Life Expectancy in the Paleolithic

#1 von Markus , 21.07.2017 10:26

Hier zweifelt jemand den gegenwärtigen Consens einer durchschnittlichen Lebenserwartung von um die 30 Jahren im Paleolithikum als Untertreibung an. Begründet wird dies u.a. mit der Knochendatierung, die anhand der Degeneration der Knochen von neolithischen Menschen gemessen wird.


The examination of these pre-agricultural bones is further clouded by one of the most important assumptions that underlies these age-at-death estimates. These determinations are made by comparisons with contemporary bones where the age of death of the individual is more easily ascertained. This process for estimating the age of a person’s death from skeletal remains, of course, assumes that contemporary dietary habits, exposure to sunlight, vitamin D status, physical conditioning, and general lifeways were approximately equivalent for the Paleo-people whose remains have survived for us to study. In light of these factors, there can be little doubt that such estimates are little more than educated guesses, yet many of such estimates for remains from the Paleolithic place the age at death at about 40 years (1). This constitutes a much more realistic estimate. However, for many reasons, these are also likely to be underestimates.

«I also think it’s safe to suggest that since our ancestors were undoubtedly active on a regular basis, their robust bone densities indicate a pretty decent physique – unless they somehow found a steady source of fructose-rich honey, continuously gorged on root strips fried in a hollowed-out buffalo skull filled with boiling tallow, and developed an insulin-resistant belly to cover up those muscles.« (Mark Sisson)

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