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The Piltdown story provides a cautionary lesson on how scientists can get things wrong and how science, when applied correctly, can reveal error and malpractice.
 
The Piltdown story provides a cautionary lesson on how scientists can get things wrong and how science, when applied correctly, can reveal error and malpractice.
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== Further reading and detailed bibliography ==
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If you want to find out more about Piltdown then the following books would be a good place to start:
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Russell, Miles, ''The Piltdown Man forgery: Case Closed ''(The History Press, 2012)
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Spencer, Frank, ''The Piltdown Papers ''(Oxford University Press, 1990)
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Walsh, John, ''Unravelling Piltdown: The Science Fraud of the Century and Its Solution ''(Random House, 1996)
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Weiner, J S, ''The Piltdown Forgery ''(Fiftieth Anniversary edition, with a new Introduction and Afterword by Chris Stringer, Oxford University Press, 2003)
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For a more detailed study of the whole Piltdown story, BGS Historian David G Bate has compiled a large [http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/507543/ annotated bibliography].
  
 
== Timeline ==
 
== Timeline ==
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| style="vertical-align:top;" | [[File:Piltdown 037.jpg|150px|Discussion on the Piltdown skull, a painting by John Cooke, 1915. Back row, left to right: Frank Barlow, Prof. Grafton Elliot Smith, Charles Dawson, and Dr Arthur Smith Woodward; front row: Dr A. S. Underwood, Prof. Arthur Keith, William Pycraft, and Sir Ray Lankester. © The Geological Society (GSL/POR/19)]]
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | [[File:Piltdown 037.jpg|150px|Discussion on the Piltdown skull, a painting by John Cooke, 1915. Back row, left to right: Frank Barlow, Prof. Grafton Elliot Smith, Charles Dawson, and Dr Arthur Smith Woodward; front row: Dr A. S. Underwood, Prof. Arthur Keith, William Pycraft, and Sir Ray Lankester. © The Geological Society (GSL/POR/19)]]
 
|}
 
|}
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== Suspects ==
 
== Suspects ==
  
In the years that followed the uncovering of the forgery, a wearisome succession of names would be added to the list of the ‘accused’. In the order in which they were publicly identified, they are: Charles Dawson, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, W. R. Butterfield, Venus Hargreaves, Grafton Elliot Smith, William J. Sollas, Martin Hinton, Arthur Conan Doyle, Samuel Woodhead, John T. Hewitt, Lewis Abbott, Frank Barlow, Arthur Keith, Chipper the goose (in jest!), Arthur Smith Woodward, and C. P. Chatwin. A few minor names, alluded to but never fully discussed, have been omitted from this list (but see the introduction in the annotated bibliography referenced under "Further reading and detailed bibliography").
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In the years that followed the uncovering of the forgery, a wearisome succession of names would be added to the list of the ‘accused’. In the order in which they were publicly identified, they are: Charles Dawson, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, W. R. Butterfield, Venus Hargreaves, Grafton Elliot Smith, William J. Sollas, Martin Hinton, Arthur Conan Doyle, Samuel Woodhead, John T. Hewitt, Lewis Abbott, Frank Barlow, Arthur Keith, Chipper the goose (in jest!), Arthur Smith Woodward, and C. P. Chatwin.
  
 
{|class="wikitable"
 
{|class="wikitable"
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | 1953
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | 1953
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | Charles Dawson (1864-1916)
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | Charles Dawson (1864-1916)
| style="vertical-align:top;" | Dawson was a solicitor at Uckfield in Sussex, and a noted antiquarian and amateur geologist, having been elected a Fellow of the Geological Society of London in 1885 and of the Society of Antiquaries in 1895. He made many donations of Wealden fossils to the Natural History Museum. Dawson was ambitious for recognition and fame and fully expected the Piltdown discoveries to secure him fellowship of the Royal Society, an aspiration that was ultimately denied him. When the fraud was exposed in 1953, Dawson became an obvious suspect. He had been the motivating force behind the excavations and was always present when finds were made. Following his death in 1916 there were no further discoveries. Since 1953 many of Dawson’s antiquarian ‘discoveries’ have been shown to be either fraudulent or suspect.
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| style="vertical-align:top;" | Dawson was a solicitor at Uckfield in Sussex, and a noted antiquarian and amateur geologist, being made a Fellow of the Geological Society of London in 1885 and of the Society of Antiquaries in 1895. He made many donations of Wealden fossils to the Natural History Museum. Dawson was ambitious for recognition and fame and fully expected the Piltdown discoveries to secure him fellowship of the Royal Society, an aspiration that was ultimately denied him. When the fraud was exposed in 1953, Dawson became an obvious suspect. He had been the motivating force behind the excavations and was always present when finds were made. After he died from septicaemia in 1916 there were no further discoveries. Since 1953 many of Dawson’s antiquarian ‘discoveries’ have been shown to be either fraudulent or suspect.
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | [[File:Piltdown 038.jpg|150px|Charles Dawson © The Geological Society (GSL/POR/49/17-01)]]
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | [[File:Piltdown 038.jpg|150px|Charles Dawson © The Geological Society (GSL/POR/49/17-01)]]
 
|-
 
|-
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | 1954
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | 1954
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881–1955)
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881–1955)
| style="vertical-align:top;" | Teilhard de Chardin was a French philosopher and Jesuit priest who trained as a palaeontologist. He was studying at Hastings when he first met Dawson in 1909. Dawson invited him to the excavation at Piltdown in 1912, and in 1913 Teilhard discovered the canine tooth. He was still alive when the fraud was uncovered, but when questioned was reluctant to talk about it, which in 1954 aroused suspicion in the minds of the investigators. Those who have implicated Teilhard include Louis Leakey and Stephen Jay Gould, both of whom believed it possible that he had worked in collusion with Dawson. Leakey had no clear evidence to back up his suspicion, while Gould’s accusation was based on incomplete information. More recently the case against Teilhard has been revived by Francis Thackeray, who believes that Teilhard perpetrated a prank that went too far.
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| style="vertical-align:top;" | Teilhard de Chardin was a French philosopher and Jesuit priest who trained as a palaeontologist. He was studying at Hastings when he first met Dawson in 1909. Dawson invited him to the excavation at Piltdown in 1912, and in 1913 Teilhard discovered the canine tooth. He was still alive when the hoax was uncovered, but when questioned was reluctant to talk about it, which in 1954 aroused suspicion in the minds of the investigators. Those who have implicated Teilhard include Louis Leakey and Stephen Jay Gould, both of whom believed it possible that he had worked in collusion with Dawson. Leakey had no clear evidence to back up his suspicion, while Gould’s accusation was based on incomplete information. More recently the case against Teilhard has been revived by Francis Thackeray, who believes that Teilhard perpetrated a prank that went too far.
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | [[File:Piltdown 039.jpg|150px|Teilhard de Chardin at lunch with colleagues at the Natural History Museum in 1935. © Natural History Museum (Image: 046939)]]
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | [[File:Piltdown 039.jpg|150px|Teilhard de Chardin at lunch with colleagues at the Natural History Museum in 1935. © Natural History Museum (Image: 046939)]]
 
|-
 
|-
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | 1972
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | 1972
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | William Ruskin Butterfield (1872–1935)
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | William Ruskin Butterfield (1872–1935)
| style="vertical-align:top;" | Butterfield was curator and librarian of Hastings Museum during the period of the Piltdown discoveries. In 1972 Guy van Esbroeck, in his book ''Pleine lumière sur l’imposture de Piltdown'', accused Butterworth of being the Piltdown forger in collusion with Venus Hargreaves, the labourer employed at Barkham Manor. His argument is that Butterworth was greatly put out on learning through a chance remark from Teilhard de Chardin, in 1909, that Dawson had quietly appropriated a series of bones of the dinosaur ''Iguanodon'' from a Hastings quarry and presented them to the Natural History Museum at South Kensington rather than to Hastings Museum. It is claimed that Butterfield carried out the ‘hoax’ in revenge. This theory seems to ignore the fact that Dawson had already made his first find at Piltdown probably in the previous year, 1908.
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| style="vertical-align:top;" | Butterfield was curator and librarian of Hastings Museum during the period of the Piltdown discoveries. In 1972 Guy van Esbroeck, in his book Pleine lumière sur l’imposture de Piltdown, accused Butterworth of being the Piltdown forger in collusion with Venus Hargreaves, the labourer employed at Barkham Manor. His argument is that Butterworth was greatly put out on learning through a chance remark from Teilhard de Chardin, in 1909, that Dawson had quietly appropriated a series of bones of the dinosaur Iguanodon from a Hastings quarry and presented them to the Natural History Museum at South Kensington. It is claimed that he carried out the ‘hoax’ in revenge. This theory seems to ignore the fact that Dawson had already made his first find at Piltdown probably in the previous year.
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" |  
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" |  
 
|-
 
|-
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | 1972
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | 1972
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | Venus Hargreaves (dates unknown)
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | Venus Hargreaves (dates unknown)
| style="vertical-align:top;" | Hargreaves was the labourer who did most of the digging at Piltdown. Apart from van Esbroeck’s assertion that Hargreaves assisted Butterfield by planting the fraudulent Piltdown assemblage (previous entry), Francis Vere had earlier intimated in his book ''The Piltdown Fantasy'' (1955) that the forger required an accomplice who worked at the site, by which he presumably meant Hargreaves.
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| style="vertical-align:top;" | Hargreaves was the labourer who did most of the digging at Piltdown. Apart from van Esbroeck’s assertion that Hargreaves assisted Butterfield by planting the fraudulent Piltdown assemblage (previous slide), Francis Vere had earlier intimated in his book The Piltdown Fantasy (1955) that the forger required an accomplice who worked at the site, by which he presumably meant Hargreaves.
| style="vertical-align:top;" | [[File:Piltdown 040.jpg|150px|Charles Dawson (left) and Arthur Smith Woodward (middle) sifting gravel at Barkham Manor in the summer of 1913; Venus Hargreaves (right) was employed as labourer From ''Natural History: Journal of the American Museum'', Nov-Dec 1921]]
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| style="vertical-align:top;" | [[File:Piltdown 040.jpg|150px|Charles Dawson (left) and Arthur Smith Woodward (middle) sifting gravel at Barkham Manor in the summer of 1913; Venus Hargreaves (right) was employed as labourer © Natural History: Journal of the American Museum, Nov-Dec 1921]]
 
|-
 
|-
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | 1972
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | 1972
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | Grafton Elliot Smith (1871-1937)
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | Grafton Elliot Smith (1871-1937)
| style="vertical-align:top;" | Elliot Smith, born at Grafton in Australia, was Professor of Anatomy at University of Manchester, 1909–19, and University College London, 1919–37, and had a special interest in the anatomy of the human brain. In ''The Piltdown Men'' (1972) Ronald Millar accused Smith of perpetrating the forgery in order to provide support for his views on human evolution. The case made against him is convoluted and entirely circumstantial. Millar regards it as suspicious that Smith allowed Woodward to reconstruct the Piltdown skull incorrectly, as Smith was an expert on prehistoric human skulls. One is prompted to ask why, if implicated in the fraud, did Smith assist Woodward in his continuing attempts to look for further evidence at Piltdown long after Dawson’s death? Kenneth Oakley (in a private communication to Charles Blinderman) regarded Millar’s accusation as ‘absurd’, a view shared by many others.
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| style="vertical-align:top;" | Elliot Smith, born at Grafton in Australia, was Professor of Anatomy at University of Manchester, 1909–19, and University College London, 1919–37, and had a special interest in the anatomy of the human brain. In The Piltdown Men (1972) Ronald Millar accused Smith of perpetrating the forgery in order to provide support for his views on human evolution. The case made against him is convoluted and entirely circumstantial. Millar regards it as suspicious that Smith allowed Woodward to reconstruct the Piltdown skull incorrectly, as Smith was an expert on prehistoric human skulls. One is prompted to ask why, if implicated in the fraud, did Smith assist Woodward in his continuing attempts to look for further evidence at Piltdown long after Dawson’s death? Kenneth Oakley (in a private communication to Charles Blinderman) regarded Millar’s accusation as ‘absurd’, a view shared by many others.
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" |  
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" |  
 
|-
 
|-
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | 1978
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | 1978
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | William Johnson Sollas (1849-1936)
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | William Johnson Sollas (1849-1936)
| style="vertical-align:top;" | Sollas was Professor of Geology at Oxford. In 1978 he was accused of complicity in the Piltdown forgery by his former assistant at the university, Prof. J. A. Douglas (died 1978). Douglas was convinced that Sollas had directed the 'hoax' through Dawson in order to revenge himself on Smith Woodward, who he regarded as a bitter enemy. Douglas’s evidence consisted of nothing more than his memory of the arrival of a package for Sollas containing potassium ‘bichromate’, and of Sollas borrowing apes’ teeth from the university’s Department of Human Anatomy. According to Douglas the whole thing had ‘started as a joke and then got out of hand’. It has been suggested that Douglas may have harboured a grudge against Sollas, who un-obligingly retained his professorship to the age of 87 before yielding the Chair to Douglas.
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| style="vertical-align:top;" | Sollas was Professor of Geology at Oxford. In 1978 he was accused of complicity in the Piltdown forgery by his former assistant at the university, Prof. J. A. Douglas (died 1978). Douglas was convinced that Sollas had directed the hoax through Dawson in order to revenge himself on Smith Woodward, who he regarded as a bitter enemy. Douglas’s evidence consisted of nothing more than his memory of the arrival of a package for Sollas containing potassium ‘bichromate’, and of Sollas borrowing apes’ teeth from the university’s Department of Human Anatomy. According to Douglas the whole thing had ‘started as a joke and then got out of hand’. It has been suggested that Douglas may have harboured a grudge against Sollas, who un-obligingly retained his professorship to the age of 87 before yielding the Chair to Douglas.
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | [[File:Piltdown 041.jpg|150px|Portrait of William Johnson Sollas. Black and white photograph by Hills & Saunders, 1915. ©Geological Society GSL/POR/57/34]]
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | [[File:Piltdown 041.jpg|150px|Portrait of William Johnson Sollas. Black and white photograph by Hills & Saunders, 1915. ©Geological Society GSL/POR/57/34]]
 
|-
 
|-
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | 1978
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | 1978
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | Martin Hinton (1883-1961)
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | Martin Hinton (1883-1961)
| style="vertical-align:top;" | Hinton worked as a volunteer in the Natural History Museum from 1910-15. From 1921 to 1936 he worked in the Zoology Department retiring in 1945. In 1953, Hinton wrote to ''The Times'' saying that he and others at the Museum had always believed the jaw to be that of a chimpanzee. In the following year he told the BBC that the forgery had been an inside job but would not name the forger, who was still alive. In 1978 a trunk bearing Hinton's initials was found at the Museum. Inside were bones and teeth, stained and carved in the same way as the Piltdown fossils and artefacts. It has been argued that Hinton could have sourced the orangutan jaw from the collections at the Museum, in which case it seems odd that he always professed the jaw to be that of a chimpanzee!  
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| style="vertical-align:top;" | Hinton worked as a volunteer in the Natural History Museum from 1910-15. From 1921 to 1936 he worked in the Zoology Department retiring in 1945. In 1953, Hinton wrote to The Times saying that he and others at the Museum had always believed the jaw to be that of a chimpanzee. In the following year he told the BBC that the forgery had been an inside job but would not name the forger, who was still alive. In 1978 a trunk bearing Hinton's initials was found at the Museum. Inside were bones and teeth, stained and carved in the same way as the Piltdown fossils and artefacts. It has been argued that Hinton could have sourced the orangutan jaw from the collections at the Museum, in which case it seems odd that he always professed the jaw to be that of a chimpanzee!  
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | [[File:Piltdown 042.jpg|150px|Martin Alister Campbell Hinton. © Natural History Museum (Image: 011984)]]
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | [[File:Piltdown 042.jpg|150px|Martin Alister Campbell Hinton. © Natural History Museum (Image: 011984)]]
 
|-
 
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| style="vertical-align:top;" | 1983
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | 1983
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930)
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930)
| style="vertical-align:top;" | In 1983, American archaeologist John H. Winslow put forward the theory that Doyle had carried out the 'hoax'. Doyle lived about seven miles from Piltdown, knew Dawson and Smith Woodward and was a qualified doctor, so could have had the scientific knowledge. He visited the Piltdown excavation in 1912 and is said to have been there on other occasions. His motive for the hoax, according to Winslow, was to fool the scientific community in revenge for their crusade against spiritualism, of which Doyle was to become a committed supporter. Doyle is also described as ‘a man who loved hoaxes, adventure, and danger’. Yet the case brought against him is based entirely on supposition.
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| style="vertical-align:top;" | In 1983, American archaeologist John H. Winslow put forward the theory that Doyle had carried out the hoax. Doyle lived about seven miles from Piltdown, knew Dawson and Smith Woodward and was a qualified doctor, so could have had the scientific knowledge. He visited the Piltdown excavation in 1912 and is said to have been there on other occasions. His motive for the hoax, according to Winslow, was to fool the scientific community in revenge for their crusade against spiritualism, of which Doyle was to become a committed supporter. Doyle is also described as ‘a man who loved hoaxes, adventure, and danger’. Yet the case brought against him is based entirely on supposition.
  
  
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| style="vertical-align:top;" | 1985
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | 1985
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | Samuel Allinson Woodhead (c. 1872-1943)
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | Samuel Allinson Woodhead (c. 1872-1943)
| style="vertical-align:top;" | Woodhead, a rural analytical chemist accompanied Dawson to make an unsuccessful search of the Barkham Manor pit in 1908, and also undertook an analysis of a small fragment of the Piltdown skull at Dawson’s request. He was present at the excavations on a number of occasions. From a letter written by his sons, it seems that Woodhead suspected foul play by Dawson but would not speak of the matter. Two other, earlier letters state that Woodhead not only was present when the Piltdown jaw was found but himself discovered the canine tooth — this recollection appears in reality to relate to the finding by Woodhead of a beaver tooth in October 1913. The case against Woodhead was put forward by Peter Costello in November 1985 but seems to be based on a distorted reading of the above-mentioned letters.
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| style="vertical-align:top;" | Woodhead accompanied Dawson to make an unsuccessful search of the Barkham Manor pit in 1908, and also undertook an analysis of a small fragment of the Piltdown skull at Dawson’s request. He was present at the excavations on a number of occasions. From a letter written by his sons, it seems that Woodhead suspected foul play by Dawson but would not speak of the matter. Two other, earlier letters state that Woodhead not only was present when the Piltdown jaw was found but himself discovered the canine tooth — this recollection appears in reality to relate to the finding by Woodhead of a beaver tooth in October 1913. The case against Woodhead was put forward by Peter Costello in November 1985 but seems to be based on a distorted reading of the above-mentioned letters.
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" |  
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" |  
 
|-
 
|-
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | 1986
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | 1986
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | John Theodore Hewitt (1868-1954)
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | John Theodore Hewitt (1868-1954)
| style="vertical-align:top;" | The revelation by Costello concerning Samuel Woodhead’s supposed involvement in the Piltdown fraud (previous entry) prompted a recollection from Mrs Elizabeth Pryce, a summary of which appeared in the March 1986 issue of the journal ''Antiquity''. In 1952–3 she had been a neighbour of J. T. Hewitt, Professor of Chemistry at Queen Mary College, London, who revealed that ‘he and a friend had made the Piltdown Man as a joke’. Long before this, in 1898, Hewitt had disagreed with Dawson over the significance of a natural gas discovery at Heathfield in Sussex. Dawson got Woodhead to undertake an independent analysis, the result of which supported Dawson’s argument and was subsequently proven correct. It appears that Woodhead and Hewitt later came into contact as fellow council members of the Society of Public Analysts, possibly in late 1911. From this connection, Peter Costello quickly constructed a scenario in which Hewitt obtains the faked Piltdown assemblage while Woodhead salts the site in order to make a fool of Dawson. Apart from Hewitt’s supposed ‘confession’, there is no real evidence to back up his story. It may be noted that Hewitt was described by his obituarist as having had ‘a strong sense of humour.’
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| style="vertical-align:top;" | The revelation by Costello concerning Samuel Woodhead’s supposed involvement in the Piltdown fraud (previous slide) prompted a recollection from Mrs Elizabeth Pryce, a summary of which appeared in the March 1986 issue of the journal Antiquity. In 1952–3 she had been a neighbour of J. T. Hewitt, Professor of Chemistry at Queen Mary College, London, who revealed that ‘he and a friend had made the Piltdown Man as a joke’. Long before this, in 1898, Hewitt had disagreed with Dawson over the significance of a natural gas discovery at Heathfield in Sussex. Dawson got Woodhead to undertake an independent analysis, the result of which supported Dawson’s argument and was subsequently proven correct. It appears that Woodhead and Hewitt later came into contact as fellow council members of the Society of Public Analysts, possibly in late 1911. From this connection, Peter Costello quickly constructed a scenario in which Hewitt obtains the faked Piltdown assemblage while Woodhead salts the site in order to make a fool of Dawson. Apart from Hewitt’s supposed ‘confession’, there is no real evidence to back up his story. It may be noted that Hewitt was described by his obituarist as having had ‘a strong sense of humour.’
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" |  
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" |  
 
|-
 
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| style="vertical-align:top;" | 1986
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | 1986
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | Lewis Abbott (1853-1953)
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | Lewis Abbott (1853-1953)
| style="vertical-align:top;" | In his eminently readable book, ''The Piltdown Inquest'' (1986), Charles Blinderman examined the principal suspects and concluded that ‘Lewis Abbott has the best credentials to be the Piltdown hoaxer.’ Abbott was a jeweller at Hastings who established a reputation as an amateur prehistorian and supporter of the existence of primitive pre-Palaeolithic (Pliocene) man. He was thus a firm and vociferous believer in the authenticity of the much disputed ‘implements’ called ‘eoliths’, all of which were credited to ‘Pliocene Man’. Abbott was inclined to be bombastic and self important and was quick to claim credit for recognising the significance of Dawson’s discoveries at Piltdown. Abbott genuinely believed in the reality of Piltdown Man, and it is hard to see how his own self-seeking ambition could have been advanced by planting the Piltdown assemblage to the obvious advantage of Dawson.
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| style="vertical-align:top;" | In his eminently readable book, The Piltdown Inquest (1986), Charles Blinderman examined the principal suspects and concluded that ‘Lewis Abbott has the best credentials to be the Piltdown hoaxer.’ Abbott was a jeweller at Hastings who established a reputation as an amateur prehistorian and supporter of the existence of primitive pre-Palaeolithic (Pliocene) man. He was thus a firm and vociferous believer in the authenticity of the much disputed ‘implements’ called ‘eoliths’, all of which were credited to ‘Pliocene Man’. Abbott was inclined to be bombastic and self important and was quick to claim credit for recognising the significance of Dawson’s discoveries at Piltdown. Abbott genuinely believed in the reality of Piltdown Man, and it is hard to see how his own self-seeking ambition could have been advanced by planting the Piltdown assemblage to the obvious advantage of Dawson.
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | [[File:Piltdown 045.jpg|150px|Lewis Abbott. © The Geological Society (GSL/POR/43/3-1)]]
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | [[File:Piltdown 045.jpg|150px|Lewis Abbott. © The Geological Society (GSL/POR/43/3-1)]]
 
|-
 
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| style="vertical-align:top;" | 1990
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | 1990
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | Frank Oswell Barlow (1880-1950)
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | Frank Oswell Barlow (1880-1950)
| style="vertical-align:top;" | Caroline Grigson, curator of the Odontological Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons, suggested in 1990 that Frank Barlow, a preparator in the Geology Department at the Natural History Museum, could have been Dawson’s accomplice. Barlow was responsible for making the Piltdown casts, from the sale of which he derived some financial benefit. Why, for example, did he not notice or draw attention to the evidence of artificial abrasion on the teeth? He could have supplied the Piltdown jaw from un-catalogued material held at the museum. Dawson may have sought Barlow’s advice on the preservation and hardening of fossil material. Yet any suggestion of connivance between them amounts to mere speculation, having as its basis the commonly held view that Dawson was incapable of creating the forgery alone.
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| style="vertical-align:top;" | Caroline Grigson, curator of the Odontological Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons, suggested in 1990 that Frank Barlow, a preparator the Geology Department at the Natural History Museum, could have been Dawson’s accomplice. Barlow was responsible for making the Piltdown casts, from the sale of which he derived some financial benefit. Why, for example, did he not notice or draw attention to the evidence of artificial abrasion on the teeth? He could have supplied the Piltdown jaw from un-catalogued material held at the museum. Dawson may have sought Barlow’s advice on the preservation and hardening of fossil material. Yet any suggestion of connivance between them amounts to mere speculation, having as its basis the commonly held view that Dawson was incapable of creating the forgery alone.
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | [[File:Piltdown 046.jpg|150px|Frank Oswell Barlow. © Natural History Museum (Image: 051924)]]
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | [[File:Piltdown 046.jpg|150px|Frank Oswell Barlow. © Natural History Museum (Image: 051924)]]
 
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| style="vertical-align:top;" | 1990
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | 1990
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | Arthur Keith (1866-1955)
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | Arthur Keith (1866-1955)
| style="vertical-align:top;" | At the time of the Piltdown discoveries, Keith was Conservator of the Hunterian Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons. He played a large part in the often heated debate surrounding the interpretation of the Piltdown finds, and he was still alive when the forgery was made public in 1953. In 1990 Frank Spencer accused Keith of being the Piltdown forger in his book ''Piltdown: a Scientific Forgery''. The accusation was later reinforced by Philip Tobias. Yet the evidence against Keith is easily dismissed, being either of an inconsequential nature or based on incomplete information. News of the forgery came as a grave blow to Keith, who wrote a few weeks before his death lamenting that he had been so completely deceived by the ‘honest’ countenance of Dawson, a man for whom he had had the greatest respect.
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| style="vertical-align:top;" | At the time of the Piltdown discoveries, Keith was Conservator of the Hunterian Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons. He played a large part in the often heated debate surrounding the interpretation of the Piltdown finds, and he was still alive when the forgery was made public in 1953. In 1990 Frank Spencer accused Keith of being the Piltdown forger in his book Piltdown: a Scientific Forgery. The accusation was later reinforced by Philip Tobias. Yet the evidence against Keith is easily dismissed, being either of an inconsequential nature or based on incomplete information. News of the forgery came as a grave blow to Keith, who wrote a few weeks before his death lamenting that he had been so completely deceived by the ‘honest’ countenance of Dawson, a man for whom he had had the greatest respect.
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | [[File:Piltdown 047.jpg|150px|Arthur Keith. © Natural History Museum (Image: 039907)]]
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | [[File:Piltdown 047.jpg|150px|Arthur Keith. © Natural History Museum (Image: 039907)]]
 
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| style="vertical-align:top;" | 1994
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | 1994
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | Arthur Smith Woodward (1864-1944)
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | Arthur Smith Woodward (1864-1944)
| style="vertical-align:top;" | In 1994 American physical anthropologist Gerell M Drawhorn put forward the theory that Smith Woodward may have colluded with Dawson on the forgery. Woodward’s motive was to enhance his reputation and improve his chances of being appointed Director of the Natural History Museum. While ambition alone is hardly sufficient to implicate Woodward in the forgery, it might have blinded him to any misgivings he should have entertained over some aspects of the Piltdown evidence - notably, for example, Dawson’s reluctance to identify the precise location of Piltdown II. Yet Woodward continued to dig at Piltdown for many years after his retirement, dictating his last book ''The Earliest Englishman'' shortly before his death.
+
| style="vertical-align:top;" | In 1994 American physical anthropologist Gerell M Drawhorn put forward the theory that Smith Woodward may have colluded with Dawson on the forgery. Woodward’s motive was to enhance his reputation and improve his chances of being appointed Director of the Natural History Museum. While ambition alone is hardly sufficient to implicate Woodward in the forgery, it might have blinded him to any misgivings he should have entertained over some aspects of the Piltdown evidence - notably, for example, Dawson’s reluctance to identify the precise location of Piltdown II. Yet Woodward continued to dig at Piltdown for many years after his retirement, dictating his last book The Earliest Englishman shortly before his death.
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | [[File:Piltdown 049.png|150px|Arthur Smith Woodward. © BGS/NERC (Image: P537725)]]
 
| style="vertical-align:top;" | [[File:Piltdown 049.png|150px|Arthur Smith Woodward. © BGS/NERC (Image: P537725)]]
 
|-
 
|-
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On Mike Oldfield’s ‘Tubular Bells’ (1973) he is listed as playing ‘Piltdown Man’ which refers to some unintelligible vocalisation he does on the album.
 
On Mike Oldfield’s ‘Tubular Bells’ (1973) he is listed as playing ‘Piltdown Man’ which refers to some unintelligible vocalisation he does on the album.
 
== Further reading and detailed bibliography ==
 
 
If you want to find out more about Piltdown then the following books would be a good place to start:
 
 
Russell, Miles, ''The Piltdown Man forgery: Case Closed ''(The History Press, 2012)
 
 
Spencer, Frank, ''The Piltdown Papers ''(Oxford University Press, 1990)
 
 
Walsh, John, ''Unravelling Piltdown: The Science Fraud of the Century and Its Solution ''(Random House, 1996)
 
 
Weiner, J S, ''The Piltdown Forgery ''(Fiftieth Anniversary edition, with a new Introduction and Afterword by Chris Stringer, Oxford University Press, 2003)
 
 
For a more detailed study of the whole Piltdown story, BGS Historian David G Bate has compiled a large [http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/507543/ annotated bibliography].
 
  
 
[[Category:British geoscientists]]
 
[[Category:British geoscientists]]

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