Bibliography - Archaeology: Piltdown Man
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Discovery of a new type of fossil man, published 21 December 1912 in British Medical Journal (1912, vol. 2, no. 2712, article, pp.1719-1720)

The discovery of ancient man in Sussex, published 28 December 1912 in British Medical Journal (1912, vol. 2, no. 2713, article, pp.1763-1764)

On the Discovery of a Palæolithic Skull and Mandible in a Flint-bearing Gravel overlying the Wealden (Hastings Beds) at Piltdown, Fletching (Sussex), by Charles Dawson and Arthur Smith Woodward, published 1913 in Geological Society (vol. LXIX, article)

Eoanthropus Dawsoni, by A.C. Haddon, published 17 January 1913 in Science (New series, vol. 37, no. 942, article, pp.91-92)
On Piltdown Man.

On the Discovery of a Palæolithic Human Skull and Mandible in a Flint-bearing Gravel overlying the Wealden (Hastings Beds) at Piltdown, Fletching (Sussex), by Charles Dawson and Arthur Smith Woodward, published January 1913 in Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society (vol. 69, issue 1-4, article, pp.117-123)   View Online
Several years ago I was walking along farm-road close to Piltdown Common, Fletching (Sussex), when I noticed that the road had been mended with some peculiar brown flints not usual in the district. On enquiry I was astonished to learn that they were dug from a gravel-bed on the farm, and shortly afterwards I visited the place, where two labourers were at work digging the gravel for small repairs to the roads. As this excavation was situated about 4 miles north of the limit where the occurrence of flints overlying the Wealden strata is recorded. I was much interested, and made a close examination of the bed. I asked the workmen if they had found bones or other fossils there. As they did not appear to have noticed anything of the sort, I urged them to preserved anything that they might find. Upon one of my subsequent visits to the pit, one of the men handed to me a small portion of an unusually thick human parietal bone. I immediately made a search, but could find nothing more, nor had the men noticed anything else. The bed is full of tabular pieces of ironstone closely resembling this piece of skull in colour and thickness; and, though I made many subsequent searches, I could not hear of any further find nor discover anything - in fact, the bed seemed to be quite unfossiliferous.

Description of the Human Skull and Mandible and the Associated Mammalian Remains., by Charles Dawson and Arthur Smith Woodward, published January 1913 in Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society (vol. 69, issue 1-4, article, pp.124-144)   View Online
The Human Skull and Mandible.
The human remains comprise the greater part of a brain-case and one remus of the mandible, with lower molars 1 and 2. All the bones are normal, with no traces of disease, and they have not been distored during mineralization.
Of the brain-case there are four pieces (reconstructed from nine fragments) sufficiently well preserved to exhibit the shape and natural relations of the frontal, parietal, occipital, and temporal bones, and to justify the reconstruction of some other elements by inference. These bones are particularly noteworthy for their thickness, and for the depth of the branching grooves which are impressed on their cerebral face by the meningeal vessels. The thickening is due to the great development of the finely cancellated diploe, the outer and inner tables of the bone being everywhere comparatively thin. The thickest point is at the internal occipital protuberance, where the measurement is 20 millimetres. A thickness of 11 or 12 mm. is attained at the postero-lateral angle of the left perietal and at the horizontal ridges of the occipital; while a thickness of 10 mm. is observable along the greater part of the fractures of the parietals and frontals. Compared with the corresponding portion on the opposite side, the postero-lateral region of the right parietal is rather thin, its thickness at the lambdoid suture being 8 to 9 mm.

Preliminary Report on the Cranial Cast [of the Piltdown Skull], by Grafton Elliot Smith, published January 1913 in Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society (vol. 69, issue 1-4, article, pp.145-151)   View Online
The observations recorded in these notes were made upon the cranial cast which was submitted to me for examination by Dr. Smith Woodward, under whose direction the remains of the cranium were fitted together and the cast obtained from it.
The accompanying sketch (fig. 11) represents the left norma lateralis, and will explain better than a description the extent of missing cranial wall. The greater part of the right parietal bone and a considerable part of the occipital were found, and it was possible to fit them into position. Thus the form and proportions of the whole brain can be estimated.
The sharply-cut meningeal grooves upon the bones have produced upon the cast the whole pattern of the middle meningeal veins and arteries with great distinctness. The diagram shows the arrangement upon the left side: upon the right it conforms to Giuffrida-Ruggeri's Typus 1.
Unfortunately, there are only very slight indications of the arrangement of the furrows upon the surface of the cerebral hemisphere. Nevertheless many of them can be detected, if not by sight, by passing the finger over the surface and locating the depressions by touch. These features are represented (with considerable exaggerations so far as depth of shading is concerned) in the diagram (fig. 11) on the preceding page.
At first sight, the brain presents a considerable resemblance to the well-known Palæolithic brain-casts, and especially to those obtained from the Gibraltar and La Quina remains, which are supposed to be women's.

Ancestor hunting: the significance of the Piltdown Skull, by George Grant MacCurdy, published April 1913 in American Anthropologist (vol. 15, no. 2, article, pp.248-256)

The significance of the Piltdown discovery, by A.G. Thacker, published October 1913 in Science Progress (vol. 8, no. 30, article, pp.275-290)
On Piltdown Man.

Supplementary Note on the Discovery of a Palæolithic Human Skull and Mandible at Piltdown (Sussex), by Charles Dawson and Arthur Smith Woodward, published January 1914 in Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society (vol. 70, issue 1-4, article, pp.82-93)   View Online
Since reading our paper on December 18th, 1912, we have continued our researches in the Piltdown gravel.
The whole bed is divided into four well-defined strata. The topmost consists of surface-soil, containing pieces of iron-stained subangular flint derived from some ancient gravel, similar to those beneath. This surface-soil also contains a mixture of pottery and implements of various ages.
Beneath is the second bed of undisturbed gravel, varying from a few inches to 3 feet in thickness. It is from the centre of this bed that the triangular Palæolithic implement mentioned and figured in our former paper was obtained. It contains rolled and subangular flints similar to those found in the strata above and below, and is mostly pale yellow in colour with occasional darker patches.
The third bed, though not always present, is well marked, where it does occur, by reason of its dark ferruginous appearance, and chiefly consists of pieces of ironstone and rolled and subangular flints deeply patinated and iron-stained. As in most other beds of this description, the ferruginous colour of the gravel and of the fossils within it often varies in intensity, from a dull pale-brown to a lustrous blue-black, within the space of a few inches, the latter colour being due to the presence of ferrous sulphide of iron. All fossils found by us (with the exception of the remains of deer) were discovered or have been traced to this third dark bed.

Appendix. On the Exact Determination of the Median Plane of the Piltdown Skull, by G. Elliot Smith, published January 1914 in Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society (vol. 70, issue 1-4, article, pp.93-99)   View Online
At the meeting of the Geological Society which was held on December 18th, 1912, I gave my first impressions of the cranial cast which Dr. Smith Woodward had sent me three days before the meeting.
On the present occasion it is not my intention to say anything further in reference to the brain of Eoanthropus (because I am preparing a full report upon it for presentation to the Royal Society); but, as there has been considerable criticism of the restoration of the brain-case, I should like to take this opportunity of expressing my opinion that none of the criticism has affected the accuracy of the preliminary note upon the cranial cast which I communicated to this Society in December 1912.
As the correct restoration of the cranium was the necessary preliminary to any detailed study of the form of the brain, Dr. Smith Woodward kindly permitted me to examine the fragments of the skull, and make an independent investigation with the view of determining what positions they originally occupied in the skull. This examination revealed a multitude of structural features which indicate precisely the true position and orientation of each of the fragments; and there is now no doubt that the reconstruction of the skull which Dr. Smith Woodward exhibited to the Geological Society in December 1912 was a much closer approximation to the truth than any of the various models so far exhibited in public by his critics.

The Man of Piltdown, by George Grant MacCurdy, published April 1914 in American Anthropologist (New series, vol. 16, no. 2, article, pp.331-336)

On a bone implement from Piltdown (Sussex), by Charles Dawson and A. Smith Woodward, published January 1915 in Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society (vol. 71, issue 1-4, article, pp.144-149)   View Online
During the past season we have spent much time in examining the Piltdown gravel, working round the margin of the area previously explored in detail. In proportion to the amount of material removed, however, discoveries were few. Rolled fragments of teeth of Rhinoceros and Mastodon, as highly mineralized as before, were again found in place in the dark gravel; and they seem to belong to the Pliocene species Rh. etruscus and M. arvernensis, already provisionally recorded. No human remains were met with; but a large piece of bone evidently worked by man compensates for much disappointment, and proves to be so singular that it is worthy of special description.
This bone implement was found about a foot below the surface, in dark vegetable soil, beneath the hedge which bounds the gravel-pit, and within 3 or 4 feet of the spoil-heap whence we obtained the right parietal bone of the human skull. On being washed away, the soil left not the slightest stain on the specimen, which was covered with firmly-adherent pale-yellow sandy clay, closely similar to that of the flint-bearing layer at the bottom of the gravel. The bone, therefore, cannot have lain buried in the soil for any long period, and was almost certainly thrown there by the workmen with the other useless débris when they were digging gravel from the adjacent hole. It is much mineralized with oxide of iron, at least on the surface

The revision of Eoanthropus Dawsoni, by George Grant MacCurdy, published 18 February 1916 in Science (New series, vol. 43, no. 1103, article, pp.228-231)
On Piltdown Man.

Fourth Note on the Piltdown Gravel, with Evidence of a Second Skull of Eoanthropus dawsoni, by Arthur Smith Woodward, published January 1917 in Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society (vol. 73, issue 1-4, article, pp.1-11)   View Online
The Piltdown gravel has already been well described by the late Mr. Charles Dawson, who pointed out its variable character and concluded that its two lower layers at least could not be very different in age. Further extensive excavations last summer round the margin of the area previously explored, tended to confirm this impression, and to show that the whole deposit is a shingle-bank which may have accumulated within a comparatively short space of time. The lenticular patches of the dark-brown ferruginous gravel proved to be even more variable than before, and they were seen to pass both into the sandy clay below and into the less clayey deposit above. Large flints and waterworn pieces of Wealden sandstone were still observed scattered irregularly through the finer material. The characteristic 'subangular flints' were also found at intervals in the basal sandy clay. More interesting, however, was the discovery in this layer of numerous large elongated flints and pieces of Wealden sandstone, with their long axis more or less nearly vertical. The evidence of flood-action thus became complete.

Appendix. On the Form of the Frontal Pole of an Endocranial Cast of Eoanthropus dawsoni, by G. Elliot Smith, published January 1917 in Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society (vol. 73, issue 1-4, article, pp.7-10)   View Online
Although the fragment of the right side of the frontal bone reveals the form of only a small area (little more than 5 cm. long x 3 cm. broad) of the endocranial surface, which is devoid of obtrusive features, it is of interest and importance because it sheds some light upon a part of the endocranial cast of which nothing was known before. Moreover, it is a part of the cast, the frontal pole, the form of which is of peculiar significance in the study of the features of early Man.

Pre-palaeolithic man in England, by J. Reid Moir, published January 1918 in Science Progress (vol. 12, no. 47, article, pp.465-474)
On Piltdown Man.

The Piltdown Skull, by Unknown, published April 1921 in The Antiquaries Journal (vol. 1 issue 2, note, p.142)   View Online

Ancient Carving from Piltdown, by J. E. Couchman, F.S.A., published 1924 in Sussex Archæological Collections (vol. 65, article, pp.206-210) accessible at: W.S.R.O. [Lib 2150] & The Keep [LIB/500283] & S.A.S. library

The origin of man, by Arthur Smith Woodward, published July 1925 in Scientific monthly (vol. 21, no. 1, article, pp.13-19)
On Piltdown Man.

The Geology of Piltdown, by Unknown, published January 1927 in The Antiquaries Journal (vol. 7 issue 1, note, p.60)   View Online

Pebbles of quartzite near Piltdown, Sussex, by Herbert L. Hawkins, published January 1930 in Geological Magazine (vol. 67, issue 1, article, pp.28-30)   View Online
In July of 1929 I visited the classic locality of Piltdown under the guidance of Sir A. Smith Woodward. After paying homage at the tomb of Eoanthropus we descended from the plateau to the low-level gravel terrace that flanks the flood-plain of the River Ouse. At a place known locally as Sharp's Bridge (marked on the accompanying map by a cross) there is a new but already extensive gravel pit. A spot-level on the map near the pit gives the approximate level of the top of the gravel terrace as 38 o.d.; the face of the pit is dug to a depth of from 8 to 10 feet below this level, and seems to reach down to about the level of saturation determined by the water of the river.

The Pilt Down Memorial, by S.N.Q. contributor, published August 1938 in Sussex Notes & Queries (vol. VII no. 3, note, p.95) accessible at: W.S.R.O. [Lib 12536][Lib 8864][Lib 2206] & The Keep [LIB/500209] & S.A.S. library

Arthur Smith Woodward, by C. Forster Cooper, published November 1945 in Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society (vol. 5, no. 14, article, pp.79-112)
Piltdown Man scientist.

Piltdown man: With special reference to the ape mandible and canine tooth, by Alvan T. Marston, L.D.S.Edin., F.G.S., F.R.A.I., published 1946 in The Proceedings of the Geologists' Association London (no. 57 issue 1, pp. i-viii, article)   View Online

Mounds on Piltdown Common: The Relics of a Planting Scheme, by Iavn D. Margary, F.S.A., published November 1946 in Sussex Notes & Queries (vol. XI no. 4, article, pp.84-86) accessible at: W.S.R.O. [Lib 8229][Lib 2210] & The Keep [LIB/500213] & S.A.S. library

The great Piltdown Hoax, by William L. Straus, published 26 February 1954 in Science (New seris, vol. 119, no. 3087, article, pp.265-269)

Piltdown Man, by Kenneth P. Oakley and J.S. Weiner, published October 1955 in American Scientist (vol. 43, no. 4, article, pp.573-583)

The Piltdown Forgery, by J. S. Weiner, published 1957 (Geoffrey Cumberlege, Oxford University Press)
Review by E. Cecil Curwen in Sussex Notes and Queries, November 1955:
It is a remarkable thing that the Sussex Archaeological Society took no official notice whatever of the Piltdon discoveries when they were first made, although they were the subject of eager discussion throughout the scientific world in two Continents, and brought international fame to, at any rate, one aspect of Sussex archaeology. Dr. Weiner, who is Reader in Physical Anthropology at Oxford, and is one of the scientists who was responsible for the discovery of the now well-known fraud, hints that the Society's apathy in this matter may have been due to doubt of the genuineness of the discoveries from the beginning. In this case the 'prophet', Charles Dawson, seems to have enjoyed unlimited honour everywhere, except in his own county and in the Sussex Archaeological Society, of which he was a member - not because Sussex people failed to recognise his merits, but rather, perhaps, because they had better opportunities of realising his weaknesses.
The story of the Piltdown problem and its background, as represented by scientific opinions held at the beginning of the present century regarding the origin and evolution of Man, are fascinatingly outlined by the author, leading on to a consideration of the increasing difficulty felt by palaeontologists in fitting the Piltdown discoveries into the present-day framework of anthropological knowledge. It was the realisation that the remains found at Piltdown could no longer be regarded as a 'missing link', so much as a baffling monster, which led the author to think of the possibility of their being fraudulent, as the only means of resolving the impasse.
The scientific tests to which all the remains were subjected are described in a way that will hold the interest of the ordinary educated reader, and the full significance of each is made clear. A whole battery of chemical and physical tests were brought to bear on the remains by Dr. K. P. Oakley "an array of new techniques . . . exceeding all endeavours of this kind in the whole history of palaeontology," even including tests for radio-activity and crystal structure. The results were completely conclusive, proving that not one of the items was genuinely found at Piltdown or at the neighbouring site at Sheffield Park, but that a carefully selected assortment of fossil remains from a variety of sources, including also a piece of the jaw of a modern orang outang (suitably treated and stained), had been deliberately 'planted' there in order that they should be found by the excavators.
Who, then, could have been responsible for this very discreditable piece of work, and what could have been his motive? The author goes on to review the evidence for this, discussing all the personalities involved, and referring to many past and present members of the Society. All lines of circumstantial evidence seem to point to Charles Dawson as the guilty party, but the author charitably goes on to say, "In the circumstances, can we withhold from Dawson the one alternative possibility, remote though it seems, but which we cannot altogether disprove; that he might, after all, have been implicated in a 'joke', perhaps not his own, which went too far? Would it not be fairer to one who cannot speak for himself to let it go at that?"
The false scent laid at Piltdown has greatly hindered the progress of the study of human palaeontology, and now that it has been eliminated everyone concerned will breath more freely. For the general reader Dr. Weiner's book explains all this in a most readable way, while the account of the detective work on the forgery itself is quite absorbing. Every member of the Society should possess and read this book.

An Echo of Piltdown, by E. W. Holden, published April 1980 in Sussex Archæological Society Newsletter (no. 30, article, p.201, ISSN: 0307-2568) accessible at: S.A.S. library   Download PDF

Science fraud at Piltdown: the amateur and the priest, by Harold R. Booher, published 1986 in Antioch Review (vol. 44, no. 3, article, pp.389-407)
Namely Charles Dawson and Teilhard de Chardin.

The Piltdown Inquest, by Charles Blinderman, published 1 August 1987 (258 pp., Prometheus Books, ISBN-10: 0879753595 & ISBN-13: 9780879753597)

The curious incident of the missing link: Arthur Conan Doyle and Piltdown man, by Douglas Elliott, published 1988 (vi + 36 pp., Bootmakers of Toronto, ISBN-10: 0920347010 & ISBN-13: 9780920347010) accessible at: British Library & East Sussex Libraries

The Piltdown Papers, 1908-55: The Correspondence and Other Documents Relating to the Piltdown Forgery, edited by Frank Spencer, published 1 May 1990 (xii + 282 pp., Natural History Museum Publications, ISBN-10: 0198585233 & ISBN-13: 9780198585237) accessible at: British Library & West Sussex Libraries & East Sussex Libraries
After the detection of the Piltdown forgery in 1953, attempts were made to identify the perpetrator of this elaborate scientific hoax. There were a number of suspects, but no conclusive evidence was brought forward. Speculation has since continued, but without positive result, largely because only limited information has been generally available about the history of the episode and the individuals who were directly or indirectly involved. Dr Spencer here presents a selection of some 500 letters and other relevant documents covering the period from 1912, when the remains were first described, to the 1950s. The material has been culled largely from the archives of the British Museum (Natural History). The resulting annotated catalogue provides a resource for those interested in the history of science as well as the basis for a reassessment of the Piltdown episode and a fresh attempt to identify the forger. A general account of the Piltdown affair is presented in the companion volume, "The Piltdown Forgery".

Marginalia: Piltdown Man: the great English mystery story, by Keith Stewart Thomson, published May 1991 in American Scientist (vol. 79, no. 3, article, pp.194-201)

Misinterpreting Piltdown, by John H. Langdon, published December 1991 in Current Anthropology (vol. 32, no. 5, article, pp.627-631)

Piltdown: an appraisal of the case against Sir Arthur Keith [and comments and reply], by Phillip V. Tobias, Peter J. Bowler, Andrew T. Chamberlain, Christopher Chippindale, Robin W. Dennell, F. G. Fedele, Paul Graves, Caroline Grigson, G. Ainsworth Harrison, Francis B. Harrold, Kenneth A. R. Kennedy, Martin K. Nickels, Nicolas Rolland, Curtis Runnels, Frank Spencer, C. B. Stringer, N. C. Tappen, Bruce G. Trigger, Sherwood Washburn and R. V. S. Wright, published June 1992 in Current Anthropology (vol. 33, no. 3, article, pp.243-293)
Sir Arthur Keith (1866-1855) was an anthropologist who was a strong supporter of Piltdown Man, and was believed by some to be involved in the Piltdown Hoax.

On the Piltdown joker and accomplice: a French connection?, by Norman Clermont and J. F. Thackeray, published December 1992 in Current Anthropology (vol. 33, no. 5, article, pp.587-589)
Teilhard de Chardin.

On Piltdown: the French connection revisited, by Phillip V. Tobias, published February 1993 in Current Anthropology (vol. 34, no. 1, article, pp.65-67)
Teilhard de Chardin

Piltdown reflections: a mirror for prehistory, by E. M. Somerville, published 1996 in Sussex Archæological Collections (vol. 134, article, pp.7-20) accessible at: W.S.R.O. [Lib 13390] & The Keep [LIB/500296] & S.A.S. library

Unraveling Piltdown: The Science Fraud of the Century and its Solution, by John Evangelist Walsh, published 1997 (xx + 279 pp., New York: Random House, ISBN-10: 0679444440 & ISBN-13: 9780679444442) accessible at: British Library & West Sussex Libraries & East Sussex Libraries
In 1913 an amateur fossil hunter and antiquarian named Charles Dawson found in a gravel pit in England parts of the skull of an entirely new species of pre-human. The discovery, soon known as Piltdown Man, caused headlines worldwide trumpeting the claim that the evolutionary "missing link" between ape and man had been found. Controversy quickly arose, with many scientists charging that the jaw and cranium were not related and must have come from two different creatures, an ancient man and an ancient ape. But the believers prevailed and for forty years Piltdown Man held his place - though a troubled place - in the fast-developing evolutionary scheme. In 1953, using advanced techniques for dating fossils, a team of English scientist's dramatically exposed Piltdown Man as nothing more than an amazing fraud, an ingenious but undoubted forgery. In Unraveling Piltdown, John Evangelist Walsh tells the complete story of the astonishing hoax, and convincingly exposes the true culprit. A final chapter explains in detail exactly how the entire affair was managed, offering a precise description of the planting and discovery of each of the fraudulent specimens. Filled with vivid portraits of Edwardian personalities, based strictly on documentary evidence, Unraveling Piltdown is a thoroughly absorbing detective story in which one of history's greatest frauds is finally solved.

The Piltdown Mystery: The Story of the World's Greatest Archaeological Hoax, by Ronald Millar, published 15 August 1998 (88 pp., Seaford: S. B. Publications, ISBN-10: 1857701593 & ISBN-13: 9781857701593) accessible at: The Keep [LIB/500110] & West Sussex Libraries & East Sussex Libraries

Mesolithic and later flintwork from Moon's Farm, Piltdown, East Sussex, by Chris Butler, published 2000 in Sussex Archæological Collections (vol. 138, shorter article, pp.222-224) accessible at: W.S.R.O. [Lib 14509] & The Keep [LIB/500298] & S.A.S. library   View Online

Piltdown Man: The Secret Life of Charles Dawson, by Miles Russell, published 1 December 2003 (272 pp., The History Press, ISBN-10: 0752425722 & ISBN-13: 9780752425726) accessible at: West Sussex Libraries & East Sussex Libraries
The human and animal remains discovered at Piltdown, near Lewes in Sussex almost 100 years ago were at the time hailed as the 'missing link' between ape and man. It was not until 1953 that modern analysis conclusively revealed an ingenious hoax. The perpetrator was almost certainly the antiquarian excavator Charles Dawson who, as Miles Russell shows, was responsible for sixteen other archaeological forgeries during his lifetime.

The Piltdown Forgery, by J. S. Weiner, published 29 January 2004 (248 pp., Oxford University Press, 50th anniversary edition, ISBN-10: 0198607806 & ISBN-13: 9780198607809) accessible at: West Sussex Libraries & East Sussex Libraries

The Lying Stones of Sussex: an Investigation into the Role of the Flint Tools in the Development of the Piltdown Forgery, by John McNabb, published 2006 in The Archaeological Journal (vol. 163, article, pp.1-41)   View Online
The Piltdown forgery was an attempt to fabricate an ancient human ancestor, as well as the world that it came from. An important part of substantiating that world was to fabricate the material culture of Eoanthropus dawsoni, the Piltdown Man. This paper looks at the flint tools from the Piltdown site. They reveal important clues as to how the forger perpetrated the hoax, and why certain types of artefact were included, while others were omitted. This is the first time the lithics from the hoax have been comprehensively examined since the exposure of the forgery.

The Piltdown Skull Site: the rise and fall of Britain's first geological National Nature Reserve and its place in the history of nature conservation, by Colin Prosser, published 2009 in The Proceedings of the Geologists' Association London (no. 120 issue 1, article, pp.79-88)   View Online
The Piltdown hoax is one of the best known cases of scientific forgery in the world and has been the subject of hundreds of papers, books, articles, press reports and web-pages. Whilst the story of the hoax has secured a place in history, the pioneering role played by the site of the Piltdown 'finds', the Piltdown Skull Site, in the early days of British nature conservation has been forgotten. This paper describes how the Piltdown Skull Site in East Sussex, England, a site now known to be of little or no scientific importance, almost became Britain's first National Nature Reserve (NNR), and how, in 1952, it did become Britain's first geological NNR. It describes how the newly formed Nature Conservancy (NC) and the British Museum (Natural History) (BM(NH)) worked together at Piltdown to undertake innovative site management that played a part in exposing the hoax and describes what happened to the NNR as the details of the forgery emerged. Although the NC was clearly embarrassed by the NNR once the hoax was revealed, it is argued here that there was little to be ashamed of and much to be commended.

The Piltdown Man Hoax: Case Closed, by Miles Russell, published 10 December 2012 (160 pp., The History Press, ISBN-10: 0752487744 & ISBN-13: 9780752487748) accessible at: West Sussex Libraries & East Sussex Libraries
Piltdown. Even today the name sends a shiver down the collective spine of the scientific community, for this was the most dramatic and daring fraud ever perpetrated upon the world of science and academia. Between 1908 and 1912, a series of amazing discoveries relating to what appeared to be the earliest human were made close to the little village of Piltdown in Sussex. These remains belonged to the developmental 'missing link' between man and ape. The basic principles of evolution, first propounded by Charles Darwin some fifty years before, now appeared as indisputable fact. The Manchester Guardian ran the first headline: 'THE EARLIEST MAN?: REMARKABLE DISCOVERY IN SUSSEX. A SKULL MILLIONS OF YEARS OLD' it screamed, adding that the discovery was 'one of the most important of our time'. The news spread quickly around the world, with many voicing their eagerness to examine the find. Few archaeological discoveries have the capacity to be front-page news twice over, but 'Piltdown Man' is a rare exception. Forty-one years after he first became famous, the 'Earliest Englishman' was again hot news. It was late November 1953, and the world was about to discover that Piltdown Man had been a hoax. Not just any hoax mind, the London Star declared it to be 'THE BIGGEST SCIENTIFIC HOAX OF THE CENTURY'.

Prelude To Piltdown. Charles Dawson's origins, career and antiquarian pursuits, 1864-1911, and their repercussions, by John H. Farrant, published 2013 in Sussex Archæological Collections (vol. 151, article) accessible at: W.S.R.O. [Lib 18616] & The Keep [LIB/507730] & S.A.S. library   View Online
Towards the end of his life Charles Dawson (1864-1916), amateur palaeontologist and antiquary, discovered the remains of Piltdown Man and since 1953 has been heavily implicated in their fabrication. On him in that connection much has been written, but little has been published on his earlier life with adequate documentation. Drawing on sources not previously used, this article describes his family background, upbringing and fossil collecting, and his career as a solicitor, and explores his antiquarian pursuits in Sussex, particularly his association with Hastings Museum and with the Sussex Archaeological Society (including the society's ejection from Castle Lodge), his excavations at Hastings Castle and the Lavant caves, the Beauport Park statuette, the Pevensey Roman bricks, his History of Hastings Castle and his attempt to thwart L. F. Salzman's election to the Society of Antiquaries. The antiquarian phase of Dawson's research career was neatly bracketed by A. S. Woodward's publication in 1891 and 1911 of his successive finds of Plagiaulax dawsoni.
These antiquarian pursuits show his enormous energy and charm, occasional disingenuous conduct, and the facility with which he moved between West End society and Sussex labourers, an important source of his finds. As a well-known collector he may have accepted, and attempted to exploit, items of doubtful authenticity, but his recording of provenance was reasonable by contemporary amateur standards. He actively used the press, local and London, to boost his reputation. But his failure to conceal the limits of his scholarship in his History of Hastings Castle of 1910 contributed to his reverting to palaeontology.
A face-saving account of the 'Castle Lodge episode' of 1903, doubts emerging in 1914 about the finds from the Lavant caves, and Salzman's antipathy for Dawson on account of the Pevensey bricks (1907) and his canvassing the Antiquaries (1911), may all have contributed to Piltdown Man being disregarded by the Sussex Archaeological Society. But they cannot of themselves have outweighed the advocacy by Woodward, Dawson's collaborator at Piltdown, who was active in the society between 1924 and 1943. The implication is that there were doubts expressed locally, but only informally, about the authenticity of Piltdown Man.

Skullduggery: the man who never was, by Edward Steers, published 7 March 2013 in Hoax: Hitler's Diaries, Lincoln's Assassins, and Other Famous Frauds (pp.151-160, University Press of Kentucky, ISBN-10: 0813141591 & ISBN-13: 9780813141596)
On Piltdown man

A field guide to Charles Dawson's discredited sites implicated in the Piltdown hoax, by Stephen K. Donovan, published 2015 in The Proceedings of the Geologists' Association London (no. 126 issue 4-5, article, pp.599-607)   View Online
Charles Dawson, FSA, FGS (1864-1916), was discoverer and presumed forger of Piltdown Man and the less well-known Barcombe Mills Man in East Sussex. Although the fossils were either fakes or salted from elsewhere, Dawson's geology was accurate apart from his over-estimate of the height of the Piltdown terrace above the River Ouse, leading to it being correlated with the 100 ft (30 m) terrace of the River Thames. This was corrected by Francis Hereward Edmunds, MA, FGS (1893-1960), who recognised it as a 50 ft terrace, but this determination was largely ignored until the detection of the forgery in 1953. Subsequently, Piltdown has been the subject of palaeoanthropological speculation ad nauseum - essentially, who dunnit? - but the historical interest taken in the geology has been minimal. A field guide to Dawson's false hominin sites follows the valley of the River Ouse and its terraces. The so-called Piltdown Man II site near Sheffield Park was probably at Netherhall Farm. The type locality of Piltdown Man, Eoanthropus dawsoni, is marked by a memorial stone, but is on private property. The third site, on a hill above Barcombe Mills railway station (closed) and erroneously called Piltdown Man III in the literature, is a younger terrace and produced remains not considered to be E. dawsoni. The total length of the walk is about 16.4 km on flat to gently undulating topography in a Quaternary landscape carved by the River Ouse.