December 18, 1912 (a Wednesday)

Working at Piltdown.

On this date, the discovery of the skull known as Piltdown man, the first important fossil human skull ever to be unearthed in England, was announced at a meeting of the Geological Society of Great Britain. Charles Dawson, steward of Barkham Manor, an attorney, and secretary to the Sussex Archaeological Society, and Arthur Smith Woodward, keeper of geology at the British Museum, announced their remarkable find had been made at Piltdown Common. The specimen, known as Piltdown man, occupied an honored place in the catalogues of fossil hominids for the next 40 years. But in 1953, thanks to some rigorous scholarly detective work, Piltdown man was revealed to be nothing more than a forgery, manufactured from modern human and animal remains.

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