Education | National

Scientists publish lengthy book based on study of Kennewick Man






The cover to the new book -- Kennewick Man: The Scientific Investigation of an Ancient American Skeleton (Peopling of the Americas Publications)

Scientists have finally published their research into the 9,500-year-old remains of the Kennewick Man.

The Washington Post obtained a copy of Kennewick Man: The Scientific Investigation of an Ancient American Skeleton, which is due out on September 10. The paper said the 688-page book makes the case that Kennewick Man was not a "longtime resident" of the area in Washington where he died nearly 10,000 years ago.

Scientists instead suggest that he may have come to the area from further up the Northwest coast or from Alaska. One of them even told the paper he might have been "an Asian."

"Kennewick Man could not have been a longtime resident of the area where he was found, but instead lived most of his adult life somewhere along the Northwest and North Pacific coast where marine mammals were readily available,” the concluding chapter of the book states, the Post reported.

Five Northwest tribes claim Kennewick Man as an ancestor. He was discovered in 1996 on federal land that was once a part of the Umatilla Reservation.

Instead of returning the remains to the tribes, however, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2004 said the remains were too old to be covered by the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. The book is the result of 16 days of studies that were conducted after scientists won the case.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers retains custody of the remains and hasn't determined what to do with them. Scientists, however, want to continue further studies.

Some material from the remains was removed for genetic testing. Those tests are underway in Denmark, the Post said.

Get the Story:
Scientists: Mysterious Kennewick Man looked Polynesian and came from far away (The Washington Post 8/25)