The Piltdown Forgery

The Piltdown Forgery

J. S. Weiner

Language: English

Pages: 248

ISBN: 0198607806

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

For decades the remains of fossils found in Piltdown, England were believed to come from a "missing link," a creature with a human cranium and an ape's jaw. Dr. Weiner shows how he discovered the truth about these remains, and went on to expose one of the world's greatest scientific frauds.

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the Weald and the Downs for just such a Pliocene deposit. The Piltdown gravel yielded up exactly what was sought. In it, recognizable to all, were the teeth of rhinoceros and mammoth THE FULL EXTENT 65 specimens indistinguishable in every way from that of the Red Crag. They are genuine enough. They have not been stained either with iron sulphate or chromium. But their chemical composition (as well as their morphology) is identical with other Red Crag specimens so as to leave little doubt that

palaeontology, his speciality being fossil primates, and is well known also for his work in China, where he began work in 1924. In the Institut de Paleontologie Humaine he occupies the Chair of Geology as applied to the origins of man. He has not set out his views on Eoanthropus at any length,16 but his assessment of Piltdown man, made in a letter17 to Dr. Oakley, is that anatomically it constituted a 'kind of monster' and 'from a palaeontological THE PRINCIPALS AND T H E I R PART 83 point of

thick human parietal bone. I immediately made a search, but could find nothing more, nor had the men noticed anything else. The bed is full of tabular pieces of iron-stone closely resembling this piece of skull in colour and thickness; and, although I made many subsequent searches, I could not hear of any further find nor discover anything—in fact, the bed seemed to be quite unfossiliferous. It was not until some years later, in the autumn of 1911, on a visit to the spot, that I picked up, among

orbital foramen and hardly any superciliary ridge. The orbital border ends abruptly in the centre with a sort of tubercle and between it and the face is a groove or depression 3/4 inch in 132 THE PILTDOWN FORGERY length. The section is just like Pycraft's model section and there are indications of a parietal suture. . . . The tables are thin—diploe very thick. The general thickness seems to me to correspond to the right parietal of Eoanthropus. He is quite positive this is another individual

disappointed Morris appeared, except to a few friends like Pollard and Marriott, a cranky and heterodox protagonist of a half-forgotten theory. Of Dawson's 'base ambition' he spoke often to Pollard. His image of the man he apostrophized in these lines from Macbeth, written on one of the accusing notes, under the title of'Dawson's Farce': Let not light see my black and deep desires. The eye wink at the hand; yet let that be Which the Eye fears when it is done—to see! 146 THE PILTDOWN FORGERY

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