Tag Archives: death

How Long Did they Have? Life Expectancy in History

Every semester a student asks me this question: how long did people live in ancient times? Was it really only 35 years? General life expectancy across the world for most of history was, indeed 35. However, “life expectancy” is a terribly imprecise term, giving the impression that any particular person could only expect to live roughly 35 years. What is should be called is average life span. The number – in this case 35 – is the average of the