Why Were People Shorter Ancient Times?

Have you ever wondered why people were shorter in ancient times? The average height of humans has increased significantly over the past few centuries.

In ancient times, people were much shorter than they are today. There are several reasons why this was the case.

1. Nutrition

One of the primary reasons for the difference in height between ancient and modern humans is nutrition. In ancient times, people did not have access to the variety of foods that we have today.

Their diets were often limited to what they could grow or hunt themselves. This lack of variety led to malnourishment, which stunted their growth.

2. Disease

Disease was also a significant factor in limiting human growth in ancient times. Many diseases were rampant, and medical knowledge was limited. Poor sanitation meant that diseases could quickly spread through communities, leading to widespread illness and death.

3. Genetics

Genetics also played a role in limiting human height in ancient times. Our genes determine our maximum potential height, and some populations may have had genes that limited their growth potential.

4. Lifestyle

The lifestyle of people in ancient times was much different from ours today. They engaged in physical labor from a young age, which could lead to stunted growth due to stress on the body.


In conclusion, there are several reasons why people were shorter in ancient times compared to modern humans. A lack of proper nutrition, disease, genetics, and lifestyle factors all played a role in limiting human growth potential. As our knowledge of medicine and nutrition has improved over time, we have been able to overcome many of these limitations and increase our average height as a species.