# Historical Length or Distance

Chapter

First Online:

## Abstract

Length is one of the oldest (if not the oldest) measures used by humans. It is a measure of the physical size or extent of something along a straight line. This chapter reviews the evolution of length measurement from the simple use of the size of body parts or paces to gauge a length to sophisticated methods based on light and time which enable measurements on both sub-atomic or astronomical scales. An extensive compilation of conversion factors for many ancient and historical length measurements is provided.

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