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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
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
by way of France, and George Gliddon, Samuel George Morton's collaborator and popular advocate of craniology, was born in Devonshire, England and raised in Egypt, where his father was United States consul.
With a collection of one thousand human skulls, Morton launched craniology in the United States under a European theoretical paradigm, sorting crania into five racial groups: Caucasian, Mongolian, American, Malay, and Ethiopian.
A key sign of distressed publicity, corporeal carnage in The Life and Adventures anticipates the volatile dynamics identified by Mark Seltzer at the heart of modern American public life: "The convening of the public around scenes of violence has come to make up a wound culture; the public fascination with tom and opened private bodies and tom and opened psyches, a public gathering around the wound and the trauma." (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.
In this work, Smyth includes an appendix devoted to craniology, written by George B.
Gabriel Tarde may have rejected the excesses of Cesare Lombroso's craniology, but he insisted that criminals' arms were longer than those of a normal person (Renneville 217).
On craniology of South-East Estonian population in XI-XVIII CC.--Papers on anthropology, VI, 57-69.
And the methodological strategies required to demonstrate the relationship among Leonardo's various activities demand sophistication, for it is not at all obvious today that his study of craniology, embryology, and cardiology necessarily has anything to do with his ideas about composing effective paintings, as this study suggests.
Instead, they preferred to concentrate energy on those identifying marks that corroborated the central thesis of the Hebrew origins of the "Anglo-Saxon race." To this end, British-Israelites paraded through their literature every scrap of evidence from the historical and archaeological record as well as from the new racial sciences of anthropology, ethnology, philology, and craniology that might in any way be interpreted as proof of Britain's Israelitish descent.
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.