Unraveling Piltdown: The Science Fraud of the Century and Its Solution

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Random House, 1996 - Science - 279 pages
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In 1913 an amateur fossil hunter and antiquarian named Charles Dawson found in a gravel pit in England parts of the skull of an entirely new species of pre-human. The discovery, soon known as Piltdown Man, caused headlines worldwide trumpeting the claim that the evolutionary "missing link" between ape and man had been found. Controversy quickly arose, with many scientists charging that the jaw and cranium were not related and must have come from two different creatures, an ancient man and an ancient ape. But the believers prevailed and for forty years Piltdown Man held his place - though a troubled place - in the fast-developing evolutionary scheme. In 1953, using advanced techniques for dating fossils, a team of English scientist's dramatically exposed Piltdown Man as nothing more than an amazing fraud, an ingenious but undoubted forgery. In Unraveling Piltdown, John Evangelist Walsh tells the complete story of the astonishing hoax, and convincingly exposes the true culprit. A final chapter explains in detail exactly how the entire affair was managed, offering a precise description of the planting and discovery of each of the fraudulent specimens. Filled with vivid portraits of Edwardian personalities, based strictly on documentary evidence, Unraveling Piltdown is a thoroughly absorbing detective story in which one of history's greatest frauds is finally solved.

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User Review  - john257hopper - LibraryThing

This is a very detailed examination of all the suspects in the infamous Piltdown palaeolithic skull forgery of 1912. In the end, the author concludes, surely rightly, that Charles Dawson committed the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - NielsenGW - LibraryThing

In 1913, Charles Dawson came to renowned paleoarchaeologist Sir Arthur Woodward with bone fragments and they were deemed to be part of a new species of Homo sapiens, Eoanthropus dawsoni. It was the ... Read full review


Curtain Falling
The Oldest Humanoid
Challenging the Skull

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About the author (1996)

John Evangelist Walsh is the author of more than a dozen books of history and biography, including"Darkling I Listen: The Last Days and Death of John Keats,"

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