Piltdown Man

by David Cloud

Piltdown Man was held forth as a missing link in human evolution for 40 years, but it turned out to be a complete hoax. In 1912, amateur naturalist Charles Dawson told the Geological Society of London that over the previous four years fragments of a skull, half of a lower jawbone, and a tooth had been found at the Piltdown gravel pit in Sussex.

Dawson had been accompanied on some of his excavations by Arthur Smith Woodward, keeper of the geological department at the British Natural History Museum and the world’s leading expert on fossil fish, and by Teilhard de Chardin, Jesuit priest and New Age mystic. It was Teilhard who found another tooth at the Piltdown site in August 1913.

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