Anthropologists are gathering this week in Seattle to examine the remains of a skeleton known as Kennewick Man.
The 9,200- to 9,500-year-old remains have been at the center of a bitter battle between American Indians and scientists who seek to unearth the skeleton's secrets.
"This is something that should have been done years ago," Seattle archaeologist Jim Chatters, who was the first researcher to inspect the bones after they were discovered in July 1996, told Wednesday's Seattle Times.
"We never dreamed it would take this long," Alan Schneider, the attorney who represented eight scientists in a case that went up to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
So far, researchers have conducted CT scans. DNA analysis done several years ago yielded inconclusive results but scientists are hoping to take more samples.
Earlier studies indicated Kennewick Man does not have the same facial features as American Indian populations. An early reconstruction indicated Kennewick Man resembled "Star Trek" star Patrick Stewart. A later reconstruction showed a wider nose, fuller lips and deep-set eyes.
Copyright 2005 by United Press International
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