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China: remains of “giants” who lived around 5,000 years ago

Credit: University of Shandong

A team of archaeologists from the University of Shandong have announced the remarkable discovery of the remains of “giant” humans who lived in China close to 5,000 years ago. 

The bones were discovered during excavations in the village of Jiaojia, in the Shandong province in the South East of China, including at least one male who had reached 1.9 meters tall, as well as others measuring around 1.8 meters. If these heights appear nothing special nowadays, they were truly exceptional at the time. “We came to this conclusion after having examined the bones”, explains Fang Hui, the head of the history school in the University of Shandong. “When they were alive, these men were without a doubt even taller”. 

Credits: University of Shandong

In order to put it into perspective for you, the average height of an 18 year old man in China is nowadays around 1.72 meters. In Europe 5,000 years ago, men measured around 1.65 meters tall. According to the researchers, the heights of these “giants” could be explained by access to rich food sources, which were available to this population at the time. “The men of the era cultivated millet and raised pigs”, explains Mr. Fang. “Pig bones and teeth were found in certain tombs. Agriculture was without a doubt well developed. They had varied and rich food sources, and therefore, their physique changed.” The ruins from which the bones were exhumed also indicate that these people lived “a comfortable life”, enjoying “separate bedrooms and kitchens”, according to the archaeologists.

The excavation zone is thought to have been the political, economic and cultural centre of Northern Shandong 5,000 years ago. In total, the ruins of over 100 buildings, over 200 tombs and around 20 sacrificial pits have already been unearthed. Keep in mind that these initial discoveries are only preliminary for the moment, and the papers have not yet been peer reviewed. Only 2,000 meters square have been excavated for the moment – which is only about half of the area intended to be dug up.

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