Inductive Metrology: or, the Recovery of Ancient Measures from the Monuments

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Among the leading Egyptologists of his day, Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie (1853-1942) excavated over fifty sites and trained a generation of archaeologists. As a young man, he demonstrated an aptitude for mathematics and used this skill to measure monuments across the south of England, including Stonehenge. Published in 1877, this work was based in part on these early surveys and provides great insight into the linear measurements used by ancient civilisations. Notably, Petrie establishes that accurate measurement was possible in societies without writing systems. His innovative approach to metrology draws comparisons between units of measurement used by peoples separated by great spans of time and distance, ranging from medieval Ireland to ancient Egypt. Petrie went on to write prolifically throughout his long career, and a great many of his other publications are also reissued in this series.