December 18 1912 — The Fraud of the ‘Piltdown Man’

Photo by Chris J Mitchell on

The illusive ‘missing link’ between mankind and the apes has perplexed many in the scientific community and beyond for nearly two hundred years.

On December 18 1912 a meeting at the Geological Society of London presented information regarding the supposed discovery of one such specimen, found in the small community of Piltdown near Uckfield in Sussex, in the south east of England.

This was later proven to be the imaginative whim of one then living individual presenting such information, who had set his sights on joining the Royal Society, one of the most prestigious scientific organisations in England.

It later transpired that the ‘discovery’ was in fact a 500 year old human skull, melded with the jawbone of an orang-utan and the teeth of a chimp. Here began the story of the now infamous ‘Piltdown Man’ which fooled the world for decades.

To this day, no one has discovered any remains which can be categorically described as such a missing link.

Copyright Francis 2020


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