Message #33:
From: AzTeC SW Archaeology SIG
To:  "'z Matthias Giessler'" 
Subject: Spanish Unit of Measurement in the American Southwest
Date: Fri, 12 Jan 96 10:06:00 MST
Encoding: 19 TEXT

FROM:     Smoke Pfeiffer, U.S. Forest Service


Spanish unit of measurement used in American southwest until ca. 1846 and 
offical in Mexico until the 1890s, equaling 83.5cm or 32 5/8ths inches. It 
was an oak stick divided into 4 sections of 21cm called a handsbreadth, by 
brass studs. These were again divided into two 10.5cm sections and the outer 
ones into 5.2cm sections called the two fingers'breadth.  (Boyd, E., 1954, 
The Vara, A Unit of Measurement. El Palacio 61(2):46-47.)

Does anyone know anything more about this?  Please E-mail me with 
additional details.  

Smoke Pfeiffer