14 September 2009


in 1990, while i was living in charleston, sc, i was privileged to board and explore a full scale replica of HMS Golden Hind, the galleon which the remarkable sir francis drake commanded on his circumnavigation of the globe (1577-1580). my fascination with old sailing ships aside, one of the salient features of the ship was that belowdecks the ceilings and doorways were so low, a graphic reminder that we humans have grown measurably taller in recent centuries. for comparison, a roman centurion from two millenia ago might have been considered quite tall if he stood at 5'6".

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