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A gravel pit at Barkham Manor, near Lewes, on the south coast of central southern England where, between 1908 and 1915, Charles Dawson found what were claimed to be skull fragments of modern type with a jaw of more apelike appearance. Those keen to promote a link between apes and humans saw the finds as the ‘missing link’, but even by 1935 serious doubts were cast on the integrity of the finds, and it later emerged that the whole thing was a hoax. Pieces of crania from a modern human and the jaw from an orang‐utan had been artificially aged and ‘planted’ together in a deposit alongside a variety of other animal remains.


M. Russell, 2003, Piltdown Man: the secret life of Charles Dawson and the world's greatest archaeological hoax. Stroud: Tempus

Subjects: Archaeology.

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