What is the first thing you reach out for in the Geometry period? My guess is, the ruler! This instrument makes calculations easier and solving sums speedier. Have you ever wondered since when this wonderful tool been around? You will be surprised to know that the answer to that question is since 2400 BCE! And where was it discovered? In our very own Indus Valley!

The excavations in Lothal, one of the southernmost cities of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization which is in the Bhal region of the present state of Gujarat, resulted in the discovery of the ruler. It was also found that rulers made of ivory were used by the Indus Valley Civilization period prior to 1500 BCE. Archaeologists found these rulers marked in decimal subdivisions and the accuracy was astounding. Bricks used throughout the region were found to be meticulously measured in these dimensions.

The ruler evolved over time in terms of dimension, type and material. Excavations in China revealed gilded bronze and bronze rulers between 206 BCE to 8 BC. Today it is available in wood, plastic and steel too. Tape rulers have also been invented to measure greater lengths.

The ruler, with time, was adapted to measure degrees and to determine straight lines in addition to measuring distances. Different shapes, sizes and materials are measured by different rulers. Rulers are the primary instrument and tool in the fields of geometry, engineering, technical drawing, building and printing to name a few.

So now that you know the history of the ruler and its Indian roots, Geometry class will certainly get more interesting!

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