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Men who were born after the Black Death were taller than men who lived through the Industrial revolution, a study revealed.

The height of men has fluctuated throughout history, according to scientists who analysed 4,700 skeletons over the last 2,000 years.

They found that men were shorter in the Dark Ages than they were during the Roman occupation.

Other peaks were found after the Norman Conquest in the 11th century and between the 1400s and the early 1650s.


The rise and fall of the Englishman: Analysis of 4,700 skeletons reveal Britons have grown both taller and shorter over time

Men in Roman Britain were almost 3in taller than people before the invasion
Scientists found that men were taller in times of wealth and prosperity
Men who lived after the Black Death were 2in taller than men in the 19th century


By Fionn Hargreaves For Mailonline
15 April 2017


Men who lived in the 19th century (pictured above, British soldiers in the Crimean War) were shorter than people who were born after the Black Death, scientists have found. Researchers from the University of Southampton have analysed 4,700 skeletons over 2,000 years to find out more about height

Men who were born after the Black Death were taller than men who lived through the Industrial revolution, a study revealed.

The height of men has fluctuated throughout history, according to scientists who analysed 4,700 skeletons over the last 2,000 years.

They found that men were shorter in the Dark Ages than they were during the Roman occupation.

Other peaks were found after the Norman Conquest in the 11th century and between the 1400s and the early 1650s.

Dr Andrew Hinde, from the University of Southampton, told the Times: 'It is only really in the last 50-60 years that we have broken through that ceiling.'

Before the Roman Conquest, the average British man measured just 5ft 5.8 in.

2,000 years later, men measured around 5ft 9.7in, a difference of 3.9in.

The Romans brought relative wealth and prosperity to Britain, which is reflected in the average height.

With better diets and lifestyles, men measured around 5ft 7in, shooting up just under 3in within a couple of centuries.


The height of men has fluctuated throughout history, according to scientists. Men were most tall after the Norman Conquest and when the population recovered after the Black Death


Pictured, a reconstruction painting of Scarborough Castle in the 14th century. The Black Death descimated the population between 1348 and 1350, killing around 1.5 million people. This impacted on men's height

The Romans settled in Britain from 43AD until 410AD.

In the early Dark Ages, between the fall of the Roman Empire and the Norman Conquest, poor diets and sanitation meant men were an inch shorter.

When William the Conqueror swept to power after the Battle of Hastings in 1066, men's height increased to 5ft 8.1in.

Dr Hinde said it 'was a healthy time' and the population increased.

Male height dipped dramatically at the time of the Black Death, which killed around 1.5 million people between 1348 and 1350.

Scientists think men at that time were around as short as they were before the Norman Conquest.


It was found that men's height increased in times of stability and prosperity. After the industrial revolution in the 19th century, men's height has increased sharply. Now, the average man measures 5ft 9.7in. Pictured, fencer Alphonse Kirchoffer in 1904

After Britain had recovered from the crisis in the mid-14th century, men measured as much as 5ft 8.5in, the tallest average height until the millennium.

During the Industrial Revolution, there was a demographic shift from the countryside to big cities like London and Manchester.

In these new urban centres, pollution and sanitation was very bad and affected the height of men living in the 19th century.

Scientists found that men living during the Industrial Revolution measured just 5ft 6.5in, 2in less than the period after the Black Death.

Height is thought to be mainly decided by genetics, but a person's health and lifestyle can also have an impact on how tall they grow to be.

Read more: Skeletons reveal Britons have grown and shrunk over time | Daily Mail Online
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Last edited by Blackleaf; Apr 30th, 2017 at 11:56 AM..