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the branch of science concerned with the shape and size of the human skull, esp with reference to variations between different races



a branch of anatomy concerned with the structure of the skull of man and animals.

Measurement parameters (craniometry) and descriptive features (cranioscopy) are used to characterize the structure of the skull. Individual structural characteristics are determined with special instruments that permit the skull to be drawn in different planes and projections (craniography). Craniological studies are widely used in anthropology. The patterns of variations in and relationships between such things as the structural characteristics of the skull, age-related changes, and sexual differences are studied in human morphology to solve general theoretical problems and to meet the needs of applied anthropology. In the study of anthropogenesis, craniological data are used to characterize the stages in the physical evolution of man and monkeys, thus helping to distinguish the features peculiar to the successive stages in the formation of the skull. In studies of race, conclusions are drawn from studies of skull material concerning the differentiation of racial types. A comparison of the craniological series of the same or different eras associated with a certain territory reveals the similarity or difference between the ancient populations of the territories under study. M. M. Gerasimov's efforts to reconstruct the face of ancient and modern peoples from the skull are widely known.


Debets, G. F. “Paleoantropologiia SSSR.” In the collection Tr. Instituta etnografii AN SSSR, Novaia seriia, vol. 4. Moscow-Leningrad, 1948.
Bunak, V. V. “Cherep cheloveka i stadii ego formirovaniia u iskopaemykh liudei i sovremennykh ras.” Ibid., vol. 49. Moscow, 1959.
Gerasimov, M. M. “Vosstanovlenie litsa po cherepu.” Ibid., vol. 28. Moscow, 1955.
Alekseev, V. P., and G. F. Debets. Kraniometriia. Moscow, 1964.


References in periodicals archive ?
Douglass's reclamation of phrenology is striking, especially given the dose proximity between phrenology and craniology.
53) Whether inflicted by banditry or craniology, lynch mob or militia, in gold-rush California social as well as corporeal wounds draw the public together to share in the spectacle of its own violation: the relentless, and relentlessly spectacular, division of the social whole into always violable, routinely violated parts.
Anthropometry (the measuring and mathematical depiction of living bodies) and craniology (the study of skulls) were deemed to provide reliable anthropological matters of fact parallel to the achievements of laboratory science and classical natural history.
Wishing to remove herself from an embarrassing situation, the distraught Linda tries to phones Allan's friend, Geoffrey Fisher (John Pankow), a researcher in craniology, who is absent from his office.
For more see Stephen Jay Gould, "Measuring Heads: Paul Broca the Heyday of Craniology," in The Mismeasure of Man, (New York, 1981), 73-112; Anne Harrington, Medicine, Mind, and the Double Brain: A Study in Nineteenth-Century Thought (Princeton, 1987), 87-90.