The Kennewick Man's history emerges

In 1996 the skull of the 9,000-year-old Kennewick Man was found along a river near Kennewick, Wash., but only now is light being shed on the remains.

Scientists were prevented from examining the bones by a legal battle with Northwest U.S. Indian tribes, who claimed the remains were protected by the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. That dispute ended in 2004, when a court allowed scientists to begin examining the remains, accordng to an article in the current issue of Time magazine.

So far the forensic scientists have determined:

-- The Kennewick Man was about 5 feet 9 inches tall and was right-handed.

-- His muscles were so well developed some of his bones were bent; the result, scientists speculate, of a lifetime of hunting and spear fishing.

-- He suffered some non-crippling arthritis and suffered some non-fatal trauma, including fractures of his forehead and ribs.

-- He was not Caucasian, but most likely Polynesian or Ainu.

The examination of the remains has, so far, overturned some long-held beliefs about the colonization of North America, Time said, with a picture emerging that suggests a much more complex and older migration -- including people from Europe, Australia and Africa -- pre-dating the Asian ancestors of American Indians.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Citation: The Kennewick Man's history emerges (2006, March 6) retrieved 8 December 2022 from
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