My background is in biology so I know that the human life expectancy has increased in the recent centuries due to healthcare. A friend who’s a history major doesn’t believe that and claims that humans used to live 100+.

Is this accurate?

If not how can I prove him wrong with historical evidence?

People certainly lived longer than we give them credit for. There are lots of examples of people who were older than we thought. I hate when I hear someone say that you’d die at 35 in the middle ages. Didn’t happen, at least, it wasn’t entirely normal. Like here, meet my buddy.

This guy is known as Towton 16, because he was the sixteenth body removed from the hole they found him in. At Towton. (funny the logic of that)

Towton 16 was probably in his late 50’s to early 60’s and felt spry enough to fight in one of the larger battles in English history. And it seems that he was fleeing (most likely fought for Lancaster) when he was killed. As he and the others were some distance from the sight of the battle, we can guess he was pretty healthy. He at least kept up with a 24 and a 15 year old.

But that said, to a hundred? No, it wasn’t very common. Seventy, and Eighty happened. Ninety was a rarity. And it would have been very very rare that anyone reached a hundred.

It seems sometimes, that part of this comes from the Bible. One of the things that people don’t often realize about the Bible, is that the way they recorded the Torah we get the Old Testament from had a tendency to add extra zeroes at the end of numbers.

This is also part of the problem we get with some of the crazy army numbers in the OT. Especially since when vowels were removed (a first century AD decision among the jews) ‘Thousand’ and ‘professional’ become the same set of consonants. So like at the burning of Gad, KJV will tell you that 400,000 soldiers burned that town. (That’s a lot) But it might have been 400 professional soldiers. And it could have even been 40 professionals.

Yay for bad number keeping.

Tl;Dr. No, people lived till their sixties and seventies. And bible recorded numbers weird. as did most of history.

Source: QUORA