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Phrenology. Historical artwork depicting skulls and heads explaining the pseudo-sciences of phrenology and physiognomy. Phrenology was based on the misplaced belief that a person's character and mental faculties gradually changed the shape of their skull and hence scalp. Physiognomy was based on the similarly incorrect idea that the proportions of a person's facial features were related to their character. Practitioners of these principles claimed they could assess a person's personality by feeling the bumps on their head or by measuring their features. These theories were popular in the nineteenth century when this illustration was made.
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