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December 18 2012

Revisiting Britain's Biggest Hoax: Who Faked The Bones Of The Piltdown Man?

On December 18, 1912, Charles Dawson told The Geological Society of London that a workman had uncovered the remains of one of the earliest humans in a gravel pit in Piltdown, England. The skull fragments and lower jaw bone of the "Piltdown Man" showed that it had a brain two-thirds the size of a modern human's and a jaw remarkably similar to that of a young chimpanzee.

The Piltdown Man became a starring figure in the human evolutionary tree over the next 40 years. (Popular Science even published a feature in 1931 about the "man-ape.")

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