Human Height History
Over the millennia, many factors have contributed to human growth, such as gender, region, genes, historical period, and access to food, among others. We may think we know a lot about the height of our species, but that’s just an appearance. See how tall people lived centuries ago, what they are now, and what height our descendants may have.
Height is an indirect measure of standard of living. It tells us a lot about an individual’s access to food resources. Knowledge of human height is especially valuable for studying living conditions during periods about which we know little or nothing. Historians call this the pre-statistical period.
According to skeletal remains, human height over the past 2,000 years, has been fairly constant at about 170 cm. Growth chart of males from skeletons in Europe, 1-2000 AD:
The University of Tübingen provides data on the height of men in many countries between 1810 and 1980. Over the past 2 centuries, the height of men around the world has steadily increased. Today’s men are on average taller than their ancestors 100 years ago, in every country in the world.
If we compare adult men born in 1996 with those born a century earlier – men who turned 18 in 2014 versus 1914. – we see that the global average height for men increased from 162 to 171 centimeters. For women, the height rose from 151 centimeters to 159 centimeters. The average young adult today is about 8-9 centimeters, or about 5% taller than their ancestors 100 years ago.
In which countries have people increased their growth the most?
Some countries have seen particularly large increases in growth. In women, the largest increases occurred particularly in Europe and Central Asia. The largest absolute change was seen in South Korean women, whose average height increased by 20 cm. In men, the largest change was seen in Iranian men, who grew an average of 16.5 cm, while Marshall Islands men grew only 0.5 cm. Despite country differences, men and women around the world reported similar gains: about 8 to 9 cm. Whether men or women, on average, grew more depends on the country. At the global level, the relative increase in average height was the same for men and women: about 5%.
We are outgrowing our ancestors
With the advent of modernity, we see an increase in the height of people. The trend is due to overall improvements in health and nutrition. Access to high quality proteins, among other things, is an age-old factor in improving bone growth.
Human height in prehistoric times (official data)
In the table we see the average height of humans from skeletal remains by period – from Mesolithic times to the present, globally.
|300 p.n.e. – 250 c.e.
At the same time, there are other discoveries that contradict the accepted theory, and this is where things start to get interesting. The official scientific position fiercely defends the established theories, but many surprising skeletons of very tall people have already been discovered around the world. One of the developers of new theories about our origins is Dr. Kent Hovind. He has gathered a wealth of information about how the world looked thousands of years ago. It may come as a shock, but his conclusions are based on scientifically proven evidence. Hovind tried to recreate the conditions that prevailed centuries ago. He also wanted to explain why our patriarchs lived virtually disease-free and were long-lived. He invoked the words of the Bible, and facts and evidence from excavations supported these assumptions. According to Hovind, the prehistoric period of our ancestors – Adam and his offspring, up to Noah – was the “Garden of Eden.” Later, the Flood took place. It was after this that completely different conditions arose, through which life was dramatically changed and began to look more or less like today.
What did Hovind think conditions were like before the catastrophe?
In the past, the atmosphere was different. It consisted not of 21, but as much as 32% oxygen. There was less nitrogen and a little more carbon dioxide. Studies of gas bubbles in amber indicate that the oxygen was actually 32, not 21%. The atmospheric pressure centuries ago was higher – 1.5 to 2 atmospheres, or 1500 to 2000 hectopascals (hPa). The gas bubbles discovered in amber are just under the pressure up to 2 atmospheres. Atmospheric conditions much more favorable to organisms affected the length of their lives and the size of their bodies. Dr. Kent Hovind stated that: From the beginning of our planet until now, species have not changed. Only the conditions under which they live have changed, resulting in insignificant changes in the direction of “socking”.
Humans were taller
All organisms living then reached much larger sizes than today. Plants were 10 to 20 times larger than they are today. Many excavations confirm this information. E.g. ferns found to this day in coal and brown coal, measuring 10-15 meters each. While the currently known sizes of ferns are 1-1.5 meters.
The existence of huge dinosaurs is another clue in the whole puzzle. Reptiles grow steadily until they die. If the reptile didn’t die as early as it did under today’s conditions it would have grown indefinitely and reached the height and size of dinosaurs. Archaeologists are digging up bones of mammal species that are alive today but two, three, or even ten times the size they are today. Museums around the world have collected many such remains.
The longer lifespan in those days meant that people and animals could live up to several hundred years. First, the ancient books of most peoples of the world tell us this. Genesis says that the first humans, like Adam and his descendants, lived about 900 years each. Many others lived 600, 500, and 300 years. We know from the pages of the Bible that Matuzalem lived the longest, probably 969 years.
Although humans lived longer, they did not reach the enormous size of reptiles. Modern humans grow until about age twenty, then no longer. Life expectancy under “antediluvian” conditions in the “Garden of Eden” was about 900 years, or about 7 times longer than the current 120 years of the oldest humans. Therefore children of that time could also grow 7 times longer, means for around 140- 200 years. You can grow more in 140 years than in 20 years.
Greek legends have some giants called cyclops. Giants also appear in myths of the Far and Middle East, Europe, Australia or America. They are all portrayed as a completely different race, and it’s not all about overgrown humans. One of the earliest legends about giants on Earth comes from the epic of King Gilgamesh of Bali. On discovered stone slabs, Gilgamesh is depicted with a slain lion. His figure is at least twice the average human height in relation to the lion. The legends of Gilgamesh are also very similar to the later Greek and Roman legends of Hercules. However, legends, fables, and myths are often exaggerated, and even the description of giants in the Bible is not conclusive. Therefore, the search for answers is based primarily on excavations and possible graves of giants.
Several reports about giant people
1. A 4000-year-old “giant Longshan” was discovered in Shaanxi Province, China. Height: 193 cm. Not bad for those times.
2. at the end of the 19th century near Aden’s estate in Chillicothe (USA) bones of people were found, who measured from 2,5 to over 3 meters tall
3. The site called “Changaiminas” in southern Ecuador is a fragment of the “city of giants”. In 1965, the priest Carlos Miguel Vaca found by chance a secret passage in the Tayos cave. The tunnel led to a chamber in which rested fragments of human skeletons, which may be up to 7 meters tall. The discovery came to light only after the death of the priest-discoverer.
4. In May 1912 the New York Times published an article about an interesting discovery. At Lake Delavan in Wisconsin (United States), a tomb was noticed, and in it 18 huge skeletons, each about 3 meters tall.
5. In 2008 in Georgia, in Borjomi region, bones of an ancient giant were unearthed. It was 2.5 – 3 meters high and its skull was three times bigger than a human one. Eight years earlier, near Udabno village, a skeleton of a four-meter man was found. The bones could have dated back to 25,000 BC. The sensational discovery was revealed to the media by an academician from the Georgian Academy of Sciences Abessalom Vekua.
Comparison of height
A – An adult modern human.
B – Skeleton (4.5 meters) discovered in the 1950s in southeastern Turkey during road construction. Many similar remains have been discovered right there.
C – Maximian Thracian (2.59 meters), Roman emperor from 235-238 AD.
D – Goliath (~2.7 meters), a Philistine warrior who lived in the 11th century BC. Biblical figure – not necessarily true
E – King Og (3.6 to 5.4 meters). Biblical figure.
F – Human skeleton (5.9 meters) found in 1577 under an oak tree in Canton, Lucerne.
G – Human skeleton (7 meters) discovered along the Valence River, France.
H – Human skeleton (7.7 meters) discovered in France near the castle of Chaumont, in 1613.
Why we don’t know about it
According to Hovind, this information is being withheld because it doesn’t fit with evolutionary theory and the scientific world. However, you don’t need to see the remains of human giants, just look at other museum-quality giant mammals whose remains are not classified.
Growth in the future
Over the past century, the growth of men and women has steadily increased around the world, but at the turn of the last few decades, it stopped in some countries. This is shown in the graphs of changes in annual average growth of men and women by region. Positive values – increase in average growth; zero – no change; negative value – decrease in growth.
What are conclusions from the charts?
Changes in height around the world are gradual and updating at a rate of less than 1% per year.
In all countries, the average height of men has increased significantly over the past 100 years. At the same time, the average height of men has stopped in Europe and Central Asia, while it has increased in the Middle East and North Africa, East Asia and the Pacific, and Sub-Saharan Africa. Similar results hold for women, with the average growth of women in North America also stalling.
Why human growth is slowing
Human growth depends on a person’s standard of living. Over the past decades, living standards have risen around the world, and in theory, human growth should not slow down or decline. However, this is exactly what is happening. Growth partly depends on genetics, so there is probably an upper limit to average height at which nutritional and health factors are optimal. This may explain the current stagnation of growth in countries with high: income and living standards in Europe and Central Asia, for example.
In recent decades, the growth of the average height in the Netherlands has ended after 150 years. The reason for this is not entirely clear. The Dutch may have reached the maximum average height possible for the population, but lifestyle changes may have impeded further progress in average height. Researchers suggest that easy access to fast food may lead to insufficient nutrient intake, resulting in lower height. Increasing overweight and obesity, and reduced dairy intake are other causes of height loss.
Will societies continue to grow indefinitely?
Researchers believe that improving environmental factors such as nutrition and health can positively increase average height. However, this has an upper limit. For the richest countries in the world today, peaks may reach their limit by making the average growth of people simply stop.