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Homo Faber
Nature Technology

Original artefact
  2.3 Groma (Surveyor's cross)



Working model
Iron, bronzed brass, beech, hemp cord; 100 x 170 x 100 cm Construction: Stilarte for Opera Laboratori Fiorentini, 1999
Design: Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza, Florence

The groma is composed of a supporting rod whose lower end consists of a point that was planted in the ground, or in a stone benchmark that the surveyor carried with him. Between the rod and the groma there was a movable arm, called the rostrum, which was free to rotate: the surveyor sighted on this to determine the desired orientation. On the rostrum was the groma itself, a wooden cross with iron fittings, from the extremity of which hung in two pairs four plumb-lines: the perpendicular of these on the ground determined the lines to be traced.

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