Medieval Englishmen Same Size as Modern Men

Contrary to popular belief, our medieval ancestors were not smaller than we are. A new study of medieval skeletons shows that the average height of English men and women then is about what it is now.

Researchers believe the myths of short stature are based on surviving clothing and armor and on the height of medieval doorways rather than on anthropological evidence. "There are plenty of tall doors, and we simply don't register 'normally' sized outfits," according to Sebastian Payne, chief scientist at English Heritage.