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July 08, 2005

Kennewich man finally to be studied

From The Independent:

Nine years after the 9,300-year-old remains of so-called Kennewick Man were discovered partly buried near a stream, scientists have finally begun studying one of the oldest and most complete skeletons found in North America. Some experts believe it could yield important clues about the origin of the original pop-ulation of the Americas.

The remains had been locked away since their accidental discovery by students in Washington state in 1996 because of a legal dispute over who should have access. Native American tribes had said the bones should be reburied without scientific examination, claiming such scrutiny would be desecration.

In February 2004, a panel of judges ruled in favour of eight scientists who filed a lawsuit seeking the right to study the remains and said there was no link between the remains and five Native American tribes who opposed the research. Scientists have already taken scans of the pelvis and skull and a dozen experts have converged in Seattle to begin 10 days of further, more comprehensive study....

Some scientists say Kennewick Man's skull most closely resembles the Ainu, an aboriginal group that still lives in northern Japan but does not resemble the modern inhabitants.

In a nut shell, some Native Americans don't want it proven that there were people here before their ancestors migrated here from Asia. Seems kinda silly to me. I doubt there's really any way to tell what happened to the earlier inhabitants, but the idea that even Native Americans, are immigrants is already been solidly proven. Some have, falsely, claimed that the skeleton is that of a white person, but so far there's not really any substantial evidence to back that up.

Whether the Kennewich Man's people died out or were killed by the early Asian immigrants isn't all that important in the face of undeniable evidence that Native Americans were systematically killing each other out, long before Europeans first arrived in the New World. Not to brag, almost every culture has a history of such idiocy.

Posted by Danny Carlton at July 8, 2005 08:01 AM

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