The ell (Icelandic alin) is believed to have originated as a unit measured from the elbow to the fingertips. As this varied from person to person, it was inconvenient for commercial use.
For this reason a scale twenty ells in length was marked out on the side of Þingvellir Church. For measuring out woolen cloth and other textiles, etc. a yardstick two ells in length was to be used. The yardstick was to be one-tenth of the length of the official scale on the church wall.
The oldest Icelandic legislation on mensuration is found in the Stikulög (Yardstick Laws), enacted in the period 1195-1202 and recorded in Grágás, Iceland's first written legal code.
"Men shall measure woolen cloth and linen and all textiles with a yardstick equal to one tenth of the twenty-ell scale marked on wall of the church at Þingvellir."
To log a find for this virtual cache, please send me a message through either the Send Email or Send Message link in my profile with the answers to the following questions:
1. According to this law, where must a yard of two ells be marked out?
2. Under the Grágás legal code, the penalty for using false measures is what?
3. The Jónsbók legal code (1281) states that yardsticks shall be kept where?
4. Scholars agree that the old Icelandic ell was about what length? How does this compare to the length of your arm from your elbow to your fingertips?
5. Please take a photo of yourself or your GPS with the green shutters of the church (or the entire church) behind you and post it with your log. New (as of August 7, 2018)
It has been brought to my attention that the answers to this virtual have been posted online, therefore a photo is now required to prove that you visited the site. Thanks. Once you have emailed your answers, go ahead and log your find. If there is an issue with your answers, I will let you know.
Information for this virtual cache was copied from a sign next to Þingvellir Church
Virtual Reward - 2017/2018
This Virtual Cache is part of a limited release of Virtuals created between August 24, 2017 and August 24, 2018. Only 4,000 cache owners were given the opportunity to hide a Virtual Cache. Learn more about Virtual Rewards on the Geocaching Blog.