Modern Koreans Much Taller Than Ancestors

      February 01, 2012 10:02

      Korean men were on average 161.1 cm tall and women 148.9 cm between the 15th and 19th centuries, anatomists at Seoul National University have found. Hwang Young-il and Shin Dong-hun based their analysis of the remains of 116 adults -- 67 men and 49 women.

      That was over 10 cm shorter than the average height of modern Korean men (174 cm) and women (160.5 cm) established in 2010 by the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards.

      It was also up to 10 cm shorter than contemporaries in Sweden, the U.K. and the Netherlands. During that period, the average height of Americans was 173.4 cm. But the Koreans were taller than their Japanese contemporaries, who stood between 154.7 and 155.1 cm, the study added.

      The study estimated the heights based on the ratio of the length of thighbones to full height.

      The study was carried in the 2012 issue of the American Journal of Physical Anthropology. Koreans' average height grew remarkably as the country achieved industrialization in the 20th century, Hwang said.

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