Skip to comments.Tribes Fail To Halt Study Of Ancient Skeleton (Kennewick Man)
Posted on 01/09/2003 8:58:39 PM PST by blam
Tribes fail to halt study of ancient skeleton
RICHARD L. HILL
Four Northwest tribes lost another round in federal court Wednesday in their effort to halt a scientific study of the ancient skeleton called Kennewick Man.
U.S. Magistrate John Jelderks in Portland rejected the tribes' request to delay the study until the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals can hear the legal dispute.
In August, Jelderks ruled that eight anthropologists who sued the federal government could proceed to study the 9,300-year-old remains. The Nez Perce, Umatilla, Colville and Yakama tribes appealed his decision and later asked Jelderks to delay the study until the higher court could hear the case.
In a four-page ruling rejecting their request, Jelderks said he recognized that the study would "constitute some injury" to the tribes, "who oppose any further study on religious and spiritual grounds." But because the scientists "do not intend to carry out extensive invasive studies that will substantially alter the physical condition of the remains, the remains would be available for burial without substantial change from their current condition" if the tribes prevail in their appeal, he said.
"The public has an interest in the studies proceeding without further delay," Jelderks said.
Paula A. Barran, a Portland attorney who represents the eight scientists, said her clients are working out details of the study with the U.S. Interior Department and the Army Corps of Engineers. No study date has been scheduled.
The tribes are reviewing their legal options, said Rick Eichstaedt, an attorney with the Nez Perce Tribe. "The judge recognizes that allowing a study threatens injury to the tribe, so we're disappointed that he would allow a study before the 9th Circuit has an opportunity to hear our appeal."
The bones, discovered in 1996 on the Columbia River shoreline in Kennewick, Wash., are being stored at the Burke Museum in Seattle. Richard L. Hill: 503-221-8238; email@example.com
So, uh, just which tribe does Mr. Kennewick belong to? Is there any evidence that any of these tribes, or even their predecessors, existed in the area over nine millenia ago? If not, what claim do they have? If so, what evidence proves this?
That fact that four tribes are involved strongly suggests that there is no cultural connection to any of them, and thus no rational basis for claiming Kennewick Man as some sort of "ancestor". There were no artifacts discovered with Kennewick man that link him to any Indian tribe. Even his skeleton has none of the Mongoloid features that would link him genetically to American Indians.
In fact, Dr. James C. Chatters, who aided in recovering the skeleton and conducted the initial skeletal forensics on Kennewick Man, describes the skeleton as follows:
"The completeness and unusually good condition of the skeleton, presence of caucasoid traits, lack of definitive Native-American characteristics, and the association with an early homestead led me to suspect that the bones represented a European settler. [...]
"The man lacks definitive characteristics of the classic mongoloid stock to which modern Native Americans belong. The skull is dolichocranic (cranial index 73.8) rather than brachycranic, the face narrow and prognathous rather than broad and flat. Cheek bones recede slightly and lack an inferior zygomatic projection; the lower rim of the orbit is even with the upper. Other features are a long, broad nose that projects markedly from the face and high, round orbits. The mandible is v-shaped,with a pronounced, deep chin. Many of these characteristics are definitive of modern-day caucasoid peoples, while others, such as the orbits are typical of neither race. Dental characteristics fit Turner's (1983) Sundadont pattern, indicating possible relationship to south Asian peoples."
Personally, I tend to give Indians the benefit of the doubt in just about everything involving their cultural and religious beliefs, but their claim in this case extends beyond reason and propriety. Frankly, what they're doing goes beyond ignorance into the realm of deliberate stupidity, since a) their efforts are impeding the very same process that would establish what relationship, if any, they have to Kennewick Man, and b) all current indications show Kennewick Man to be, effectively, a "white man"!. What possible jurisdiction do Indians have over caucasian remains?
If a link is established, great, treat him with the dignity due an Indian ancestor. If not, then they should butt out and allow scientists to treat him with the even greater dignity due such a rare and revolutionary discovery.
It is safe to say that Kennewick Man has no living relatives to legitimately take offense to the study of his remains. A skeleton that is 9,300 years old is worthy of study regardless of where it is found.
Further back than that, the tribes as we know them certainly did not exist, and any persons here were just as likely to be of some completely unrelated race, possibly just exploring here, and not even of the Red Indian race at all.
All of this crap about Asia is simply to avoid bringing the whole weight of the Bering Strait establishment down on their heads at one time. There is no serious possibility that this skeleton is racially Asiatic, indeed the Ainu are not racially Asiatic. This is a Europoid skeleton pure and simple.
Jean-Luc Picard trapped in the past.
Could this be the plot of a secret new "final" Star Trek movie?
Their imposition upon these remains is literally sacrilege.
9,400 Year Old Spirit Cave Man Found In Nevada
There are no American Indian skeletons ever found in the Americas that are older than 6,000 years.
The guy was a mummy (Oldest ever found in the Americas) in a cave in Nevada.
The clueless native americans never developed a written language and have no way to establish that they have been around for that long.
Their claim to all remains no matter how old is ludicrous!
Yup. That may have been James C. Chatters, this is all contained in his book Ancient Encounters. Chatters did most of the work on Kennewick Man. Buhl Woman fits into this category and there are others, some in South America too. Christy Turner has done some interesting work with teeth that supports the 'pre-Indian' Kennewick Man type group. This group most resembles the Ainu/Jomon from the areas around Japan.
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