Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Well-Traveled Kennewick Man

We've posted many times here about Kennewick Man, whose 9,500 year-old remains were found on the banks of the Columbia River, and the subject of a famous court case which allowed scientists to keep them for study rather than repatriate them to tribes under NAGPRA. Most of this Seattle Times article is devoted to a meeting that Douglas Owsley, Smithsonian physical anthropologist heading the Kennewick Man study team, had with area tribes in an attempt to establish a dialogue with them on the subject. The article does disclose results of some new research on the remains I hadn't seen before:

Isotopes in the bones told scientists Kennewick Man was a hunter of marine mammals, such as seals, Owsley said. "They are not what you would expect for someone from the Columbia Valley," he said. "You would have to eat salmon 24 hours a day and you would not reach these values. "This is a man from the coast, not a man from here. I think he is a coastal man."

Pretty interesting. Six years ago I attended a lecture Owsley gave on their studies where he said he thought Kennewick Man, "...looked like a guy who had spent a lot of time in a canoe." Now it looks like he was paddling in the surf as well as up the river.


Anonymous said...

From the photo in the article Kennewick Man was apparently a relative of Patrick Stewart.

Anonymous said...

Come to think of it, we haven't seen Patrick Stewart at the helm of any space ships lately.....And those guys COULD time travel! If that's the case, boy howdy, I'd say that Kennewick man was ANYTHING but LOCAL!....L.B.

Reid Farmer said...

Lots of people have noted the resemblance!