Comparative model of primate lower jaws
R. F. Damon and Co (estab. 1850)
This is a display board comparing the jaws of various human species and a chimpanzee. It comprises five plaster casts of primate jaw bones mounted on a wooden board: chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes), Piltdown Man, Heidelberg Man (Homo heidelbergensis), Neanderthal Man (Homo neanderthalensis) and modern human (Homo sapiens). As with the other models, there are areas of light and dark shading on the Piltdown Man jaw, indicating the missing sections of the original fossil jaw. The Piltdown fossils were conclusively shown to be a hoax in 1953. They were produced by staining and modifying human and orangutan that were then planted at a dig site in East Sussex. Students of anthropology at the time would have been shown an orderly progression of morphological change, with the chin becoming less sloping and the canine teeth reducing in size. This sequence of the changing shape of hominid jaws is very neat and linear, and reflects the assumption that progress from apes to bipedal, intelligent humans was inevitable.
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