I have received confirmation on giants from a renowned professor!
A period of gigantism confirmed
Prof. Berger compares a giant femur to a normal skeleton.
Prof. Berger compares a giant femur to a normal skeleton.
by Professor Lee Berger!

On the internet you will find an interview with professor Lee Berger
of South Africa. And not only does he talk about fossilized bones of human giants - he even shows the interviewer one!

Professor Lee Berger is a renowned paleoanthropologist from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. He has conducted numerous expeditions as an explorer for National Geographic and was winner of the Society's first Research and Exploration Prize in 1997.
   You will find the interview with Professor Berger on the internet pages of The Naked Scientists - media-savvy group of physicians and researchers from Cambridge University in England. The interview was done in November 2007 by Dr Chris Smith when they visited South Africa and could study the collection of fossils at Witwatersrand University.
Period of gigantism
Professor Berger is first explaining that it is a myth that ancient humans were tiny, and that when humans moved through the period of 0.5 million to 300,000 years ago in Africa we moved into a sort of mystery period where the few fossils you find are incredibly intriguing:
Professor Lee Berger and Dr. Chris Smith
Professor Lee Berger and Dr. Chris Smith
Giant and normal bone
Giant and normal bone
   - Inside of Africa they go through one of the most incredible things that we've only just begun to realise. They go through a period of giantism, he says.
Enormous femur
To show what he means Professor Berger pulls an enormous femur, the bit that forms the hip joint, out of a bag. Dr Chris Smith almost gets a shock because as a doctor he knows how big they normally are:
  - That's huge! he exclaimes.
    Professor Berger explains that it is so big that they can't even calculate how big the individual was but that it should be over 7 feet tall. Dr Smith is asking if it could be a just an abnormality but Professor Berger denies this because they have found a lot of them and everywhere they find then they are enormous. Professor Berger explains that they call them archaic Homo Sapiens but that some people refer to them as Homo Heidelbergensis:
   - These individuals are extraordinary, they are giants, he says.
Tough environment
Homo heidelbergensis - sometimes called Homo rhodesiensis - is an extinct species of the genus Homo which lived in Africa, Europe and western Asia from at least 600,000 years ago, and may date back 1,300,000 years. It survived until about 200,000 to 250,000 years ago. Its brain was nearly as large as that of a modern Homo sapiens. It is very likely the direct ancestor of Homo sapiens (in Africa) and the Neanderthals (in Europe), and perhaps also the Denisovans (in Central Asia). Wikipedia
Professor Berger explains that the humans could have been through a period of gigantism that lasted a couple of hundred thousand years, and that the femur had belonged to an archaic human that lived about 350,000-400,000 years ago. He believed the reason was that South Africa at that time had a period when there were larger amounts of grassland and there were lots of giants adapting to that, like giant buffaloes with horns three metres across. That the humans in that tough environment seemingly were using their body size to enforce themselves into what was a very dry and tough period.
Not a hoax
It was just so incredible for me to learn that a renowned paleoanthropologist in an interview openly is telling that we humans have been though a period of gigantism. I could hardly believe it was true because to say that there has been giants on earth usually make you the laughing stock of your friends. For an archaeologist this definitely could be a career suicide!
   I managed to find the email address of Professor Berger, sent him a request to confirm the article - and crossed my fingers that the whole interview not was just a hoax.
   I must say I was surprised to receive a reply, and what more: It was not a hoax! Professor Berger wrote the following in his email to me: - Indeed the article is real.
Where are the headlines?
So here we have it, folks; A brave professor claiming that we have been through a period of gigantism and that he has evidence to proof it.
Should this not be headlines in the newspapers all over the word? So far I have not seen a word.

To read the full interview- click here
To see a video on Youtube showing what I believe is the same bone as Berger is holding in the picture - click here
More information on this femur might be what is found in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology - click here
Research done on this femur - click here

From: Lee Berger [mailto:Lee.Berger@wits.ac.za]
Sent: Friday, 1 April 2011 2:36 PM
To: Terje Dahl
Copy: Wilma Lawrence; churchy@duke.edu
Regarding: RE: Gigantism

Dear Mr. Dahl,

Indeed the article is real. Someone to talk to in detail about these things would be my colleague Prof. Steve Churchill of Duke University who has worked extensively on body size in Middle Pleistocene humans.



From: Steven Churchill Ph.D. [mailto:churchy@duke.edu]
Sent: Friday, 1 April 2011 9:49 PM
To: Terje Dahl
Copy: Lee Berger
Regards: Re: Ancient humans and gigantism

Dear Terje,
Thanks very much for your message, and for your interest in our work on body size in archaic humans. It does appear that the Middle Pleistocene was perhaps the acme for human body size, and that there was a bit of a reduction with the origins of our species, Homo sapiens. I'm not so sure about them being routinely more than 7 feet tall. The estimation of mass and stature from skeletal remains can be problematic, but my efforts to do so suggest that in the African Middle Pleistocene, the average adult male stature was 182.5 cm (6'3") and the relatively lean mass (maybe 10% body fat) averaged 91.2 kg (200.6 lbs). This may not seem that large relative to a Yao Ming or Shaquille O'Neal, but relative to populations of modern humans in hunter-gatherer economies this is quite large.
I have attached two articles that address this issue - you might also look for an article by John Kapplemen entitled "They might be giants" that appeared as a commentary to the Ruff et al. 1997 paper.
All the best - Steve

Steven E. Churchill, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Evolutionary Anthropology
Box 90383
Duke University
Durham, NC 27708


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