Archaeologists in Eastern China have uncovered a graveyard containing 5000-year-old ‘giant’ skeletons belonging to people who experts say were probably part of an ancient Chinese basketball team…
Not really, but they did say that they would have been unusually tall and strong for the time.
Measurements of bones discovered at the scene in Shandong province showed that the skeletons’ owners would have measured between 5’11” and 6’3″, which would have made them appear like giants to other people alive during the same period.
The tallest skeleton measured in at 6’3″ according to Xinhua news agency, which is still tall enough to dwarf most of us today, but experts believe that 5000 years ago the owner would have towered above his contemporaries and possibly worn size 14 Jordans and pulled off sick turnaround jump shots on the court.
“This is just based on bone structure. If he was a living person, his height would certainly exceed 1.9m,” Fang Hui, head of Shandong University’s school of history and culture, told the agency.
Archaeologists have suggested that the large tombs may be indicative of the fact they were seen as powerful, high-status individuals.
The type of man buried in this kind of tomb may well have been highly respected, had access to better food and been able to spin a ball on his finger, chuck it over his shoulder, make it land directly in the net and then grin and walk away nonchalantly while the crowd went wild.
The average height for a man in the region today is 5’9″, but back 5000 years ago it would have been much lower. The average height for men over the entire country is still just 5’8″.
Last year Archaeologists in Poland uncovered one of the largest human skeletons ever – the remains of a woman buried close to a church on an island called Ostrów Lednicki in Poland.
It measured an incredible 7’2″ – that’s more than two metres – and had one of the biggest skulls ever to be dug up.
However, there was no mention of whether or not she might have been any good at basketball.
Words: Paddy Maddison
Featured Image Credit: Asiawire