Tags: kennewick | man | burial

Kennewick Man's Burial More Likely After DNA Says Skeleton is Native

Image: Kennewick Man's Burial More Likely After DNA Says Skeleton is Native
A clay facial reconstruction of Kennewick Man was carefully sculpted around the morphological features of his skull. Sculpted bust of Kennewick Man by StudioEIS based on forensic facial reconstruction by sculptor Amanda Danning. (Brittney Tatchell/Smithsonian Institution)

By    |   Monday, 02 May 2016 12:17 PM

The Kennewick Man, a 9,000-year-old skeleton, got one step closer to a requested tribal burial after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers confirmed that it is Native American.

Five native tribes in the northwest U.S. have claimed the Kennewick Man as a relative and have been arguing since the 1996 discovery that the skeleton, which they refer to as “Ancient One” should be reburied, The Seattle Times reported.

That request became more likely after DNA testing revealed genetic similarities between the Kennewick Man and Colville tribal members in Washington state.

Students involved in hydroplane races discovered the skeleton washed out of a bank of the Columbia River on federal land. That land formerly belonged to the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, and would have been visited by members of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation: the Wanapum Band, the Yakama Nation, and the Nez Perce.

“Obviously we are hearing an acknowledgment from the Corps of what we have been saying for 20 years,” said JoDe Goudy, chairman of the Yakama Nation. “Now we want to collectively do what is right, and bring our relative back for reburial.”

The skeleton is now covered by the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, The Associated Press reported. It will remain at the Burke Museum in Seattle until officials determine which tribe should receive it.

Affirmation of cultural ties isn’t expected before February, The Christian Science Monitor reported, adding that Oregon's Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation will file a joint claim to speed repatriation.

Scientists studying the skeleton learned that the Kennewick Man was 5-foot-7, weighed 163 pounds and died at age 40. He ate mostly fish or marine mammals, but also hunted deer and antelope and was right-handed.

Dating between 8,400 and 8,690 years old, Kennewick Man is one of the oldest and most complete human skeletons found in North America, according to the Burke Museum’s website.

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The Kennewick Man, a 9,000-year-old skeleton, got one step closer to a requested tribal burial after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers confirmed that it is Native American.
kennewick, man, burial
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2016-17-02
Monday, 02 May 2016 12:17 PM
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