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Piltdown Man skull reconstruction, 1916

Piltdown Man skull reconstruction, 1916

C028/9617

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Credit

PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Reconstruction of Piltdown Man. Reconstruction based on research by Arthur Smith Woodward, keeper of the Geology Department at the Natural History Museum in London. The Piltdown specimens were 'discovered' by collector Charles Dawson in the period 1912 to 1915, near Piltdown, Sussex, UK. It was 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. This became one of the most infamous hoaxes in science. Artwork from 'Un essai de reconstitution plastique des races humaines primitives' (Rutot, 1916) in 'Academie royale de Belgique' (Nouv. Series) T. VII.

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