A Search for Secular Growth Changes in the Netherlands Preceding 1850

  • G. J. R. Maat


For many decades secular growth changes have been the subject of interest in the Netherlands. Nowadays, as positive secular change in stature is becoming faster and resulting in marked increases in height from grandfathers to grandsons, one wonders whether this development will ever stop. In figure 13 of a review article by Van Wieringen, 1979, this uncertainty is expressed by an open-ended line for alternatives for future changes. But the same diagram also leaves out the beginning of the increase in stature, because of lack of data before 1850. This last period also arouses interest, however, as one would like to be informed about stature prior to the well-known increase in height since the first half of the 19th century. In order to obtain supplementary information about this topic, data of remains of Dutchmen who had their growth period in the second half of the 17th and in the 18th centuries were studied. The data originates from excavations done in the Pieter’s Church at Leiden in Holland in 1979 (Maat, 1982) and from excavations done during the 1980 expedition to Spitsbergen* on the island of Zeeusche Uytkyck (Maat, 1981).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. J. R. Maat
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnatomyUniversity of LeidenThe Netherlands

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