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Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 1, p. 285.


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VI] ETHNOLOGY AND CASTE 2S5
quaternary strata of Europe, and to connect them on the one
side with a possible simian ancestor of mankind, and on the
other with the races of the present day. This line of research
led on to the measurements of living subjects, which have
since been undertaken by a number of inquirers. Anthropo-
metry, which deals with living people, while craniometry is
concerned exclusively with skulls, possesses certain advantages
over the elder science. For reasons too technical to enter
upon here, its procedure is in some respects less precise, and
its results less minute and exhaustive, than those of cranio-
metry. These minor shortcomings are, however, amply made
up for by its incomparably wider range. The number of subjects
available is practically unlimited; measurements can be under-
taken on a scale large enough to eliminate not merely the
personal equation of the measurer, but also the occasional
variations of type arising from intermixture of blood; and the
investigation is not restricted to the characters of the head,
but extends to the stature and the proportions of the limbs.
A further advantage arises from the fact that no doubts can
arise as to the identity of the individuals measured. In work-
ing with skulls this last point has to be reckoned with. The
same place of sepulture may have been used in succession by
two different races; and the skulls of conquering chiefs may
be mixed with those of alien slaves, or of prisoners slain to
escort their captors to the world of the dead. The savage
practice of head-hunting may equally bring about a deplorable
confusion of cranial types; skulls picked up in times of famine
may belong to people who have wandered from no one knows
where; and even hospital specimens may lose their identity
in the process of cleaning.
Scientific anthropometry was introduced into India on a Anthroro-
large scale in i886, in connexion with the Ethnographic etryin
Survey of Bengal then in progress. The survey itself was a
first attempt to apply to Indian ethnography the method of
systematic research sanctioned by the authority of European
anthropologists. Among these the measurement of physical
characters occupies a prominent place; and it seemed that the
restrictions on intermarriage which are peculiar to the Indian
social system would favour this method of observation, and
would enable it to yield peculiarly clear and instructive results.
A further reason for resorting to anthropometry was the fact
that the wholesale borrowing of customs and ceremonies which
goes on among the various social groups in India makes it
practically impossible to arrive at any certain conclusions by



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