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Natural History Museum tests Piltdown Man

A team of 15 scientists, at the Natural History Museum in London including human origins expert Chris Stringer, are using the latest techniques on the Piltdown material, to reveal the hoaxer and add more concrete evidence to that which was collected over 50 years ago.

Next week is the 100-year anniversary of the Piltdown Man announcement – that the evolutionary ‘missing link’ between humans and apes had been found. This was a hoax, and someone, or some people, went to great lengths to try to fool the scientific world. The hoax was discovered but the culprit wasn’t, and scientists are now trying to solve this real-life whodunnit once and for all.

The team still has a few more months of research to do before they announce their results. Whether the culprit is found to be Dawson, or any of the other key suspects, the Piltdown Man hoax has plenty to teach us. –