Piltdown man and radiocarbon dating

01-Mar-2020 13:27 by 6 Comments

Piltdown man and radiocarbon dating

Oakley surmounted this problem by hypothesizing that a single tooth from Ichkeul might have been acquired in a Tunisian souk and then brought to Britain via agents in the antiquities trade. The tooth would have then been purchased and broken up to provide the several fragments used in the fraud. Osborn's (1942) analysis of wear and morphology indicates that the Piltdown sample consists of fragments from three distinct specimens.

The broken molar plates from Piltdown have also been variously classified as "Stegodon" (Dawson and Woodward 1913), E. [Archidiskodon] planifrons (Freudenberg 1915, Matsumoto 1924, Osborn 1943), or diagnosed merely as a "primitive" elephantid close to the Early Pliocene origin of the taxon (Maglio, 1973).

Known chemical compositions of fossils from over 500 Plio-Pleistocene samples (Weiner et al 1967,1971,1975; and other sources) were contrasted with specimens utilized in the Piltdown forgery (Weiner et al).

Localities with faunal and chemical characteristics that corresponded with the materials from Piltdown were then evaluated as to (a) date of official discovery and (b) possible access to the antiquarian "gray market".

A Dawson-Woodward nexus is made more plausible by their three decades of regular interaction prior to 1912.

The specimens recovered and the timing of their discovery provided support for Woodward's belief that orthogenetic principles could accurately predict "missing links" in human evolution.

Woodward acquired several Ona and Fuegean skulls in 1899.

Illustrations of an Ona cranium were found inserted into the pages of Woodward's personal copy of Keith's Antiquity of Man. Subfossil Pongo specimens were catalogued into the Natural History Museum by Woodward in 1899. Oakley noted that a Patagonian archeological specimen may have served as the "remarkably thick" cranium used in the fraud. During the summer of 1901 Woodward (1901) and his wife Maud made extensive excavations at Pikermi and recovered a diverse fauna, including proboscideans. The BMNH collection appears to be the only one in Britain sampling the Pikermi fauna until the fraud unfolded. The curatorial histories of collections from localities discovered prior to 1915 were examined in detail (Sherborn 1940, Cleevely 1983, Webby 1989).