The relation between stature and long bone length in the Roman Empire
AbstractStature is increasingly popular among economic historians as a proxy for (biological) standard of living. Recently, researchers have started branching out from written sources to the study of stature from skeletal remains. Current methods for the reconstruction of stature from the skeleton implicitly assume fixed body proportions. We have tested these assumptions for a database containing over 10,000 individuals from the Roman Empire. As it turns out, they are false: the ratio of the length of the thigh bone to the length of the other long bones is significantly different from those implied in the most popular stature reconstruction methods. Therefore, we recommend deriving a proxy for living standards from long bone length instead of reconstructed stature.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management) in its series Research Report with number EEF-13002.
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Other versions of this item:
- Klein Goldewijk, Geertje & Jacobs, Jan, 2013. "The relation between stature and long bone length in the Roman Empire," Research Report, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management) EEF-13002, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Steckel, Richard H., 2009.
"Heights and human welfare: Recent developments and new directions,"
Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier,
Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-23, January.
- Richard H. Steckel, 2008. "Heights and Human Welfare: Recent Developments and New Directions," NBER Working Papers 14536, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Koepke, Nikola & Baten, Joerg, 2005.
"The biological standard of living in Europe during the last two millennia,"
European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press,
Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(01), pages 61-95, April.
- Köpke, Nikola & Baten, Jörg, 2003. "The biological standard of living in Europe during the last two millennia," TÃ¼binger DiskussionsbeitrÃ¤ge 265, University of Tübingen, School of Business and Economics.
- de Beer, Hans, 2004. "Observations on the history of Dutch physical stature from the late-Middle Ages to the present," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 45-55, March.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joke Bulthuis).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.