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The Royal Cubit and the Cubit Measure.



The Egyptian Royal cubit, a most elaborate measuring tool divided into 28 equally spaced “fingers”.



1. The royal cubit and the cubit compared to the English inch.

Introduction to the mysterious design of the royal cubit and cubit.


2. Right-angle triangle formed from the royal cubit and the cubit.

Both styled cubits are positioned to form a right-angle triangle and the hypotenuse measured.


3. Comparing the triangle formation with the planets Earth and Mars.

The triangle is set onto the illustrated orbital paths for Earth and Mars.


4. The calculated location where Mars and Earth would align.

The planet alignment ratio for Mars and Earth dictate their alignment location.


5. The introduction to Venus and the numbers 28 and 62.

Measuring from Earth’s first location to Mars’ alignment location, a line is drawn tangential to the orbit of Venus.


6. The final examination of the two cubit measures.

The ancient’s built, within the two cubit measures, the orbital periods for Mars, Earth and the Moon.


7. Conclusion.


8. References.


1.  The royal cubit and the cubit compared to the English inch.


The London Museum in England has in its possession several samples of the ancient Egyptian measuring device, known to Egyptologists and archeologists as the “royal” cubit. The difference between the royal cubit measure and its counterpart the cubit is the number of divisions for each instrument.

The royal cubit has twenty-eight segments, referred to as “fingers”, while the cubit has twenty-four segments. The reason for these two distinct measures remains a mystery, but Egyptologists realize their difference in length being four fingers, representing a “palm” of measure by the ancients. Dividing both styles by four, results in the royal cubit comprised of seven palms and the cubit having six.

The daily use of the royal cubit slowly lost ground to the cubit, until finally succumbing to obsolescence during the pre-Christian era. Ironically, this coincides with the Romans introducing their mile/yard/foot/inch measuring system.

Whenever the Roman Empire expanded into acclaimed territories, roads and structures were built using their newly acquired measure. The Roman army spearheaded north toward the European and Baltic areas, eventually crossing the North Sea into Britain, and with them the introduction to the “foot”.

After the Romans departed from Britain, the foot/inch measure became standard throughout the land. However, over the course of many centuries, a discrepancy of standards developed, not only within Britain, but also between their trading European neighbors. World trade was foremost and a “binding” standard had to be set within the country.

In the year 1758, the king of England ordered a commission to investigate and indoctrinate a defined measure titled “Imperial standards”. Since that time to present (246 years), the English foot of measure has remained consistent.

Although the historical development of the English foot may imply a relationship to the cubit, we cannot ignore the simple fact that the Romans introduced the original measure, and samples of the ancient Roman foot differ from the present-day English foot. Therefore, there are no mathematical associations between the English foot and any other ancient measuring systems (Ill. 1).

Illustration 1.

The royal cubit and the cubit compared to the English measure in inches. The royal cubit (20.603 English inches) is comprised of twenty-eight fingers and divided into seven “palms”. The cubit (17.66 English inches) consists of twenty-four fingers divided into six palms.


There are two well-known documented references to the royal cubit from ancient times; the first being the writings from the Greek historian Herodotus (fl. 440 BC) and the recently translated papyrus scripts from the Egyptian “Book of the Dead” (est. 1450 BC).

Both sources describe the royal cubit been produced, or handed down to the ancient Egyptians by a divinity, or visiting god, but there is no information describing why the instruments were designed in this manner, nor are there any “natural” elements that can be associated with their lengths. Although it has been suggested that either the cubit or royal cubit is actually a part of a larger measure, there is no evidence of this larger measure existing.

Now the challenge is to search for a possible link to these measures, and how the ancients calculated their individual lengths.


2. Right-angle triangle formed from the royal cubit and the cubit.


It is most unfortunate that many Egyptologist and archeologists do not realize the Giza pyramid structures were built over rough terrain, and their base measure surpassing 215 meters in length…a staggering distance, yet their accuracy is held within several centimeters of true measure.

To accomplish this feat, the ancients had to know how to form a right-angle triangle. How it was attained has yet to be learned, but knowing of this remarkable feat, instigated the comparison between the two cubit lengths when they are placed right angle to each other (Ill. 2).

Illustration 2.

A right-angle triangle formation using the royal cubit and the cubit.


It was anticipated that the angle formed by this triangle would relate to one of the many pyramids built by the ancients, but there are no structures exhibiting the angular measure as shown. This directs us to one other mathematical alternative…comparing the ratios for all three sides (Chart 1).





Royal Cubit












Royal cubit










Chart 1.

The ratios of the three sides from the right-angle triangle, formed by the two cubit measures.


The ancients were renown for their astronomical studies, and understood the harmonious motions of their wondering gods, the planets. From the above chart, there is one ratio most commonly known to astronomers, the distance ratio of Mars compared to Earth when measuring their average distances from the Sun (1.523). This ratio instigated a closer view of our neighboring planet Mars with respect to Earth.


3. Comparing the triangle formation with the planets Earth and Mars.


Many remain steadfast in their belief that the ancient Egyptians were not aware of planets orbiting the Sun, but it is here where this issue should be put to rest.

In the approximate year of 560 BC and 1633 AD (note 2100 years separation), two distinguished individuals were sentenced to house arrest until their dying days. Their crime committed was to teach their beliefs that Earth and the “wandering gods” orbited the Sun. Their names…. Pythagoras and Galileo!

Planet motion around the Sun had been common knowledge for several millennia, yet the religious sector failed, or refused to understand the workings of the cosmos.

The ancient Egyptians acclaimed the stars as “gods” and the orbiting planets “wandering gods”. Their fortune or misfortune depended on what “wandering” god(s) was passing/visiting the stationary gods. To rephrase into our terminology…the ancients lifestyle depended on what planet(s) aligned with stars, a system that many continue to rely upon in this modern world of ours; we define it as astrology. We simply changed the title “god” to star, and the name “wandering gods” to planets; unfortunately we tend to forget the source for the word “planet” . “Planet” is derived from Greek, meaning “wanderer”, therefore we observe wanderers; identical to the ancients…nothing has changed!

It is a fatal error for us to believe that all planets are similar to Earth only because they orbit the Sun. The four large outer planets: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune have  been monitored, indicating they giving off more energy than they receive from external sources. Therefore, by definition, these four larger gaseous planets could be called suns, and a sun is a star, therefore the four large outer planets are wandering stars. The ancient Egyptians were correct…we have judged incorrectly!

Since the ancients were religiously dependant upon their wandering gods, they studied and measured their daily motion in the heavens; it was the most logical thing to do. They needed to know how often their favored/feared planet would return, or meet with other planets. We shall learn, they counted the days and measured with stunning accuracy.

Using the two cubit measures, they are now placed upon the orbital paths for Mars and Earth (Ill. 3).


Illustration 3.

Comparing the right-angle triangle, formed by the two cubit measures, to the orbital locations for Earth and Mars


The above illustration has the cubit (24 fingers) representing the average orbital distance Earth is from the Sun (blue circle). From this location, the royal cubit (28 fingers) measures horizontally to the average distance Mars is from the Sun (red circle). The solid black circle represents the actual “average” distance to Mars, while the inner and outer dashed circles represent the minimum and maximum distance Mars is from the Sun.


4. The calculated location where Mars and Earth would align.


The two cubit measures indicate the orbital paths for Earth and Mars, but supporting evidence must be established to strengthen the possibility that the ancients were knowledgeable astronomers. We should realize that if the ancients fully understood planet distances, then they certainly knew their individual orbital periods.

In 1609 AD, German astronomer Johannes Kepler introduced to the world of science his third law of motion. Simply stated; the cube of the distance ratio, from one planet to the other, is directly proportional to the square of their period of orbit. In other words, if you know how far a planet is from the Sun, then you can calculate how long it requires for that planet to orbit the Sun.

Earth orbits the Sun in 365.25 days while Mars requires 686.97 days. From the previous diagram, the angle formed by the two cubit measures is 49.4 degrees. Using Kepler’s third law, Earth must travel 105.48 degrees to “catch up” to Mars…Earth and Mars align with the Sun at this point (Ill. 4). 



Illustration 4.

Using Kepler’s third law of motion, Earth and Mars will align at the location indicated. Earth orbits 105.48 degrees around the Sun to align with the slower planet Mars, the latter only traveling 56.08 degrees along its designated course. (return to Topic 3)


For the first time, there is evidence indicating these measures being involved within the pyramids at Giza and Dashure.

During the Egyptian III and IV dynasty, there were several pyramids built, other than those at Giza. One pyramid in particular is the “North” pyramid at Dashure. The oddity of this structure is the low angular slope chosen in the design; its measure is 43.68 degrees. From the above illustration, we can see the identical angle formed when a line is drawn from the initial start position of Earth to the alignment position of Mars. For those who may attempt to dispute this claim, they must first provide the true reason why the ancients elected to build the north pyramid at such a low angular slope….unknowingly, the answer has always been visible in the heavens; the direction the pyramids point toward.

Egyptologists now realize the ancients having understood the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, also known as the number pi, and many admit the two large pyramids at Giza have distinct side ratios, those being 4/3 and 4/pi. Using the cubit and finger of measure, the 4/3 ratio is expressed as a 1:22 sekhed (1 cubit to 22 finger ratio), while the 4/pi ratio is a 1:21 sekhed (1 cubit to 21 finger ratio). From this, we can now compare the ratios for the two large pyramids to each other, they produce a secondary ratio equal to 21/22, and this reduces to 3/pi.

Comparing the sloped sides of the Giza pyramids produces a 3/pi ratio, and the North pyramid at Dashure is built on a 43.68 angle, or 3/pi ratio !!…The ancient Egyptians were advanced in trigonometry and implemented an ingenious means to demonstrate the orbital motion of Earth compared to Mars at two separate pyramid sites.


5. The introduction to Venus and the numbers 28 and 62.


Although it appears intriguing that both the cubit and royal cubit were possibly used to determine the orbital location for Mars, there had to be a secondary motive behind the design.

The closest distance between Mars and Earth is approximately 55 million km, however, Venus is closer in measure (39 Million km) orbiting between Earth and the Sun. The average distance from the Sun, for the planets Venus, Earth, and Mars is 108.21, 149.6, and 227.6 million km respectively.

When using the royal cubit and cubit to indicate orbital locations for Earth and Mars, the 24 finger cubit represented the distance Earth is from the Sun. Using the above information, then the distance to Venus would equal 17.36 fingers (108.21x24/149.6). Illustration 5 now shows the orbital path for Venus. 

Illustration 5.

The introduction of our inner planet Venus (red circle) and its average orbital distance from the Sun.


The diagonal line, drawn from the previous illustrations, is perfectly tangential to the orbital path of Venus; a truly remarkable feat, indicating the ancient’s full knowledge of planetary motion and orbital distances from the Sun.

Although these results are totally amazing, there are two other dimensions to be presented.

Drawing a line from the Sun and perpendicular to the line from Earth to Mars produces a right angle triangle having angular measures equal to 62 and 28 degrees respectively (Ill. 6).

Illustration 6.

Earth, Venus, and Mars align forming a triangle having 62 and 28 degrees angles.


From illustration 6, the two angles formed are 62 and 28 degrees, and we are aware of the 28 fingers to the royal cubit. But it is the second angle that is most important.

An angle, measuring 62 degrees, has a tangent ratio equaling 1.8807, and the most remarkable coincidence is the planet Mars… it orbits the Sun 1.8808 Earth years!


6. The final examination of the two cubit measures.


The previous notes have demonstrated the orbital locations for Earth and its neighboring planets, and a possible reason for the ancients to create the royal cubit having twenty-eight fingers, and the cubit with only twenty-four. But within these instruments is at least one additional measure to be noted.

It was mentioned how the ancients used the royal cubit and fingers to create any angle they preferred, Egyptologists use the term sekhed. However, there appears to be a disagreement explaining how this technique was incorporated for building the ancient pyramids. Many believe that only whole finger measures were compared to the royal cubit to form the desired angle.

e.g. A 4/3 ratio is equal to (1 cubit)/(22 fingers), or a 1:22 sekhed measure. This system would be adequate for standard triangular designs, but most inadequate for precise astronomical measure. The ancients had to include their knowledge of celestial motion, and designed within both types of cubits the orbital period for Earth, Mars and our closets object, the moon.

The sidereal period for the Moon is 27.322 Earth days; this number was marked on the length of the royal cubit. From this location a line is drawn to the endpoint of the short cubit, forming a 48.71 degrees angle (Ill. 7).


Illustration 7.

Using the finger measure of 27.33 to represent the orbital period of the Moon, the ancients then drew a line (red) to the end of the short cubit, forming a 48.71 degrees angle.


We no longer show interest or concern in planet observation, and we are not expected to reason why the importance of the 48.71 degree angle. Today’s Egyptologists, archeologists, and astronomers are equally guilty for not familiarizing themselves with basic measuring techniques of the heavens. Since we do not attempt to understand, then it is absolutely incorrect for us to claim the ancients never understood.

When Earth and Mars align together with Sun, then the next true alignment will occur after two complete orbits of Earth plus 48.71 degrees. The time required for Earth to orbit 48.71 degrees is 49.4 Earth days!

…The royal cubit and the cubit are perfectly designed instruments; used by the ancients for measuring and recording planetary data.


7. Conclusion.


Science has developed immensely over the past century, but our sacrifice for learning is our forgetting what we once knew. Half of the industrialized countries on this planet are set in their ways, using a designed measure from medieval times. Yet, at the same moment, we claim the ancient Egyptians having little knowledge in astronomy, and the inability to measure with precision.

Their measure did not incorporate grains of wheat, barley, or oats, nor links, chains, and rods…they used basic intelligence. But can we believe they having gained this basic intelligence, or were the writings within the Book of the Dead and those by Herodotus correct. Were the Egyptians the chosen guardians of this sacred measure, the royal cubit, handed down from a visiting god to this planet?

To those who believe the ancient Egyptians did not know mathematics to a greater extent than given credit for, may I say…there is much for you to learn.

Yes it is true; they did worship the heavenly stars and planets, they were taught and believed the stars being gods. But they also believed in Nun who was the universe and creator of all. Nun was a spirit who bore Atum, and Atum created the first couple to live upon this Earth. Where do our present-day religions differ, or are our religions no more than simplified versions derived from the ancient Egyptians?

This topic, relating to the two cubit measures, was mandatory to explain and illustrate, for without understanding the ancient’s ability to measure planet distances and motion, then any further evidence will be viewed as pure coincidental. There is an immense amount of knowledge hidden within the Giza pyramids, and without a means to measure; we automatically prohibit ourselves from learning what messages were left.

What prevents us from reaching back into time? Is it the lack of interest, or the fear from learning the truth? Did Pythagoras and Galileo waste away their lives in absolute seclusion, only for us to remember their names, but forget their true cause?

The time has arrived where full knowledge will be learned and their wisdom to be spread.


8. References


Exploration of the Universe, Abell-Morrison-Wolff, 1987


The Timetables of Science, Alexander Hellmans, Brian Bunch, 1988


New Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology, Robert Graves, 1977


Larousse Astronomy, Philippe de la Cotariere, 1987


“106” The Dawn of Man, Clive Ross, 1999