Category: Current Affairs
Published on Wednesday, 19 July 2017 00:00
Written by Cheryl Teo Kai Lin
The Chinese are not known for their imposing stature (with the exception of Yao Ming, a true biological marvel), which is why it came as a mind-boggling surprise when archaeologists discovered a tomb of giants in China.
These uniquely tall group of individuals lived in China’s Shandong province about 5,000 years ago. Back then, humans were way shorter than they are now, so it baffled scientists when they found out that the skeletons measured at least 1.8m tall, with one even reaching 1.9m.
The archaeological dig, led by the University of Shandong, unearthed an ancient civilization of 104 houses, 205 graves and 20 sacrificial pits. Pottery and various jade artifacts were also uncovered. The late Neolithic site dates back to a time when the Yellow River Valley was inhabited by the Longshan Culture, also known as the Black Pottery Culture, who thrived in the area from circa 3000 to 1900 BC.
The skeletal remains showed that the people who resided there several millenniums ago were unusually tall, standing at an average of 1.8m, a stark contrast to others who existed in that time and age measuring an average of 1.65m for men and 1.5m for women. The other civilizations that have come into contact with the Longshan Culture would have probably thought of them as bona fide giants!
The huge discrepancy in height from their fellow Neolithic counterparts was probably a consequence of both genetics and the environment. In fact, height still remains a prominent characteristic of the Shandong people. In 2015, the average height of 18-year-old Shandong men was 175m, significantly taller than the national average.
The environment could have also played a large part in shaping the Longshan people’s statuesque figures. The ancient Longshan Culture engaged in agriculture and villagers had access to a diverse array of nutritious foods. Millet was a major crop at the time, and pigs were an important livestock. This steady diet of millet and pork somehow affected their physical proportions.
There might also have been a correlation between height and status, as the taller Longshan men were found in tombs, which the Shandong archaeologists attributed to high social status and access to better food.
Perhaps this is where all the fairy tale stories and myths about giants originated from.
Hi, I'm Cheryl. I possess a joie de vivre spirit unique to my character, my expressions of euphoria are wild in nature and I approach life like one colossal party. I love venturing into the unknown and exploring all that is possible; from exotic foods to cliff-diving. When I am not seeking out something extraordinary to check off my bucket list, I love curling up on a comfy couch with a glass of wine and a book in hand. Follow my personal adventures in my blog here where I let loose of all inhibitions, voice my inner-most emotions, exult in all that is wonderful, unleash the monsters within, lose myself in beautiful reveries, reminisce treasured memories and curate recherché experiences.