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K. Kris Hirst

Were There Giants in Prehistory?

By February 11, 2008

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I received an email recently from Doug Weller, who is one of the great resources of our profession. Doug is the moderator of the long-lived "Doug's Archaeology Site: Skeptical Views of Fringe Archaeology", and daily he fights the good fight of debunking crazy claims about archaeology and the past.

Doug wrote that he had noticed that people were using my "Why don't we call them CroMagnons anymore?" article to support a theory that there were giants in prehistory. That article of mine was sorely in need of updating anyway, and so I was happy to go dig around some.

According to the latest information, there are physical differences between the Early Upper Paleolithic form of Homo sapiens (once called Cro-magnon, now more commonly Early Modern Human [EMH] or Anatomically Modern Human [AMH]). The earliest EMH (as it is abbreviated these days) have been discovered at a couple of sites in Ethiopia: Bouri and Omo Kibish, at dates somewhere in the range of 165,000 to 190,000 years ago.

Early Modern Human Sites

For those who are eager for the details, we got 'em, Here's a list of a handful of sites with EMH/AMH skeletal materials and their dates.

So, all these sites and all these data: was EMH taller and more robust than us? Yes, it appears to be the case that the initial and early Upper Paleolithic folks (about 40,000 years ago) were a few inches larger than us at about 12,000-20,000 years ago, according to the length of their femurs. Scholars debate how much shorter we are: the measurements are a matter of statistical averages based on measurements of a leg bone. They also debate why we shrank or became smaller over time---decrease in mobility as we left long-distance hunting and gathering for settled agricultural life is the designated culprit (although the dates are a little weird for that--agriculture didn't really get fired up until about 6,000 years ago).

Cut to the Chase, Dang it! Were there Giants in Prehistory?

Giants? Well, the tallest estimates for men of the early Upper Paleolithic are 176.2 centimeters or 5 foot 9 inches, which is hardly gigantic. Hunter-gatherer males who lived between 20,000 and 12,000 years ago averaged 165.2 cm or 5 foot 5 inches. And, with advances in health care, modern humans are as tall or taller than AMH/EMH. You can find all the data sources and discussion now in my revised Why don't we call them Cro-Magnons anymore? article.

Very interesting. By the way, all this is part of my putting together the Upper Paleolithic part of the Human History Project, which is in progress. Thanks, Doug!


May 16, 2012 at 3:37 am
(1) Dennis says:

I am amused by sites like yours that imply that so-called early human fossils are over a hundred thousand years old.Face the facts your dating methods are dodgy at the best and vary widely.What led you to be so duped by this evolutionary nonsense.

August 2, 2012 at 7:18 pm
(2) Daniel says:

Also what about the giant tribes in Africa that have been around even now.?

August 3, 2012 at 11:16 am
(3) Attila says:

Agreed Dennis! Mainstream archaeology has lost it’s credibility with a lot of humans. When they try to explain away our ‘Real’ past. Yes it is very hard for them to accept that indeed once humans perhaps thousands of years ago were technologically more advanced then we are today and that we traveled the skies and oceans.

November 18, 2012 at 2:54 am
(4) annoynamos says:

thanks………….it was awesomly usefull

November 28, 2012 at 10:26 pm
(5) Thom says:

A Biblical account is made in several passages, see the book of Genesis regards to giants. The Amylikites and many groups of with similar references to groups ending with the name kytes.
The story of David as a boy who killed a giant with his sling shot. This giant was named Goliath, he was a small figure of a giant, being about 9 feet tall. Now if this goliath was small and only 9 feet tall, how tall were other giants that are referred to in the land. The palentology, anthropology and all the rest of the ology’s do not have any evidence that the carbon dating nd etc that the earth is 100,000′s of thousands years old, there is no work to back up these fields, it is only guess work at best. It goes back to the monkey trial in Tenn regards to creation verses evolution……………….

February 11, 2013 at 4:51 pm
(6) Me says:


A work of fiction cannot be used as an argument against fact

March 2, 2013 at 2:54 am
(7) Piet says:

Dear Miss. Hirst,
Sadly, and yet not sadly, I have to agree with the comments of some of the readers above. This isue really isn’t about whether there were giants or not. You have to choose… either you believe in evolution or you believe in a Creator God… do not make the mistake… these are both religions and cannot be reconcilled. In any case, if you believe that the Creator made everything then you must believe that there were giants. Why? Because the Bible (the Word of God) says so, piont. If you however believe in evolution, sorry then you must be the evolutionary by-product of a boboon and ape, sorry but its the truth, use the Adam and Madam brains the Lord gave you, not the monkey business inside of you!!! If an Amoeba evolved into a fish, and a fish into a reptile, and a reptile into an elephant and an elephant into a boboon and a boboon into a human… then why do we still today have the Amoeba, fish, reptiles, elephants, boboons and humans today??? This is simply the biggest lie ever, even the best scientists do no longer agree with this Darwinian liying theory which was preached as truth in the past… i urge you to rethink your ways and ideas in which you were indoctrenated… because by selling them to innocent uninformed readers you might become part of the false prohets which we were warned about in the Bible… please study prayerfully!!! Regards, a friend.

April 12, 2013 at 12:03 pm
(8) Sally says:

One more question. If we all started as an amoeba, where did it come from???? Just saying!!!!

April 26, 2013 at 2:17 am
(9) Marcos Campos says:


The Urantia Book reconcile religion and science, I recommend reading!


August 13, 2013 at 11:12 pm
(10) Paul Silva says:

If there is concrete evidence of Giants, then one should believe. I my self have never seen any real archeological evidence of giants. I have seen some evidence of dinosaurs. Where’s the evidence for the Giants?

August 13, 2013 at 11:16 pm
(11) Paul Silva says:

To the Reader Piet: I disagree that you either have to believe in creation or a creator God. No one in reality today has experienced either one.

December 3, 2013 at 11:47 pm
(12) Bocephus says:

What about Jack in the beanpole?

December 4, 2013 at 9:19 am
(13) Kris Hirst says:

Well, you got me there, Bocephus.

December 11, 2013 at 6:29 pm
(14) Truth says:

Idiots….idiots everywhere!!! ^^^^^^^^

December 14, 2013 at 6:07 pm
(15) Blake Andrew Riles says:

Well I must say that if there was a big bang then God must have pulled the trigger, just think, how can something come from nothing, honestly, everyone know you must have at least something to make anything that is the simplest way to put it….um yeah so thank you MIGHTY SAVIOR!

January 24, 2014 at 2:24 pm
(16) Stef Ash says:

So if your right that something cant come from nothing
Then who created god by your own admission somebody
Must of created god an who created the somebody that created god .get a grip an think about what your saying

January 24, 2014 at 2:29 pm
(17) Stef Ash says:

If somthing cant come from nothing then your
Theory is wrong as well who created your mighty
Savoir an who created the entity that created the mighty savoir think about what your saying .

January 26, 2014 at 5:05 pm
(18) Joe says:

Why don’t you mention that a recent respected scientists has sid that their were probably populations of Heidelberg man that averaged 7 feet, that the first group of so-called “cro-magnons” found in France were first estimated to all be over 6’4, or the quote from your original article that said that at least some cro-magnons were well taller than todays humans and that skeletons grow shorter as it gets closer to 10,000 BC?
Sure there were short people all along, but when a group of robust boned people are found in a cave together from the same time period and they all range from 6’4 to 6’10, even the women, it’s pretty clear that at least a tribe of paleolithic men were taller on average than any population of men today.

January 27, 2014 at 7:45 am
(19) Kris Hirst says:

I have not heard that scientists have identified any populations of Heidelberg man of 7 ft in height. Can you give us a source? A news story will do.

February 21, 2014 at 9:50 pm
(20) imjustalittlecurious says:

We have living giants today. Yes caused by mutations in hormones or other pathologic reasons. But still…if we can see 8-9ft living humans today, why couldn’t there have been tall people like this (or even taller) in ancient times? http://www.toptenstip.com/top-10-tallest-men-who-ever-lived-and-their-height/
Has there been no evidence at all, or is the word ‘giant’ too closely associated with the bible or Qaran that scientists think they must be on one side of the fence? I know these are mutations and not a population, but I’m just curious why we wouldn’t have seen at least some evidence of giantism when it exists today?

February 27, 2014 at 2:46 am
(21) me not u says:

Funny we had giant dinosaurs and giant lions tigers apes pandas sloths but not people. The truth is being hidden from the people believe what you are told it can’t happen. Belive we came from a monkey yeah right. Read new facts we are only at most 70% like a monkey so no evolution fact. Fact all animals were huge fact. Fact all over the world they talk about gods comming down in a spacecraft all over the world fact. Fact but yet u believed what your told because you don’t want the truth where we came from fact. Disagree all you want. Yet you believed in a god you can’t see hear or touch but aliens are fake. The Sumerian were right fact. There wasn’t enough people to build the pyramids in 20 years fact. BELIVE WHAT YOUR TOLD ABOUT HISTORY AND BE A SHEEP A ROBOT YOU THINK WHAT YOUR TOLD ACT THE WAY YOUR TOLD. BELIVE IN THIS VAST EMPTY SPACE WE ARE ALONE IF SO THEN WHY????? SOUNDS LIKE A VERY SELFISH GOD AS YOU PEOPLE CALL IT WHY MAKE THE UNIVERSE SO LARGE THEN???

February 27, 2014 at 2:49 am
(22) me not u says:

What I don’t see my comment u don’t like the truth

March 9, 2014 at 5:15 pm
(23) Not an Idiot says:

There truly are some idiots on here. Before you start spouting hare brained comments about evolution being bollocks, learn about it. I can’t even be arsed beginning to say why you’re wrong, because you probably wouldn’t even comprehend.

The “If we came from monkeys, why are there still monkeys” argument shows that you haven’t even a rudimentary understanding about evolution. To the person that said evolution is a belief!!!! Jesus wept.

Saying there’s an imaginary man in the sky, with no proof to back it up. That’s a belief.

Saying man and monkey evolved from a common ancestor, when there are mountains of factual evidence to back it up, is not a belief.

April 3, 2014 at 11:04 am
(24) me not u says:

Really we are told what to belive in we are told what is true just like oil comes from plants that’s why oil is found below the fossil line how dose it get there ? U want talk about research I do I research everything. Your just looking at one side that’s it. The stone in Baalbek how did they move it ??? 2.5 million blocks on great pyramid and yet it only took 20 years to build ??? The training to cut to measure to move them to place them but u believed what your told right hu. But yet still after 160 years they are still no closer in proving evolution.

April 3, 2014 at 11:15 am
(25) me not you says:

I am not promoting god but I am not saying we evolved from a monkey. Carl Saigon tried to explain in Darwin theory is not a fact but its the best explanation what we have at this time. Fact truth is kept from people if your to blind to see that you don’t understand. All living thing on the earth have a connection to each other prob be cause we all are on the same planet. Maybe you don’t understand evolution. When DNA was discovered still to this day we can’t make it with nothing so how did it start.

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