University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Great Myths and Legends:The Piltdown Fossil Forgery and the Search for the “First Englishman”


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Film Description:In the early 20th century, hominid fossils were unearthed all over the mainland continent of Europe—but not a single fossil representing human evolution was found in Great Britain. The Piltdown fossil hoax was perpetrated by a forger who altered the bones of a modern human skull and an orangutan jaw, passing them off as a plausible fossil find. The question of who committed the forgery is considered one of the great mysteries of human evolutionary studies, but the question of why it was accepted by the British scholarly community is more broadly revealing of the nature of the scientific endeavor.
Video Category:Lecture
Video Date:01/06/2016
Contributor: Janet Monge
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