Piltdown hoax dating
"And when he died in 1916, Piltdown Man died with him." Russell is author of the new book "The Piltdown Man Hoax: Case Closed"—though he doubts speculation about the century-old fraud will stop. "And this is one of the biggest scientific hoaxes of all time." Whoever was behind it, the hoax delayed consensus on human origins, leading some scientists to question the authenticity of later finds because they did not fit with Piltdown Man.Stringer said Piltdown Man stands as a warning to scientists always to be on their guard—especially when evidence seems to back up their theories.This is an undated image released by the Natural History Museum in on Wednesday Dec. It was an archaeological hoax that fooled scientists for decades.A century on, researchers are determined to find out who was responsible for Piltdown Man, the missing link that never was.The finger has also been pointed at museum zoologist Martin Hinton; Jesuit priest and paleontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin; and even "Sherlock Holmes" author Arthur Conan Doyle, who lived near Piltdown.Stringer said the key may lie in a later find nearby—a slab of elephant bone nicknamed the "cricket bat"—that seemed to back up the first Piltdown discovery.
Now scientists at London's Natural History Museum—whose predecessors trumpeted the Piltdown find and may be suspects in the fraud— are marking the 100th anniversary with a new push to settle the argument for good."Although Charles Dawson is the prime suspect, it's a complex story," Stringer, the museum's research leader in human origins, told The Associated Press."The amount of material planted at two different sites makes some people—and that includes me—wonder whether there were at least two people involved." Doubts grew about Piltdown Man's authenticity in the years after 1912, as more remains were found around the world that contradicted its evidence.But he thinks there is little doubt Dawson was the perpetrator."He is the only person who is always on site every time a find is made," Russell said.