iPlayer Radio What's New?
Image for 27/11/2012

Listen now 28 mins

Listen in pop-out player

27/11/2012

Duration:
28 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 27 November 2012

Helen Castor is joined in the studio by Dr Rhodri Hayward from Queen Mary University of London and Martin Ellis, Curator at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.

Listener Caroline Melliar Smith tells the heart-breaking story of how she discovered that her mother's sister had her son taken away from her and was locked up in a mental institution for life in the 1930's. Her aunt was suffering from post natal depression. Is this the tip of a family-history iceberg, or was Alex simply unlucky to miss out on new advances in psychiatry?

In Sussex, Tom Holland joins archaeologists working on what they are describing as a crime scene investigation. Nearly 100 years ago, a skull and jaw bone was found in a gravel pit in the village of Piltdown. The newspapers of the day claimed the discovery as evidence of a Darwinian missing link between apes and humans. By 1953 Piltdown Man was shown to be more of a schoolboy fraud. Dr Matt Pope from University College London sets out the facts of the case while, in Cheltenham, Dr Phil Toms explains how the use of a relatively new technique known as luminescent dating might help to deliver more detail of this ice-age site. Back in the studio, Helen Castor talks to Dr Miles Russell of Bournemouth University who, in a new book called "Piltdown Man - Case Closed", points a finger of suspicion at the person he thinks carried out a fraud which, for nearly 40 years, changed the history of human evolution.

Finally, in our regular Making Historians feature, TV's Michael Wood explains how comics, Ladybird books and what he saw as a slight on the reputation of the Anglo Saxons by a Second World War military hero led him into a career as an historian.

Producer: Nick Patrick
A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

  • Studio guests:

    Dr Rhodri Hayward,  Queen Mary University of London

     

    Martin Ellis, Curator at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

  • Care for the mentally ill

    Listener Caroline Melliar Smith tells the heart-breaking story of how she discovered that her mother’s sister had had her son taken away from her and was locked up in a mental institution for life in the 1930's. Her aunt was suffering from post natal depression. Is this the tip of a family-history iceberg, or was Alex simply unlucky to miss out on new advances in psychiatry?

  • Piltdown Man

    In Sussex Tom Holland joins archaeologists working on what they are describing as a crime scene investigation. Nearly 100 years ago a skull and jaw bone was found in a gravel pit in the village of Piltdown. The newspapers of the day claimed the discovery as evidence of a Darwinian missing link between apes and humans. By 1953 Piltdown Man was shown to be more of a schoolboy fraud. Dr Matt Pope from University College London sets out the facts of the case whilst in Cheltenham Dr Phil Toms explains how the use of a relatively new technique known as luminescent dating might help to deliver more detail of this ice-age site. Back in the studio, Helen Castor talks to Dr Miles Russell of Bournemouth University who, in a new book called "Piltdown Man – Case Closed", points a finger of suspicion at the person he thinks carried out a fraud which, for nearly 40 years, changed the history of human evolution.

     

    Natural History Museum

     

    The Guardian on Piltdown Man

  • Making Historians

    This week: Michael Wood

Broadcasts

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.