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In 1939 Coon argued that the Caucasian race had originated through admixture between Homo neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens of the "Mediterranean type" which he considered to be distinct from Caucasians, rather than a subtype of it as others had done.While Blumenbach had erroneously thought that light skin color was ancestral to all humans and the dark skin of southern populations was due to sun, Coon thought that Caucasians had lost their original pigmentation as they moved North.Drawing from Petrus Camper's theory of facial angle, Blumenbach and Cuvier classified races, through their skull collections based on their cranial features and anthropometric measurements.Caucasoid traits were recognised as: thin nasal aperture ("nose narrow"), a small mouth, facial angle of 100°–90°, and orthognathism, exemplified by what Blumenbach saw in most ancient Greek crania and statues.
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The traditional anthropological term Caucasoid is a conflation of the demonym Caucasian and the Greek suffix eidos (meaning "form", "shape", "resemblance"), implying a resemblance to the native inhabitants of the Caucasus.
In its usage as a racial category it contrasts with the terms Negroid, Mongoloid and Australoid.
Following Meiners, Blumenbach described the Caucasian race as consisting of the native inhabitants of Europe, West Asia, the Indian peninsula, and North Africa, including toward the south the Moors, Abyssinians and adjacent groups.
His idealized Caucasian variety was distinguished by a white complexion, with rosy cheeks; brown or chestnut-colored hair; a subglobular head; an oval and straight face, with moderately defined parts; a smooth forehead; a narrow nose, often slightly hooked; and a small mouth.