Rope stretcher

Rope stretcher

In ancient Egypt Rope stretchers were surveyors who measured property demarcations and foundations using knotted cords which they stretched in order to take the sag out of the rope. When performed by kings during the initial stage of temple building [Wilson, "op.cit.", p.38] the "Stretching of the Rope" was probably a religious ceremony rather than a surveying job. [Breasted: From the Great Karnak Building Inscription (Year 24 of the reign of Thutmose III), "op.cit." § 608] On artefacts as ancient as the mace of the Scorpion King the Egyptians document the process the royal surveyors used to restore the boundaries of fields after each inundation or flood.

Rope stretchers used 3-4-5 triangles and the plummet [ [ Petrie Museum website: plumbs] ] , which are still in use by modern surveyors. The plummet can be used with a square ruled off into intervals on tongue and blade to get a unit rise and run or angle when taking an elevation to a distant point as with a modern sextant.


The first surveyors to use ropes and plumbs may have been Egyptian. ["Encyclopedia Britannica", op.cit.", p.828] Rope stretching technology spread to ancient Greece and India, where it stimulated the development of geometry and mathematics. Some think that it was India which influenced Greece. [Chattopadhyaya, "op.cit.", p.153]


* Alistair Macintosh Wilson, "The Infinite in the Finite", Oxford University Press 1995
* Debi Prasad Chattopadhyaya, "Environment, Evolution, and Values: Studies in Man, Society, and Science", South Asian Publishers 1982
* "The New Encyclopaedia Britannica," Encyclopaedia Britannica 1974
* James Henry Breasted Ancient Records of Egypt, Part Two, Chicago 1906


See also

* Surveying
* Gromatici

External links

* [ rope stretchers]
* [ surveying instruments]
* [ proportions] "The knowledge of pleasing proportions of the rope stretchers was incorporated by the Greeks"
* [ Sangaku and The Egyptian Triangle]

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