Dawson's Piltdown Man was conclusively established as a hoax in 1953, after decades of leading scientists down the wrong path of evolutionary study.
The Piltdown Man was a collection of "fossils" assumed to be from the same Pleistocene- or Pliocene-era early human, according to Isabelle De Groote, a professor at the Research Centre in Evolutionary Anthropology and Palaeoecology at Liverpool John Moores University and author of the 2016 article "New genetic and morphological evidence suggests a single hoaxes created ‘Piltdown Man.'" The Piltdown Man fossils were found over several years and included a mandible and set of teeth, parts of a human-like skull and a canine tooth.
He had found part of a human-like skull in Pleistocene gravel beds near Piltdown village in Sussex, England.
Dawson announced the discovery of the new fossil hominin——together with palaeontologist Arthur Smith Woodward.
It was Dawson who first contacted Woodward, then keeper of palaeontology at the Museum of Natural History in London, about having found a new human fossil.
In reality, the jawbones and tooth came from an orangutan and the skulls from medieval human bones, De Groote said.
For more than a century, the identity of the creator of the fake fossils was unknown, but De Groote's study, published in August 2016 by Royal Society Open Science, determined that Dawson was the most likely sole forger.