Skip to main content


High-Tech Channel Hitachi High-Tech GLOBAL

Measurements using the most basic tools to us

Base data: length.
1 cubit = length from the bottom of the elbow to the tip of the middle finger.
1 span = width of open palm of a hand.
1 palm = width of 4 fingers and not the thumb.
1 inch = width of a thumb.
1 digit = width of a finger.

There are up to 5 units of lengths based on the hand!

The hand was used to express various lengths in the ancient Orient. The inch is still used today, isn’t it? The digit is the origin of the word, “digital”. 2 spans = 1 cubit; 4 digits = 1 palm. Try to use your hand to work out the relationships between these measurements.