# Historical Area

## Abstract

Area has been an historical, base measurement unit. Area units appropriate for everyday use were most commonly squares of linear measurement units, but have also been separately defined and had their own, unique unit names. This chapter describes the roots and approaches to area measurement and calculation which have been applied over the centuries. The development of the concepts of land ownership and agriculture that drove the definitions of larger area units is discussed. At the other end of the spectrum, the impact of science in driving other units of area measurement—from the very tiny to the very large—is reviewed. The development of methods for calculating areas through history from simple concepts involving circles, rectangles, and triangles to the integral calculus applied to complex areas is described. Extensive listings of conversion factors for historical units to modern area units are provided for various locales and eras in world history.

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