Originally Posted by p.s
40-50 in overestimating.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_ex..._human_history
and there is a reason infant mortality is included in life expectancy calculations.
Even removing the infant mortality component, 60-80 seems a bit high to my non-anthropological mind. But I would love to hear your actual resources.
Wikipedia is hardly an absolute authority but it does serve as a good jumping off point.
It is in the last 2 sentences of the first paragraph on wikipedia. I don't have any direct sources at hand right now, just what I learned while getting my degree in Anthropology. I can try to look some up, but I don't think there's one place for that info, so it may take me some time.
Mind you, I'm not talking about life expectancy in cities or other urban areas, or agriculturalists. Until very very recently, cities were cesspools that only expanded through immigration. I'm not debating that infant mortality is not important, it is. But one has to remember that until recently, and amongst pretty much all other animals, the death rate for the young is incredibly high. Simple colds & flus can turn deadly on infants very quickly. Nowadays we have antibiotics plus other medical support to help infants through this.
Also, agriculturalists, even to this day, suffer from poor nutrition. There's a reason that people were much shorter 100 years ago compared to today. If you look at hunter & gatherer info, a good amount of the people who survived early childhood had a good chance to live to be quite old. And they were also pretty tall, like us nowadays.
If you look at the wikipedia chart, they explicitly state that they include infant mortality. It's statistics and math that skew life expectancy lower. Like a curve in a class, those doing poorly bring the curve down a lot. Even if the majority of the class got 75% on a test or better (say 2/3 of the class) the other 1/3 who completely flunked it would cause the curve to settle on a much lower mean than exists in reality. Am I making any sense?
Oh, and that's why 'farming' families have so many babies. It's not so they have more hands on the farm, but because only 2 or 3 of the 10 might survive into adulthood. So having 10 surviving siblings was an anomaly. It's only with modern medicine that this has become possible.