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Giant skeleton from ancient Rome discovered

Posted on Sunday, 11 November, 2012 | Comment icon 17 comments | News tip by: the L

Image credit: Matthias Kabel

The first complete ancient skeleton of an individual with gigantism has been unearthed near Rome.

At a time when the average height for a man was around five and a half feet, the six foot eight giant would have towered above everyone else. The discovery is particularly rare because the condition itself only affects three out of every million people. Suspicions were first aroused when the remains were found within an unusually long tomb, scientists later confirmed the diagnosis by examining skull damage caused by a pituitary tumor which would have been responsible for the abnormal growth.

It isn't clear how this individual would have been perceived by others when he was alive. "You can't just study the disease, you have to look at the wider impact of how people functioned in society, and whether they were treated any differently," said bioarchaeologist Charlotte Roberts. "We know nothing about the role or presence of giants in the Roman world."

"The Roman giant, though, was found with no funerary artifacts, study leader Minozzi said."

  View: Full article |  Source: National Geographic

  Discuss: View comments (17)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #8 Posted by susieice on 11 November, 2012, 17:16
George Washington is often shown as a little guy. In reality, he was 6 ft 2 in tall. Our second tallest president and also one of the greatest. Must be true, they towered over their contemporaries.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Sean Creaney on 11 November, 2012, 22:15
Chris Rock reckons the Afro American basketball players are the result of the Slave owners Pairing off the biggest slaves to breed bigger stronger slaves .
Comment icon #10 Posted by Lava_Lady on 12 November, 2012, 0:50
Chris Rock reckons the Afro American basketball players are the result of the Slave owners Pairing off the biggest slaves to breed bigger stronger slaves . Chris Rock the comedian?
Comment icon #11 Posted by Alexanderthefake on 12 November, 2012, 3:56
Where is the troll icon? This was a burn.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Eliseldritch on 12 November, 2012, 6:12
Apparently this person's status didn't necessarily reflect his physical stature, and maybe that's a good thing. Imagine Nero or Caligula an actual giant among the rest. Imagine Chris Rock being this tall - imagine slaves being this tall; what's the world coming to?
Comment icon #13 Posted by mfrmboy on 12 November, 2012, 13:35
Don't know how they treated him but everybody did look up to him !
Comment icon #14 Posted by psyche101 on 14 November, 2012, 7:48
He would have been about the size of a basket ball player wouldn't he? The pic from the article is good for perspective: http://images.nation...059_600x450.jpg The giant's tibia, or shinbone, compared with that of a normal Roman male of the same period. Photograph by Simona Minozzi, Endocrine Society
Comment icon #15 Posted by Eldorado on 15 November, 2012, 15:44
It's like Abraham Lincoln, who at six feet-four towered above most of his male contemporaries in the 19th Century, and certainly towered above his wife. Did his head go all the way to the top of that hat?
Comment icon #16 Posted by la_paloma_blanca on 3 December, 2012, 4:08
Goliath? :-p
Comment icon #17 Posted by Erowin on 13 December, 2012, 0:44
People with that disease are usually pretty sickly though, right? Though my dad is super tall, hes just an inch shorter than this 'giant' and I've met someone who was 6'8 before. Everyone was shorter then, so I'm sure he towered above the crowd, but being that tall shouldn't have put a strain on his joints. The human body is capable of handling up to around 7 feet, thats when things start getting wonky. Though the tumor likely ensured he had a short life, he was probably strong and very sturdy.

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