Still, there are plenty of people who are fully prepared to give forgin' face bones a go, judging by how often they pop up in the annals of accurate-ish archaeology. Some of these fakes, like crystal skulls and the Piltdown Man, have been decent enough to fool people for a while.
And then there is the Calaveras skull.
Brought to light in 1866 by Josiah Whitney, a well-respected Californian geologist, this significant head bone was found buried beneath million-year-old volcanic layers by gold miners. When presented with the skull, Whitney realized it could belong to the oldest known human being at the time and immediately started writing all the academic papers. The scientific community promptly shat a brick, as they are wont to do in such situations, and set out to investigate further ... only to find out that the skull actually belonged to a very specific creature called "just some random fucking dude." It was an old, fossilized Native American skull that had been planted in the mine as a practical joke.
"And then we sold him one of those mermaids Butch is always making."
Gold Rush California was a tough place, with way too few PS4s and other sources of entertainment to go around. To occupy their time, a bunch of dudes developed an equally hard sense of humor and devised a complicated prank at the expense of Whitney (whom I strongly suspect had been sleeping with someone's wife to deserve such an Ocean's Eleven treatment). The skull was planted in the mine, and a miner "found" it and presented it to Whitney. Add some friendly nudges in the right direction by shopkeepers and academics who were also in on the joke, and voila -- Whitney was soon called out and thoroughly shamed by the scientific community.
A note to all aspiring academics: Although your Wild West survival instinct is correct in not contesting the words of a man emerging from underground waving a pickax and screaming about ancient skulls, please realize that this doesn't mean you should instantly publicize everything he says.