These types of measurements were generally derived from human body parts. Some of the more common ones were:
-the digit (width of the forefinger)
In Latin finger is called digitus.
-the yard was from the king's outstretched arm and was once refered to as a rod.
Ruler came from the foot measurement stick that was used by the king.
The problem with many of these types of measurements was it really depended on whose body was doing the measurement at the time. Different bodies would give different measurements so if you were building something, this might cause some difficulties. People began using more common lengths to describe units of measurement for sanity's sake.
|Early measurements in pictures|