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Two young men, Will Thomas and Dave Deacy, discovered Kennewick Man’s skull at Columbia Park in Kennewick, Washington while sneaking into a hydroplane.

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Presentation on theme: "Two young men, Will Thomas and Dave Deacy, discovered Kennewick Man’s skull at Columbia Park in Kennewick, Washington while sneaking into a hydroplane."— Presentation transcript:


2 Two young men, Will Thomas and Dave Deacy, discovered Kennewick Man’s skull at Columbia Park in Kennewick, Washington while sneaking into a hydroplane race on July 28, 1996. Intro.

3 Controversy Anthropologist James (Jim) Chatters was assigned to investigate the bones. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers originally had legal custody of Kennewick Man. Confederate Tribes of the Umatilla Indians, whose ancestors had lived in the area, wanted to gain custody of Kennewick Man.

4 Controversy DNA was inconclusive but radiocarbon testing indicated he had lived approximately 9,500 years ago. Umatilla Confederacy wanted to rebury Kennewick Man according to their culture’s traditions. Chatters believed Kennewick Man predated Umatilla and that reburial without study would disrespect his people’s proper place in human history.

5 Why Study Skeletons? Medical students--To learn how bodies are constructed and how they work so as doctors they can help people recover from accidents and illnesses. Physical anthropologists--To determine person’s age, sex, how long ago he or she died, whether the person had injuries or diseases and in general, what the person looked like. Paleoanthropologists—To learn about the origins and anatomy of early humans; to learn how humans evolved and adapted to their environment. Physical anthropologists help police with identification of crime victims.

6 What is Race? Modern peoples often look different from their ancestors. Even by studying Kennewick Man’s skull shape, physical anthropologists cannot place him in any modern-day racial or ethnic category. Three skull shapes representing three major races is concept from 1800’s, considered too simplistic and out of date by modern anthropologists.

7 NAGPRA Native American Graves Protection and repatriation Act (NAGPRA) law to protect graves of Native Americans from being disturbed.

8 NAGPRA Intended to ensure that remains of Native Americans’ ancestors, along with burial items, would not be owned as property by museums or government agencies without prior permission. Video on controversy

9 Nine-Year Court Battle
Army Corps of Engineers planned to return bones to Umatilla, citing NAGPRA. October, 1996, lawyers for eight scientists denied right to further study Kennewick Man, sue. They argue the government had not correctly followed NAGPRA because skeleton was too old to be identified as ancestor of any modern-day group. Lawyers for Corp countered that any skeleton older than Christopher Columbus’s arrival (1492) automatically classified as Native American.

10 Nine-Year Court Battle
Case know as: Bonnichsen et al v. the United States of America. August, Judge John Jelderks in Portland, OR, rules that Army Corps must make bones available for study. February, 2004-U.S. Court of Appeals unanimously upholds Jelderks’s decision. Justice department and tribes decide not to appeal to U.S. Supreme Court. January/February 2006-Scientists study Kennewick Man.

11 Testing the Skeleton Scientists tried DNA testing to find out how closely he is or is not related to other ancient populations. DNA can be found in teeth and bones, but much more easily in blood, urine, hair, skin tissue and organs. Cell matter degrades over. Also, if bones come in contact with other DNA (others handling bones or animals contacting bones) tests can be sabotaged. Thus far, efforts to test Kennewick Man’s DNA has been unsuccessful. Other tests and observation of skeleton have led scientists to other conclusions.

12 What you can determine from a skull:
Proportional arrangements of facial features Approximate age Sex Teeth-individual characteristics and conditions Injuries, malnutrition and some illnesses Approximate weight Possible indicators of ancestry What you cannot determine from a skull: Skin color and freckles or other markings Wrinkles or other lines on skin Hair color, type and style Facial hair (mustache, beard) Eyebrows and eyelid structure Eye color Shape and length of nose Shape of ears Shape of lips and mouth Chatters findings

13 Scientist Findings (as of 12/2011)
Kennewick Man had been about 5’9” or 5’10” tall. Bone mass showed he had been very muscular and strong. He had arthritis in both knees as well as in his right elbow and in some vertebrae. Had been hit in the front of the hip by an assailant throwing a spear, but not fatal. Hip bone had grown back around the spear point.

14 Other Theories and Findings
Most scientists believe Kennewick Man most closely related to ancient Polynesians or Ainu, generally light-skinned (not Caucasian) people from Asia. People that migrated to America’s during last ice age, either by land bridge or by boat. Ainu- I-nu

15 Other Theories and Findings
Approximately 40 human remains dating from 9,000 years ago or earlier have been reported in North America. Kennewick Man rare for skull being in such good condition and set of bones nearly intact.

16 Kennewick Man’s Tool Kit
Lump of red ocher to make designs on bodies or rocks, decorate deceased before burial or as insect repellant. Crescent (fragment here; archaeologists don’t know purpose. 3a and 3b-scrapers for shaping bone and wood. Bone needle for sewing. Bola-set of stones tied together to stun or snare birds and long-legged animals.

17 Kennewick Man’s Tool Kit
6. 6a-d- spear points for killing game animals (and also sometimes used as knives for cutting). 6e is set to a foreshaft with sinew or animal tendon. 7. Barbed harpoon point, possibly for spearing fish. May have fastened to foreshaft to use as spear.

18 What does story of Kennewick Man mean for the future?
Currently, Kennewick Man is in special protective storage at the Burke Museum in Seattle. Case has raised moral, ethical and legal questions for future— Who should determine treatment of ancient human remains? What are potential benefits of knowledge and education in relation to these remains? Do benefits outweigh considerations for respecting customs and traditions? What values do all people share? How do we make decisions with groups of people of different backgrounds and beliefs?

19 Update-October, 2012 Kennewick Man not from Columbia Valley, scientists tell tribes Isotopes in the bones told scientists Kennewick Man was a hunter of marine mammals, such as seals, Owsley said. "They are not what you would expect for someone from the Columbia Valley," he said. "You would have to eat salmon 24 hours a day and you would not reach these values.

20 Update-October, 2012 "This is a man from the coast, not a man from here. I think he is a coastal man." Rex Buck, leader of the Wanapum people, told Owsley he appreciated the presentation, but that lamprey eel could provide the same types of marine-mammal nutrients that Owsley noted. "I hope you would think about some of these things, too, and add that to your equation." Clay model made from Kennewick Man skull

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