system for anthropological identification of criminals

After the French anthropologist Alphonse Bertillon (Paris 1853-1914).

Bertillon's father, Louis-Adolphe (1821-1883), was a professor of demography in Paris and a leading socialist who tried to set up butchers and grocers' cooperatives. He later pioneered studies in anthropology and statistics.

His son Alphonse was the founder and first leader of the identification department of the Paris prefecture. He systematized crime investigation after 1882 using body characteristics, photographs and measurements.

Identification via fingerprints would reveal the bertillonnage to a significant extent.

Hercule Poirot, the hero of Agatha Christie's detective novels, often calls upon it.