Every one in 21st century Scarborough is well aware that the refurbished Rotunda Museum displays the Gristhorpe Man, who apparently walked this locality far more than 2100 years ago. He looks his age. He was discovered in 1834 along with an oak coffin and some small finds, when a burial mound was excavated. He was tall and had pretty good teeth. Experts from the University of Bradford have been studyingthese remains with all the techniques available to modern science.
It is less well known that our Victorian ancestors examined his head, from the viewpoint of a study known as phrenology. This claimed to determine personality traits on the basis of the shape of the skull. The subject enjoyed some popularity, as a parlour game, when you attempted to read the bumps on someone's head. Others took the subject very seriously indeed. The theory is not regarded as having stood the test of time.
A Dr. Elliotson concluded that Gristhorpe man had these characteristics:- He had a fully developed self-esteem. He rated "very large" for combatitiveness, destructiveness, approbativeness, and philoprogenitiveness. Our man was "large" in perseverance, causality, comparison, individuality and wit. He was "full" of the qualities of benevolence, veneration, firmness; "moderate" in secretiveness and acquisitiveness and "small " in constructiveness and imitation. We may never know the truth of all that.