Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Piltdown Hoax

Fraudulent presentation of material from Piltdown as having belonged to a single hominid individual; in fact, a fossil chimera. In 1953, Le Gros Clark, Kenneth Oakley and Joseph Weiner applied the fluorine test (aka F-U-N) to the skull fragments and jaw, and demonstrated that these could not have been buried for the same length of time, and therefore came from different individuals; later analysis showed that they were from a 500 year-old human and a juvenile orangutan, respectively. The perpetrators of the hoax have not been conclusively identified.

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