Anthropometric history: an overview of a quarter century of research
The systematic study of human physical stature reaches back into the 18th century. However, until French historians began to explore the socio-economic correlates of human height in the 1960s, the influence of the socio-economic environment primarily interested scholars of sister disciplines such as anthropology, auxology, or even military history. The present review summarizes a number of theoretical issues and new approaches to the understanding of the impact of economic processes on the human organism. Human organisms are sensitive to economic fluctuations and physical stature is an important complementary indicator, illuminating the extent to which a socio-economic or political system provides an environment - broadly conceived - propitious to the physical growth and longevity of human organisms.