Must-Read: Jared Diamond: Agriculture: The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race
Must-Read: How poor were the bulk of our post-Neolithic pre-Commercial Revolution Agrarian-Age ancestors, anyway?
Agriculture: The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race: “One straight forward example of what paleopathologists have learned from skeletons…:
…concerns historical changes in height. Skeletons from Greece and Turkey show that the average height of hunger-gatherers toward the end of the ice ages was a generous 5’9″ for men, 5’5″ for women. With the adoption of agriculture, height crashed, and by 3000 B. C. had reached a low of only 5’3″ for men, 5’ for women. By classical times heights were very slowly on the rise again, but modern Greeks and Turks have still not regained the average height of their distant ancestors.
Diamond appears to be referring to the work of J. Lawrence Angel here…
The extremely scanty guesses collected by Clark (2007) tell us that 5’4″ is not a bad guess for post-Neolithic pre-Commercial Revolution average adult-male heights in temperate Eurasia…
Cf: Greg Clark (2007): A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World (Princeton: Princeton University Press: 0691141282) http://amzn.to/1Tc5pCq: