Christopher B Ruff, Brigitte Holt, Markku Niskanen, Vladimir Sládek, Margit Berner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


A variety of terrains, from flat to mountainous, as well as both rural and urban settlements, are represented in the sample. This chapter examines the potential impact of a number of environmental factors on modern human skeletal form. The two most dramatic changes in body size over the last 30,000years in Europe as a whole were a marked decrease from the Early through the Late Upper Paleolithic, continuing at a slower pace through the succeeding Mesolithic, and a marked increase over the past 150 years. Genetic effects have also been implicated in geographic clines in body size (stature) within both ancient and modern European populations. Cross-sectional shape - that is, relative anteroposterior (A-P) to mediolateral (M-L) bending strength - also shows systematic temporal changes in the lower limb bones, with the largest change again occurring during the early Holocene.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSkeletal Variation and Adaptation in Europeans
Subtitle of host publicationUpper Paleolithic to the Twentieth Century
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781118628430
ISBN (Print)9781118627969
StatePublished - Dec 19 2017


  • Body size
  • Cross-sectional shape
  • Environmental factors
  • European populations
  • Human skeletal form
  • Systematic temporal changes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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