Leah Niederhausen (VU University)
Since 1924, the Museum Vrolik in Amsterdam holds this plaster cast of the Piltdown skull. This skull was seen as the ‘missing link’ in the evolution from ape to human, but turned out to be one of the biggest archaeological forgeries of all times. A copy of the original, the cast works in two ways. On the one hand, it is an object in itself: its materiality, manufacturing, and measurements can be researched. On the other hand, it represents the original skull, and as such, the bigger framework of questions around archaeological practices and forgeries in the early 20th century.