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ARCHAEOLOGY > Metric variations

Every skull is as individual as the person who once lived in it. 

It is both obvious, and yet surprising to realise that every human skull varies from the typical image of a generic skull that we mentally carry. The differences between skulls in terms of shape, size, proportions and features are termed metric variations. These all follow the overall typical form of a human skull.

(In contrast, there are also non-metric variations. This is not a case of difference size or proportions, but of untypical features being present - for example additional bones or unusual features that are only present in a fraction of the population. These features are examined on the page "Anomalies".)

Below are a number of male, european skulls. They are shown at a similar angle, making it easier to contrast features such as head shape, jaw angle and ramus breadth, eyebrow ridge and nasal bridge shape. Each is photographed keeping the lower jaw horizontal to primarily assist mandibular angle assessment.

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