Friday, August 06, 2010

Study: Charlemagne was very tall, but not robust

According to a recently published study, the Carolingian Emperor Charlemagne (ca. 747–814) was taller than most of his subjects, but not overweight. The findings were reported in the July 2010 issue of Economics & Human Biology.

A trio of scholars from Switzerland, Germany and Australia were allowed special access to the left tibia of Charlemagne, whose remains are kept in the Aachen Cathedral. Using x-rays and CT Scans, they found that the bone was about 17 inches long. According to various estimating methods, this meant that Charlemagne’s height was somewhere between 1.79 and 1.92 meters tall (between 5′ 10″ and 6′ 4″). According to other research, a typical male in the Carolingian period stood about 1.69 meters (5′ 6″).

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