19 03:45
Re: DUNE!: Remen : Meridian 84 Jim Alison 19-Nov-19 14:05
Re: DUNE!: Remen : Meridian 89 magisterchessmutt 20-Nov-19 00:27
Re: DUNE!: Remen : Meridian 82 Jim Alison 20-Nov-19 15:34
Re: DUNE!: Remen : Meridian 80 magisterchessmutt 19-Nov-19 03:49
Re: DUNE!: Remen : Meridian 85 DUNE 19-Nov-19 10:37
Re: DUNE!: Remen : Meridian 79 Jim Alison 19-Nov-19 14:22
Re: DUNE!: Remen : Meridian 81 DUNE 19-Nov-19 15:37
Re: DUNE!: Remen : Meridian 76 Jim Alison 20-Nov-19 00:44
Re: DUNE!: Remen : Meridian 93 Poster Boy 19-Nov-19 16:43
Re: DUNE!: Remen : Meridian 80 Jim Alison 20-Nov-19 01:07
Re: DUNE!: Remen : Meridian 96 Poster Boy 20-Nov-19 01:38
Re: DUNE!: Remen : Meridian 82 Jim Alison 20-Nov-19 14:28
Where is this leading? 87 Poster Boy 21-Nov-19 17:19
Re: Where is this leading? 87 Lee McGiffen 22-Nov-19 06:49
Re: Remen : Meridian 103 Poster Boy 16-Nov-19 18:00
Re: Remen : Meridian 99 Jim Alison 16-Nov-19 22:09
Excellent! 105 thinkitover 16-Nov-19 18:29
Re: Excellent! 132 Jim Alison 16-Nov-19 22:24
Re: Excellent! 105 Lee McGiffen 18-Nov-19 07:36
Re: Excellent! 107 Jim Alison 18-Nov-19 15:55
Re: Excellent! 102 magisterchessmutt 19-Nov-19 03:57
Re: Remen : Meridian 94 Spiros 20-Nov-19 15:06
Re: Remen : Meridian 85 Spiros 20-Nov-19 19:28
Re: Remen : Meridian 85 Jim Alison 20-Nov-19 20:24
Re: Remen : Meridian 76 Spiros 20-Nov-19 22:25
Re: Remen : Meridian 100 Spiros 20-Nov-19 22:58
Re: Remen : Meridian 84 Spiros 20-Nov-19 23:49
Re: Remen : Meridian 92 Jim Alison 20-Nov-19 23:40
The Earth number 140 hendrik dirker 21-Nov-19 05:48
Re: The Earth number 120 Jim Alison 21-Nov-19 13:15
Re: The Earth number 100 molder 22-Nov-19 19:30
Re: The Earth number 82 Jim Alison 23-Nov-19 01:44
Geometry as Metrology? 100 thinkitover 23-Nov-19 22:56
Re: Geometry as Metrology? 90 magisterchessmutt 24-Nov-19 00:04
Re: Geometry as Metrology? 95 Jim Alison 24-Nov-19 01:16
Re: Geometry as Metrology? 100 magisterchessmutt 24-Nov-19 01:36
Re: Geometry as Metrology? 125 magisterchessmutt 24-Nov-19 01:49
Re: Remen : Meridian 127 magisterchessmutt 24-Nov-19 02:38
Re: Remen : Meridian 89 DavidK 11-Dec-19 23:26
Re: Remen : Meridian 75 DavidK 12-Dec-19 13:23
Re: Remen : Meridian 66 thinkitover 12-Dec-19 18:51
Re: Remen : Meridian 77 DavidK 12-Dec-19 21:27
Re: Remen : Meridian 57 Jiri Mruzek 13-Dec-19 00:55
Re: Remen : Meridian 55 DavidK 13-Dec-19 09:51
Re: Remen : Meridian 58 Jim Alison 13-Dec-19 03:48
Re: Remen : Meridian 58 magisterchessmutt 13-Dec-19 04:58
Re: Remen : Meridian 57 magisterchessmutt 13-Dec-19 05:44
Re: Remen : Meridian 59 DavidK 13-Dec-19 09:58
Re: Remen : Meridian 58 DavidK 13-Dec-19 09:15
Re: Remen : Meridian 52 magisterchessmutt 13-Dec-19 11:02
Re: Remen : Meridian 70 DavidK 13-Dec-19 11:07
Re: Earth circumference 77 drew 17-Dec-19 23:57
Re: Earth circumference 79 DavidK 18-Dec-19 11:29
Re: Earth circumference 83 drew 20-Dec-19 00:22
Re: Earth circumference 68 hendrik dirker 20-Dec-19 06:07
Re: Earth circumference 68 DavidK 20-Dec-19 13:27
Re: Earth circumference 50 hendrik dirker 21-Dec-19 12:48
Re: Earth circumference 60 Jim Alison 20-Dec-19 20:48
Re: Earth circumference 56 hendrik dirker 21-Dec-19 11:44
Re: Earth circumference 52 drew 20-Dec-19 23:48
Re: Remen : Meridian 58 Jim Alison 20-Dec-19 19:26
Re: Remen : Meridian 60 magisterchessmutt 21-Dec-19 01:54
Re: Remen : Meridian 57 Jim Alison 21-Dec-19 04:30
Re: Remen : Meridian 47 magisterchessmutt 21-Dec-19 07:43
Re: Remen : Meridian 51 DavidK 21-Dec-19 10:56
Re: Remen : Meridian 57 magisterchessmutt 21-Dec-19 11:24
Re: Remen : Meridian 51 magisterchessmutt 21-Dec-19 11:48
Re: Remen : Meridian 44 DavidK 21-Dec-19 16:08
Re: Remen : Meridian 67 DavidK 21-Dec-19 12:49
Re: Remen : Meridian 52 Jim Alison 21-Dec-19 15:19
Re: Remen : Meridian 48 molder 21-Dec-19 20:33
Re: Remen : Meridian 46 DavidK 21-Dec-19 23:49
Re: Remen : Meridian 50 Jim Alison 22-Dec-19 03:02
Re: Remen : Meridian 53 DavidK 22-Dec-19 10:30
Re: Roman measures Hang on let us get this right. 52 molder 22-Dec-19 13:03
Re: Roman measures Hang on let us get this right. 49 DavidK 22-Dec-19 15:01
Re: Roman measures Hang on let us get this right. 61 magisterchessmutt 22-Dec-19 17:13
Re: Roman measures Hang on let us get this right. 64 DavidK 22-Dec-19 17:32
Re: Roman measures Hang on let us get this right. 57 Jim Alison 24-Dec-19 05:23
Stecchini's Metrics 55 thinkitover 21-Dec-19 16:01
Re: Stecchini's Metrics 63 magisterchessmutt 21-Dec-19 17:17
Re: Stecchini's Metrics 55 thinkitover 24-Dec-19 15:06
Re: Remen : Meridian 56 drew 23-Dec-19 00:44
Re: Remen : Meridian 56 Jim Alison 23-Dec-19 02:55
Re: Remen : Meridian 65 DavidK 23-Dec-19 12:34
Re: Remen : Meridian 71 Jim Alison 24-Dec-19 01:09
Re: Remen : Meridian 47 drew 27-Dec-19 23:06
Re: Remen : Meridian 56 DavidK 27-Dec-19 23:59
Re: Remen : Meridian 51 drew 28-Dec-19 22:24
Re: Remen : Meridian 90 DavidK 29-Dec-19 00:50
Re: Remen : Meridian 52 Jim Alison 11-Jan-20 03:53
Re: Remen : Meridian 47 DavidK 11-Jan-20 13:54
The Egyptian Remen 14.58333r inches 57 DavidK 11-Jan-20 16:48
Re: Remen : Meridian 39 Jim Alison 22-Jan-20 00:10
Re: Remen : Meridian 29 Mercurial 22-Jan-20 20:59
say hello to rodz? 56 DavidK 11-Jan-20 18:01
Re: say hello to rodz? 41 thinkitover 12-Jan-20 06:03
Re: say hello to rodz? 47 DavidK 12-Jan-20 12:45
Re: say hello to rodz? 46 thinkitover 13-Jan-20 06:41


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