Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Height in Medieval Europe

Interesting compendium of data on height in European history, from skeletons – 9,477 of them, to be precise. The main finding is that height "stagnated" across the whole period from Roman times to 1800. But there was one period when height clearly rose a bit and that was the rotten centuries of the post-Roman, pre-Carolingian Dark Ages. The population of Europe collapsed in this period due to plague, warfare, disorder, and a dramatic decline in long-distance trade, and many cities nearly emptied out. The result was that for the survivors there was more food to go around, and especially more meat, hence, they got taller. Via Pseudoerasmus.

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