How to know whether you are a relic of a lost civilization
The most widely accepted way to determine whether you have the plague is by measuring the height of the dead.
But researchers from the University of California, San Diego and the University, of Texas, Austin say that this method is unreliable because it uses a flawed way to estimate height.
The researchers used a method called multidimensional scaling to estimate the height at which people died based on a large dataset of deaths recorded between 1550 and 1750.
This data was collected in a variety of locations, and was a great source of information, but it is unreliable for determining whether people were tall or short, said Dr. Eric Leverette, a researcher in the Department of History and Anthropology at UC San Diego.
So, the researchers decided to use a method that was less reliable: using a standardized scale, which they say is a more precise method than the one used in the height estimation.
The team then compared the height estimates of people who died from the plague with those of people from different geographic areas, including Europe, the Middle East and Australia.
The results were very similar.
In the Middle West, for example, people died at least 2 meters shorter than people who lived in the U.S.
The scientists say this finding shows that even though height is often used as a proxy for height in epidemiological studies, it is not as reliable as it used to be.
“The method we developed to estimate historical population height is a fairly good measure of historical population size,” Leverette said.
“But the methods we used in our study to estimate population size are not as good as the height method used in past epidemiological research.”
This study has important implications for future research.
The researchers say they hope to use their work to help better understand the history of human populations and the human population transition, and to improve the accuracy of modern epidemiological estimates of the population.
“Understanding the origins of the plague has important consequences for future efforts to study and control the pandemic,” Levesrette said.