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I agree with the article that really it's life expectancy at birth, not life expectancy after your childhood years (having escaped death at birth, illnesses etc. etc.). Obviously if someone makes it to 80 and someone dies at birth the average is 40. However I feel that this is just an article on Statistical semantics. It's all well and good making it to 80 in Rome say but not if you happen to be one of the large proportion that died before they were 15. Living in an era where "Life expectancy at birth" is much greater than the stone age is surely preferable, including for the many mothers that also died in childbirth. "We all live to the same average age" if we avoid the vagaries of the time childbirth,disease, mammoths,pestilence, cancer, disease is surely a truism. There hasn't been an evolutionary leap in our bodies not wearing out.

Before I say anything to the contrary, I would like to say great article. However, mytwo take aways would be a few things that may need to be further evaluated. 1. To say for every child that died there was someone to live to 70 would only be true if there were nearly equal rates of infant/child mortality, and those living into old age. Most figures I look at say somewhere around 30%, which would imply a gross adjusted life expectancy, excluding infant-child mortality, of around 50 years. This is a very believable number, until the dawn of human mourning, I.E. burials, and caring for the old, most people would have trouble fending for their self beyond age 60. Also, remember it is infant and child mortality, so, while death may be most common in the first year of life, probably 50% of all child deaths would have occurred in that time, and probably about 70-75 occurring by age 5, the rest being evenly spread between 6-15, that would give a mean age of child deaths at about 3.96 years, and that 3.96 accounts for 30%. This means the other 70% averaged about 44 years, or the life expectancy with infant and child mortality removed. 2. You compared the life expectancy of modern hunter gatherer tribes with that of the western, or industrialized nations without removing there child/infant mortality, while the infant mortality is just under 1% the rates if you were to include the deaths of children 0-15 would definitely skew the data some.

The average age for all peoples prior to modern city sanitation was 25 for women (one third died in childbirth) and 35 for men. It mean that when children reached puberty their parents died, the mother first on average. Living in a city didn't help, but living in a temperate zone with easy weather gave an extra decade. Infections, flus and common illnesses would have accounted for much death. The shape of the death curve over time can be high at birth and high after 30. For a good source of information see Ian Morris, Death-Ritual and Social Structure in Classical Antiquity, Cambridge University Press, 1992, especially chapter 3.

just what i've been looking for and am sure we gonna have a great time

I can't understand your comment...What is the problem with the food?

The article is about the fact that some ancients lived long healthy lives, just as they do today...the difference now is that babies don't die as often.