DNA results link Kennewick man to Native Americans

DNA Results Link Kennewick Man To Native Americans

DNA analysis of a 8,500-year-old skeleton has provided a new twist in a long running dispute over which population it belongs to.
The skeleton — dubbed the Kennewick Man or the Ancient One — was found 19 years ago in Washington State on federal land. A team of scientists finally declared that the remains are more closely related to contemporary Native Americans than any other population in the world.

Not only is the skeleton the oldest ever found in North America, it's also one of the most controversial.

The New York Times reports that many tribes claimed the bones belonged to ancestors and moved to have the remains returned for a proper burial ceremony.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which manages the land where Kennewick Man was found, planned to grant the request but scientists filed a lawsuit to block them.

They argued against the linkage, saying that the Kennewick Man's skull had "Caucasoid" features pointing to a European origin. Some scientists still argue the latest revelation doesn't connect the Ancient One clearly enough to Native Americans.

An anthropologist at the Smithsonian told the Associated Press that other data show Kennewick Man was "a traveler.... His people were coming from somewhere else. We don't know who that people (were), we don't know what their culture was."

The skeleton is currently being stored at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture in Seattle and will undergo further research before officials decided whether to turn them over to the tribes.

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