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This page is a self contained, text only, document.However there are links to supporting documents and pictures.It should be remembered that, at the time of Piltdown finds, there were very few early hominid fossils; Homo neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens were clearly fairly late.It was expected that there was a "missing link" between ape and man.Finally, in 1912, the sun rose on British paleontology -- fossil remains of an ancient pleistocene hominid were found in the Piltdown quarries in Sussex.In the period 1912 to 1915 the Piltdown quarries yielded two skulls, a canine tooth, and a mandible of Eoanthropus, a tool carved from an elephant tusk, and fossil teeth from a number of pleistocene animals.In the period 1912-1917 there was a great deal of skepticism.The report in 1917 of the discovery of Piltdown II converted many of the skeptics; one accident of placement was plausible -- two were not.
Special thanks are also due to Tom Turrittin ([email protected]) who has created a comprehensive bibliography of references since 1953 to Piltdown man.1924 -- Dart makes first Australopithecus discovery. 1951 -- Edmonds report no geological source for Piltdown animal fossils.1953 -- Weiner, Le Gros Clark, and Oakley expose the hoax.I am far from being the best qualified person to put together a substantive page on Piltdown man -- they are many others who have a better knowledge of the subject and who command more scholarly resources.
However people have been very kind, indeed enthusiastic, in helping to fill in the gaps.
1921 -- Osborn and Gregory "converted" by Piltdown II. 1934 -- Ramapithecus discovered 1935 -- Many (38 individuals) Peking man fossils have been found. 1937 -- Marston attacks Piltdown age estimate, cites Edmonds.