First DNA tests say Kennewick Man was Native American

Kennewick Man, referred to as the Ancient One by Native Americans, is a male human skeleton discovered in Washington state USA in and initially radiocarbon-dated to — calibrated years BP 1. His population affinities have been the subject of scientific debate and legal controversy. Instead of repatriation, additional studies of the remains were permitted 2. Subsequent craniometric analysis affirmed Kennewick Man to be more closely related to circumpacific groups such as the Ainu and Polynesians than he is to modern Native Americans 2. We find that Kennewick Man is closer to modern Native Americans than to any other population worldwide. Among the Native American groups for whom genome wide data is available for comparison, several appear to be descended from a population closely related to that of Kennewick Man, including the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation Colville , one of the five tribes claiming Kennewick Man. We revisit the cranial analyses and find that, as opposed to genomic-wide comparisons, it is not possible on that basis to affiliate Kennewick Man to specific contemporary groups.

Army Corps of Engineers Confirms Kennewick Man is Native American

It seemed like a victory of science over myth when, in , the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled that a group of Native American tribes would not be allowed to re-bury the 8,year-old skeleton known as Kennewick Man. The remains had been found eight years earlier on the banks of the Columbia River in Washington state, and, based on their oral traditions, the tribes argued that Kennewick Man was one of their ancestors. Under the U. Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, they were entitled to take possession of any ancient human remains that relate to “a tribe, people, or culture that is indigenous to the United States.

The Court agreed with the scientists, finding that “scant or no evidence of cultural similarities between Kennewick Man and modern Indians exists. That scientific research has now proved that the Native Americans were basically right.

Scientists who had argued that Kennewick Man was not an ancestor of the Ancient One’s remains “validated what we said all along — Kennewick Man under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.

Researchers at the University of Chicago independently verified the finding earlier this month. And now, the US government has made it official: the Army Corp of Engineers, after reviewing the data on Kennewick Man, has declared that the remains—which it currently owns—are in fact of Native American origin. The official statement paves the way for Native American tribes to reclaim and bury the remains, which scientists discovered on Army Corp land along the Columbia River in Washington in Since their unearthing, But because the Army Corp has acknowledged the Native American provenance of the Kennewick Man skeleton, it means that the remains now fall under the jurisdiction of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, a framework for returning such items to their rightful owners, Native American tribes.

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The trouble with Kennewick Man, however, is that no one is sure exactly which tribe he belonged to. Several Northwestern tribes—including the Colville, Yakama, Umatilla, Nez Perce, and Wanapum—have staked claims to the bones in the past. Coffey added that February would be the earliest time at which specific cultural ties to the remains would be confirmed to the level that that is required for repatriation.

‘Kennewick Man’ Related To Modern Native Americans

SEATTLE, July 19 – The ending of a long legal battle between Northwest Indian tribes and scientists last week is expected soon to put Kennewick Man, a 9,year-old skeleton, into the hands of anthropologists hoping for powerful clues to the mystery of who first populated the Americas. The skeleton, named Kennewick Man after the southeastern Washington town near where it was found in , contains more than bones and bone fragments and is one of the oldest and most complete sets of human remains uncovered in North America.

The accidental discovery of its skull by two young men walking along the Columbia River caused a sensation, not only because of its age but also because some features did not resemble those of modern American Indians, as would have been expected then.

Camille Bush Raines, One is Missing: Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act: An Overview. 1. Ackerman: Kennewick Man: The Meaning of.

On Friday, February 17, , the remains of The Ancient One, otherwise known as Kennewick Man, were returned to the tribes who claim him as their ancestor. The Burke Museum provided secure and respectful curation of The Ancient One from —, under contract to the US Army Corps of Engineers, the government agency that controlled the remains until they were repatriated.

The return of the Ancient One to the tribes is the right decision and was long overdue. The Burke Museum values our long-standing relationships with the tribes, the U. On July 28, , two men at Columbia Park in Kennewick, Washington, accidentally found part of a human skull on the bottom of the Columbia River, about ten feet from shore.

Public interest, debate, and controversy began when independent archaeologist Dr. James Chatters, working on contract with the Benton County coroner, thought that the bones might not be Native American. The results indicated an age older than 9, years, making The Ancient One among the oldest and most complete skeletons found in North America.

Tribes bury remains of ancient ancestor known as Kennewick Man

A new genomic study resolves a long scientific debate over the origins of an ancient human skeleton first discovered in Kennewick, Washington, in What did scientists first think about Kennewick Man after his discovery in ? How did those ideas change over time? The first scientist to examine the skull of Kennewick Man was an archaeologist. Upon multiple visits to the site where the skull was found, the archeologist was able to collect nearly all of the skeletal remains, resulting in a near-complete skeleton.

This article describes the story of Kennewick Man/the Ancient One, the most Graves Protection and Repatriation Act) –no longer applied.

To support our nonprofit science journalism, please make a tax-deductible gift today. Their conclusion: The Ancient One is closely related to at least one of the five tribes that originally fought to rebury him on spiritual grounds. Boyd says that the Colville people, who provided two dozen DNA samples for comparison with Kennewick Man, are now discussing whether to reclaim the skeleton under U. The U. Army Corps of Engineers, which currently has legal custody of Kennewick Man, is also studying whether to return the nearly complete skeleton—which was found eroding from the shore of the Columbia River in Kennewick, Washington, in —to the tribes.

Outside scientists praise the work, published online today in Nature , in part because it also offers clues to the prehistory of North America. For years there was no way to scientifically resolve the question, in part because tribes were able to claim many of the bones and rebury them, in accordance with their cultural practices, without genetic or other studies.

But in recent years, two studies of ancient remains suggested that modern Native Americans could trace their ancestry to the original inhabitants of the Americas, who probably arrived in North America about 15, years ago. These remains included the 12,year-old Anzick child from Montana , whose nuclear genome was sequenced last year, and the partial sequence of mitochondrial DNA from the 13,year-old bones of a teenage girl from Mexico.

Over 9,000 Years Later, Kennewick Man Will Be Given a Native American Burial

The relevance of the Kennewick Man discovery to the issue of race is a consequence of semantic confusion over the meaning of the term Caucasoid between the scientist who initially inspected the find and the public media that reported it. In July , two young men discovered a human skull on the banks of the Columbia River in Kennewick, Washington, on land owned by the U. Army Corps of Engineers. The county coroner enlisted the assistance of a local forensic anthropologist, who worked for the next month to recover the rest of the skeleton from the mud of the reservoir.

Ultimately, he recovered a nearly complete skeleton in excellent condition.

Defining ‘Indian’: Kennewick Man Case Focused Attention on Native Identity and to the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). he concluded in that the Ancient One was not Native American but more.

Kennewick Man. A scientist who studies the ancient skeleton known as Kennewick Man says he wasn’t from the Columbia River valley where his bones were buried. Smithsonian anthropologist Doug Owsley told tribal representatives that isotopes in the bones indicate Kennewick Man was a hunter of marine mammals, such as seals and that he lived most of his life on the coast.

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. The researchers performing the DNA analysis “feel that Kennewick has normal, standard Native-American genetics,” according to a email to the U. Army Corps of Engineers, which is responsible for the care and management of the bones. If that conclusion holds up, it would be a dramatic end to a debate that polarized the field of anthropology and set off a legal battle between scientists who sought to study the 9,year-old skeleton and Northwest tribes that sought to rebury it as an honored ancestor.

Kennewick Man Case: Scientific Studies and Legal Issues

Studies based on radiocarbon dating suggest that Kennewick Man died around 8,, calibrated years before present. Bering land bridge. Due to the great age and the unclear origin of the Kennewick Man, many legal and scientific battles have surrounded his cultural affiliation. The major debate about the rightful ownership of the skeleton was carried out between representatives of Native American tribes, who requested to repatriate the remains according to the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act NAGPRA [2] , and members of the scientific community demanding an open access to the skeleton and further scientific examination.

treated in accordance with the Native American Graves. Protection and to the conclusions that. Ancient One/Kennewick Man is “Native American” within the.

The discovery was made by a pair of college students wading in the shallow water along the southern lake bank. Many news reports inaccurately suggested that scientific study of the Kennewick remains did not occur, or that studies were hidden from the Skip to main content Skip to table of contents. This service is more advanced with JavaScript available.

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DNA Tests Prove ‘Kennewick Man’ is Closely Related to Native Americans