Piltdown Man: A hoaxer still pursued

Mon, December 17, 2012

 51976163 jonathan amos Piltdown Man: A hoaxer still pursuedBy Jonathan AmosScience correspondent, BBC News

It was a shocker, no doubt about it. The Piltdown Man scandal is arguably the greatest scientific fraud ever perpetrated in the UK.

When the fake remains of our earliest ancestor were unmasked for what they really were, shame was heaped on the research establishment. But exactly 100 years to the week that this extraordinary hoax was presented to the world, the Piltdown Man “fossils” are back in the lab and the subject of serious study.

The intention is not to try to re-authenticate them; rather, the purpose is to try to identify once and for all who was responsible for the deception.

The majority view is that it was Charles Dawson, a solicitor, antiquarian and amateur palaeontologist from the southern English county of Sussex.

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