Digital modeling of world's first known length reference unit: The Nippur cubit rod

Zaide Duran*, Umut Aydar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


It is a fact that the most important thing for transmitting cultural heritage to posterity starts with a sensitive documentation step. Up to the present, there have been many developments in documentation of cultural heritage by developing technology, and contemporary documentation techniques have progressed speedily. Nowadays besides of a sensitive documentation, rapidness has gain importance for the sake of time and cost. Because of these facts, the techniques that provide fast and reliable documentation and modeling like digital close-range photogrammetry and laser scanning became preferable with respect to classical architectural methods. In this paper, the studies of precise measurement, 3D modeling and documentation of Nippur Cubit is presented. The Nippur cubit-the first known standard measure of length-was a heavy copper bar, unearthed at Nippur on the Euphrates River dating from about 2650 B.C. This ancient measuring device is nowadays exposed in the Archeological Museum of Istanbul, Turkey. For the purpose of 3D modeling and archiving of the mentioned object, digital close-range photogrammetry and laser scanning technology were applied and results obtained from these two techniques were compared.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)352-356
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Cultural Heritage
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012


  • 3D modeling
  • Cultural heritage
  • Digital close-range photogrammetry
  • Documentation
  • Laser scanning


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