Piltdown man and radiocarbon dating
Fluorine absorption dating is a method used to determine the amount of time an object has been underground.Fluorine absorption dating can be carried out based on the fact that groundwater contains fluoride ions.A number of the specimens recovered from the Piltdown pit and vicinity are indistinguishable in mineralogical content, coloration, and character from materials derived from several Red Crag and Norwich Crag localities in the United Kingdom. The bulk of these assemblages were known by collectors for decades before the first Piltdown "discovery" and served as a supply pool for Natural History supply houses in London and elsewhere. Washington, DC: International Palaeontological Association. 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". Woodward's primary motivation may have been an effort to establish himself as the principal candidate for the coveted Directorship of the Natural History Museum. It has been four decades since the revelation that a human cranium and an orangutan mandible were fraudulently introduced into the Piltdown gravel bed.
As not all objects absorb fluorine at the same rate, this also undermines the accuracy of such a dating technique.Many instances of this dating method compare the amount of fluorine and uranium in the bones to nitrogen dating to create more accurate estimation of date.Older bones have more fluorine and uranium and less nitrogen.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.
Woodward acquired several Ona and Fuegean skulls in 1899.