Many authors have written comparative articles on the history of human mortality and life expectancy; for example, see Acsádi and Nemeskéri (1970), Angel (1969), Brothwell (1971), Gejvall (1960), Genovés (1969), Goldstein (1953), Howells (1960), Kobayashi (1967), Russell (1958), Şenyürek (1951), Todd (1927), Vallois (1937, 1960). These studies are based on skeletal or historical material. Many of these studies have been used as data sources earlier in this work, and in fact several of the same data series are used by many of these authors.
Drawing on many of these sources, Deevey (1960) has recently analyzed the history of human life expectancies. This article has been reprinted and cited more than the others combined, and the life expectancies given by Deevey are used in many textbooks of ecology and anthropology. Deevey acknowledges the poorness of his source data, in particular the lack of juvenile skeletons. He also stresses that his life expectancies are only the adult mean ages at death. Yet, since Deevey's values are frequently taken as representative of total life expectancy, it seems appropriate to reexamine them in the light of this work and of material published since his paper. The life expectancies given by Deevey are shown in Table 22.