Letter | Published:

Contour Diagrams of Human Crania

Nature volume 88, pages 513515 (15 February 1912) | Download Citation



IN the last number of Biometrika (viii., 1, 2, 1911) Prof. Karl Pearson has edited and published a very valuable paper by the late Dr. Crewdson Benington on cranial type-contours. The work is based on long series of skulls of various races, e.g. English of the seventeenth century (from the Whitechapel Plague Pit), modern English (Royal Engineers), various Negro races from the Congo, Guanche, Egyptian, Eskimo, and the prehistoric Cro-magnon skull. For each series three typical contours are selected, viz.:—(1) a “transverse vertical”, passing through the auricular points and the apex of the skull; (2) a sagittal or median section; and (3) a horizontal section through the glabella; and in each case all the individual skulls of a series are combined into a single “type” by a process of arithmetic averages. Lastly, the diagrams thus obtained are reproduced on tissue-paper, so that one may be superposed upon another, and the characteristic differences easily compared.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Author information


  1. January 27.



  1. Search for D'ARCY W. THOMPSON in:

About this article

Publication history





By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.