from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The measurement of skulls; the topographical relations ascertained by such measurements.
- n. the branch of physical anthropology dealing with the study and measurement of dry skulls after removal of its soft parts
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
It should be noted that during the late part of the 19th and early part of the 20th century there was a movement within physical anthropology called craniometry that theorized one could tell how intelligent a person was by examining the measurement of their skull.
Mr. Gould began the book with a takedown of "craniometry," a popular 19th-century technique that attempted to find correlations between skull volume and intellect.
For example, we can tell from the archaeology, that there appears to be NO correlation in social standing based on craniometry (and hence probably ancestry including skin complexion and hair color).
While I'm not a big believer in "science," the one thing they got right was craniometry, the inbred cousin of phrenology.
The word 'craniometry' comes from Greek roots meaning 'skull' and 'measure'.