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The Goliath of New York: Anatomy of an Archaeological Hoax
April 21 @ 10:30 am - 12:00 pmFree
The final presentation in the AIA/SunWatch 2018 Lecture Series: Science vs Pseudoscience presented by Dr. Ken Feder, Professor of Anthropology at Central Connecticut State University.
When Stub Newell, a farmer in upstate New York, uncovered the remains in October 1869 of what appeared to be a giant, recumbent man whose body had turned to stone, scientists, including the Yale Peabody’s paleontologist O. C. Marsh, immediately declared it to be “a remarkable humbug.” The pronouncements of geologists and archaeologists meant little, however, to the hordes who descended on the Newell farm to see the giant for themselves. Circus impresario P.T. Barnum was so impressed by the archaeological fake that he tried to purchase it for his sideshow. The perpetrator confessed just a few months after the giant’s discovery but the giant himself continues as a tourist attraction at the Farmers Museum in Cooperstown, New York. Though not nearly as well known as the Piltdown Man hoax, the Cardiff Giant fraud is one of the most instructive in the history of archaeology. And it’s much funnier.
Thanks to the Archaeological Institute of America and the generosity of an anonymous donor, admission to the 2018 Science vs Pseudoscience presentation series is free and open to the public. Regular admission fees apply for guests who wish to visit the museum and village before or after each presentation. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Pastries will be provided; guests are welcome to bring a beverage.