There are many wrong informations about the life and the general appearance of the people who lived in the late Antiquity/Dark Ages.
First of all: folks were not always short!
According to the data of the beautiful Archaeologisches Landesmuseum Baden-Württemberg in Konstanz (average height of the men at
172 cm and at 162 cm for the women in
Alamannic area, www.konstanz.alm-bw.de), the archaeologist of the Oxford University Sally Crawford
writes about the Anglo-Saxons:
“(the earliest cemeteries) show that the population buried in these Germanic burial grounds was a little taller than the population associated to the late Romano-British cemeteries, with males standing at about
173 cm and females at 162 cm on average. (…) The
evidence from the early Anglo-Saxon inhumation cemeteries shows that the
population was relatively healty, with little bone evidence for diseases caused
by malnutrition or deficiency in the diet.”
©Sally Crawford, “Anglo-Saxon England”, Shire Publications, 2011, page 65.
The results of the measurements of Charlemagne's tibia indicates that he was