Skull Facts

  • The skull or cranium is the hard, bone case that contains and protects your brain.
  • The skull looks as though it is a single bone. In fact, it is made up of 22 separate bones, cemented together along rigid joints called sutures.
  • The dome on top is called the cranial vault and it is made from eight curved pieces of bone fused (joined) together.
  • As well as the sinuses of the nose; the skull has four large cavities — the cranial cavity for the brain, the nasal cavity (the nose) and two orbits for the eyes.
  • There are holes in the skull to allow blood vessels and nerves through, including the optic nerves to the eyes and the olfactory tracts to the nose.
  • The biggest hole is in the base. It is called the foramen magnum, and the brain stem goes through it to meet the spinal cord.
  • In the 19th century, people called phrenologists thought they could work out people’s characters from little bumps on their skulls.
  • Archaeologists can reconstruct faces from the past using computer analysis of ancient skulls.