Anthropology 101. Yes, some of it is speculation but a lot is based on the study of the world's remaining hunter/gatherer societies as well. Looking at those statuettes now and saying "Look at the fat lady", is just us looking at it through our cultural biases.
Last edited by Gorbag; 11-26-2012 at 08:15 PM.
I trekked in Nepal several years ago and I remember seeing a hugely obese woman in one of the villages. Note that in that part of the world there are no paved roads and the only transportation for goods and services is on the backs of humans or animals. They lived in stone houses or in houses woven of reeds. People mostly ate lentils, rice, greens, carrots, potatoes and yak.
Female, 5'3", 48, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135.
Starting squat: 45lbs. Current squat: 145 x 4.
There probably were occasional individuals such as royalty or shaman who did not need to hunt and gather for a living who might have been larger than average. (The paleolithic counterparts to politicians and televangelists.) Everyone else though would have been in shape I think. If you couldn't run down a mammoth or outrun a saber toothed tiger, you didn't live to reproduce.