The Piltdown Centenary Conference - Truth and Lies from the Deep Sussex Past
To commemorate the centenary of the notorious Piltdown fraud, Sussex Archaeology Society has assembled leading experts on the history of the site and the personalities involved in the hoax to speak alongside specialists in the fraudulent tools, human remains and fossils found at the site, in Lewes on Saturday 22nd September 2012.
The Piltdown fraud was the most famous scientific hoax of the last century – the so-called ‘missing link’, later shown to be a fabrication. It is a gripping story of human fallibility and manipulation. Although several people have been implicated, there is no proof of the identity of the perpetrator, and the conference will examine the evidence against the chief suspects, place the fraud in its historical context and consider the artefacts and fossils of Piltdown, concluding with an overview of Stone Age archaeology in the 21st century. For the first time the intriguing relationship of the Society itself to the prime suspect, Charles Dawson, will be explored and the case against the new suspects presented along with the opportunity to view a number of the finds from the hoax.
Dr Matt Pope FSA Senior Research/Teaching Fellow (Palaeolithic Archaeology) has coordinated with Sussex Archaeological Society, a program of speakers from the Natural History Museum, the British Museum, Bournemouth, Southampton and Witwatersrand Universities and the Institute of Archaeology.
He quotes: “Piltdown continues to hold a fascination for both academics and the public. It’s a key episode in the history of science and a century later, there are still many questions which remain unanswered.”
The speakers’ insightful knowledge, combined with the scope of lively discussion and debate, promises a day of new evidence and intrigue around the greatest mystery story in the history of science.
Published 14th September 2012
All news stories