kennewick man

thediaryofadarkman  asked:

Hey Caitlin, I just have a random question for you. What do you think is the most important Archaeological finding for the Native American people?

Thanks for your question! I’m going to assume you mean Native American in the US-sense, as opposed to meaning all of the indigenous peoples of the Americas. Even then it’s difficult to pinpoint one important discovery for all Native Americans, as they are comprised of many different groups. In terms of meaningful archaeology for Native American people in general, I’d have to say the Kennewick Man.

Image: CBS News

Kennewick Man is a 9000 year old Paleoindian skeleton discovered in Washington State by archaeologists in 1996, and is the most complete skeleton found dating to this period. The skeleton was discovered a few years after the passing of the Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act, or NAGPRA, which provided guidelines and protocol for the repatriation of cultural artifacts and human remains to Native Americans who could prove a cultural or familial connection. NAGPRA was and remains very controversial, with many people having strong feelings for or against it. Archaeologists tend to be afraid that the Native Americans will claim everything and leave nothing for museums or research, while Native Americans tend to fear that archaeologists will refuse to repatriate anything and mistreat their cultural artifacts. The truth is that the implementation of NAGPRA often lies in the middle-ground, and the case of Kennewick Man became the high profile target for the debate.

In order to implement NAGPRA protocol, Native Americans need to prove affiliation according to government requirements. The use of non-Native criteria to determine repatriation is also controversial and worth exploring, but we won’t go down that road right now. To many archaeologists, including myself, the age of Kennewick Man means that he cannot be affiliated to any one tribal group. To many Native Americans, the religious belief that native people have lived in this area since the dawn of time means that the Kennewick Man belongs to them and should not be studied.  

The discovery of the Kennewick Man sparked a lot of debate surrounding repatriation which really seek to answer the question: who owns the past? Do indigenous peoples automatically deserve to have artifacts and human remains repatriated simply because they live in the area of discovery, even if there is no evidence of any cultural tie? Does the NAGPRA system work? Is it ethical to impose a native identity on someone who died 9000 years ago in what was likely a very different culture? Is it ethical to study human remains at all?

Recent genetic research has indicated that while Kennewick Man cannot be linked to any tribal group, he is more related to Native Americans than any other people. Plans are now in place to rebury the skeleton, although there is still an ongoing effort to determine which tribe should claim ownership as the genetics are inconclusive.

Kennewick Man is a great chance to explore a lot of important issues related to Native American Archaeology. It’s important to keep in mind when discussing this to explore both sides and not jump to the side of the archaeologists or the tribal representatives in the hope of being a good scientist or good ally. The legal, ethical, scientific, and spiritual dimensions all reach far beyond the one case of the Kennewick Man to really impact all archaeology, which is why I think it is one of the most important finds in Native American archaeology.

Doing research for a uni essay on how museums handle issues of repatriation, and goddamn there is something incredibly fucked about institutions that not only argue against the return of stolen Indigenous human remains to their rightful custodians, but claim that really it’s for the Indigenous peoples’ own good because keeping these ransacked bones will allow us to science them and we will all reap the benefits! And you see, under the finders keepers rule of racist asshat museology, these looted ancestral remains and funerary items and secret/sacred objects really belong to the global community now, so it would be terribly unfair of you to snatch them away. And it’s not as if you want to do anything with them, you just want to bury them, like, how selfish is that?!

I mean. How far up your own arse do you have to be to be sitting on a hoard of stolen human remains and still think you get to take the moral high ground?

New genetic evidence suggests that Kennewick Man, an 8,500-year-old skeleton found in Washington state, is related to members of a nearby Native American tribe.

The DNA may help resolve a long-running scientific mystery, while at the same time reigniting a debate over who should have custody of the remains.

Kennewick Man was discovered accidentally in the mud flat along the Columbia River in 1996. He’s caused a ruckus ever since.

DNA Confirms Kennewick Man’s Genetic Ties To Native Americans

Photo credit: Brittney Tatchell/Smithsonian Institution
DNA reignites Kennewick Man debate - BBC News
DNA tests show an ancient skeleton known as Kennewick Man is related to modern Native Americans - reigniting a debate over whether his bones should be returned to local tribes and reburied.

“From that perspective, I think we can conclude very clearly he is most clearly related to contemporary Native Americans.”

Buff Kennewick Man Had Coastal Diet
Anna King
Buff Kennewick Man Had Coastal Diet

“For nearly a decade, scientists and Northwest tribes fought bitterly over whether to bury or study the 9,500-year-old bones known as Kennewick Man. Now, after years of careful examination, scientists are releasing some of their findings to tribes at meetings this week in Central Washington. It runs out ‘Kennewick Man’ grew up on the coast.

Kennewick Man was buff. I mean really -– beefcake. So says Doug Owsley. He’s the head of physical anthropology at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and led the study of the ancient remains. Owsley can read the bones like we might read a book. He looks for ridge lines that indicate which muscles Kennewick Man used the most and what he was doing with them. First off? He had muscular legs like a soccer player –- likely from running, trudging and hunting.

“In his leg structure he’s certainly accustomed to very rapid movement, quick movement and you can read that in those muscle ridges,” Owsley explains. He also likely had killer arms, because he threw a spear with the aid of a lever like tool. Owsley says Kennewick Man was so strong in his right arm he was like a pro baseball pitcher, and the bones show he got today’s equivalent of a career-ending sports injury.

“If it happened to a contemporary baseball pitcher, they’d need surgery. And so it took off a piece of bone off the back side of the shoulder joint that would have been essentially loose. And I’m sure that caused great complications in his ability to throw.”

Owsley says Kennewick Man who stood about 5’7” and weighed about 170 pounds. And he wasn’t any stranger to pain. The evidence shows, K-Man as he’s known in Eastern Washington, got hit on the head a few times and stabbed with a basalt rock point that embedded in his hip” (read more).

***Haven’t listened to this yet.

(Source: NPR)

Mysterious Kennewick Man looked Polynesian and came from far away

The mysterious Kennewick Man, who died 9,000 years ago in the Columbia River Valley, was a seal hunter who rambled far and wide with a projectile point lodged in his hip, five broken ribs that never healed properly, two small dents in his skull and a bum shoulder from the repetitive stress of throwing spears.

Mysterious Kennewick Man looked Polynesian and came from far away

The mysterious Kennewick Man, who died 9,000 years ago in the Columbia River Valley, was a seal hunter who rambled far and wide with a projectile point lodged in his hip, five broken ribs that never healed properly, two small dents in his skull and a bum shoulder from the repetitive stress of throwing spears.

He came from somewhere far away, far up the Pacific Northwest coast, possibly Alaska or the Aleutian Islands. He might even have come to North America all the way from Asia.

That’s the argument of the editors of a new, 688-page, peer-reviewed book, “Kennewick Man: The Scientific Investigation of an Ancient American Skeleton,” that will be published this fall by Texas A&M University Press. Read more.

Two 9,500-Year-Old Skeletons Found At UC San Diego President's House Will Return To Tribes

In 1976, two human skeletons were found during construction work on the house of the president of UC San Diego. At around 9,500 years old, the skeletons are two of the oldest known in the Americas and therefore important for understanding the population history of the continent. But they are also the physical remains of Native Americans and have been the subject of a decade-long legal battle that appears to have concluded this week when the US Supreme Court declined to hear the case.

The La Jolla skeletons – a male and a female – are around the same age as Kennewick Man, a skeleton who found in Washington in 1996 and who has also been subject to protracted legal battles between scientists who want to study his remains and modern Native Americans who claim him as an ancestor and want to rebury him. The debate about repatriation of Native American remains began decades ago, and was eventually codified into law with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990. Read more.

Last week, there was a big development in the long-running, bitter, complicated battle over a 9,000-year-old set of bones known variously as “Kennewick Man” or “The Ancient One,” depending on whom you ask.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers confirmed that the ancient bearer of the bones is genetically linked to modern-day Native Americans. Now, under federal law, a group of tribes that has been fighting to rebury him will almost certainly get to do so.

It also means that scientists will probably never get another chance to study him, though ancient human remains from North America are incredibly rare, and forensic technology gets better all the time.

“It’s the chafe between science and spirituality,” writes Kevin Taylor at Indian Country Today, “between people who say the remains have so much to tell us about the ancient human past that they should remain available for research, versus people who feel a kinship with the ancient bones and say they should be reburied to show proper reverence for the dead.”

A Long, Complicated Battle Over 9,000-Year-Old Bones Is Finally Over

Photo: Brittney Tatchell/Smithsonian Institute

it's hardly surprising but the more you know: richard dawkins reduced native american repatriation requests to 'religion versus science' arguments,

thereby completely ignoring the colonial and often genocidal context of the collection and display of indigenous remains, and presenting science as apolitical and universally beneficial, all the while playing on existing stereotypes of native americans as ‘anti-intellectual’ and ‘backward’..

First DNA tests say Kennewick Man was Native American

Nearly two decades after the ancient skeleton called Kennewick Man was discovered on the banks of the Columbia River, the mystery of his origins appears to be nearing resolution.
Genetic analysis is still under way in Denmark, but documents obtained through the federal Freedom of Information Act say preliminary results point to a Native-American heritage.