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Piltdown excavations

Piltdown excavations

C011/0165

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Credit

NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM, LONDON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM, LONDON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Editorial use only.

Caption

Piltdown excavations. Charles Dawson (1864-1916, left) and Arthur Smith Woodward (1864-1944, right), digging at Piltdown, Sussex, UK. Dawson was an amateur geologist who claimed to have found bone fragments at Piltdown between 1908 and 1912. Smith Woodward catalogued and reconstructed the fragments. They claimed that Piltdown Man was the link between modern humans and their ape ancestors, combining the large human skull with an ape-like jaw. In 1953 Piltdown Man was shown to be a fraud. The skull fragments were human, the jaw came from an orangutan and the teeth from a chimpanzee.

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