When Did Humans Begin Measuring Things?


Quick Answer

Measuring things became necessary to humans as they settled from their nomadic way of life and began building homes, occupying land and trading with one another. They initially used parts of their bodies to measure different things; the cubit was an early measurement based on the length of the forearm.

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Full Answer

The oldest uniform systems of weights and measures known to mankind were created between 4000 and 3000 B.C. in Egypt, Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley. The people in the Indus Valley civilization accurately measured length, mass and time. The degree of precision in their measurements was very high. Their smallest unit, which was approximately 1/16 of an inch, was the smallest-known division in the Bronze Age.

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