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Thread: Height of ancient peoples from East and SE Asia

  1. #1
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    Height of ancient peoples from East and SE Asia

    From tallest to shortest, all have been scientifically measured, doesn't include rumors, hearsay, or ambiguous ones

    Qocho/Gaochang Kingdom cavalry commander circa 640 AD: 1.80 m

    Early Neolithic 6,000 BC Laos Hoabinhian hunter-gatherer sample La368: 1.76 m

    Neolithic Shandong Dawenkou culture (4,100 - 2,600 BC) average male height: 1.72 m

    Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD) Duke of Chu: 1.72 m

    Neolithic Henan Yangshao culture (5,000 - 3,000 BC) average male height: 1.68 m

    Neolithic Hunan Gaomiao culture (5,500 - 3,500 BC) hunter-gatherer sample M-02 old man in his 60's: 1.67 m

    Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD) aristocracy woman from Jiangsu: 1.65 m

    Paleolithic Ryukyu Siraho Saonetabaru hunter-gatherer 27,000 years BP: 1.65 m

    Ming Dynasty Emperor Wanli (4 Sep 1563 - 18 Aug 1620): 1.64 m

    Late Bronze Age Yayoi culture (300 BC to 300 AD) average male height: 1.63 m

    Early Neolithic Fujian Mazu Island 5,600 BC Liangdao hunter-gatherer sample 2 female height: 1.63 m

    Warring States period Marquis Yi of Zeng/Sui Kingdom circa 425 BC: 1.63 m

    Early Neolithic Guangdong 5,000 BC Liyudun hunter-gatherer sample M6 handsome man in his 30's: 1.60 m

    Tang Dynasty princess circa 700 AD: 1.60 m

    Early Neolithic Fujian Mazu Island 6,200 BC Liangdao hunter-gatherer sample 1 male height: 1.58 m

    Paleolithic - Neolithic Jomon culture (14,000 - 300 BC) hunter-gatherer male average: 1.57 m

    Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD) aristocracy woman from Hunan circa 168 BC: 1.54 m

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    That sums up all the data that I have, the winner goes to the Qocho cavalry commander.

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  3. #2
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    Height in skeletons used to be calculated by the femur lenght, because the bones tend to appear disordered, and when (or if) they are rebuilt, especially the vertebrae, the heights are often distorted with respect to the real ones that these people had in life.

    The really scientific thing is not to give a certain height, but rather a range of heights (an interval) per individual, and more scientific and more affordable would be to give directly the length of a bone of the leg, generally the femur as I said.

    For example with a Navarrese king considered very tall in his time:

    (Three measurements of the femur are taken considering three different measurement criteria.)

    60.851 cm
    62.283 cm
    63.024 cm

    With these data the height is calculated according to anthropometric tables and applying a simple mathematical formula, which are determined according to ethnic origins, and which vary greatly depending on when they were made.

    For that king, the height interval using 20th century middle tables gave between 1.95m and 2.22 m. and with more modern ones between 2.02 and 2.14 m.

    The King was Sancho el Fuerte de Navarra or Sancho VII (1194-1234).

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  5. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mokordo View Post
    Height in skeletons used to be calculated by the femur lenght, because the bones tend to appear disordered, and when (or if) they are rebuilt, especially the vertebrae, the heights are often distorted with respect to the real ones that these people had in life.

    The really scientific thing is not to give a certain height, but rather a range of heights (an interval) per individual, and more scientific and more affordable would be to give directly the length of a bone of the leg, generally the femur as I said.
    Your point may be very relevant for the region under consideration in this thread. Japanese people have an extremely stocky build on average (even compared to other populations of eastern Asia), so a method of estimating body height by extrapolation from femur length would tend to underestimate their body height unless one used different ratios of femur length : body height for each population (but if data relevant to determining such a ratio for each population in each archaeological era were available, then this method of estimation of body height by extrapolation from femur length would be unnecessary).

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    Here are some Humerus length measurements from paleolithic East Asia:
    Minatogawa 1 (M) = 287 mm
    Minatogawa 2 (F) = 261 mm
    Minatogawa 3 (F) = 275 mm
    Minatogawa 4 (F) = 282 mm
    Tam Hang 2 (F) = 267 mm - 270 mm
    Tam Hang 3 (F) = 263 mm - 265 mm
    Tam Hang 7 (M) = 278 mm
    Tam Hang 11 (F) = 255 mm - 257 mm
    Tam Hang 13 (F) = 283 mm - 288 mm
    Tam Hang 14 (M) = 315 mm
    Tianyuan 1 = 331.4 mm

    Conversion from Humerus to height is a bit more dubious, you can find the equations online for Asians.

    Some Femoral length measurements:
    Minatogawa 1 (M) = 398 mm
    Minatogawa 2 (F) = 360 mm
    Minatogawa 3 (F) = 376 mm - 385 mm
    Minatogawa 4 (F) = 358 mm - 360 mm
    Tianyuan (M) = 456 mm (bicondylar)

    Again, equations can be found online.

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