A partial skeleton was discovered near Kennewick, Washington, in 1996. The author, an anthropologist, noticed the features of the skeleton were Caucasoid, yet had characteristics that appeared only in American Indian skeletons. It was also estimated at 9,500 years old. In this record of his experiences, Chatters offers a rare look at the collision ...
A partial skeleton was discovered near Kennewick, Washington, in 1996. The author, an anthropologist, noticed the features of the skeleton were Caucasoid, yet had characteristics that appeared only in American Indian skeletons. It was also estimated at 9,500 years old. In this record of his experiences, Chatters offers a rare look at the collision of science, politics, federal law, and cultural traditions. of photos.
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A clear and involving account of the adventures, ancient and modern, of the remains called Kennewick Man, by the anthropologist who first realized their significance. Readers might be relieved to know that the Federal District Court has ruled that the remains will continue to be housed at the Burke Museum and will be available to scientific research, the tribes not having proved to the Court's satisfaction that Kennewick Man was one of their own. A great read.
Publishers Weekly, 2001-05-21 Bones always have a story to tell, says Chatters in this firsthand account of the discovery, in Washington state, of Kennewick Man, a 9,500-year-old skeleton that some scientists believe gives evidence of European migrations to the Americas long before the arrival of Native Americans. Chatters, an archeologist and forensic consultant called in when the skeleton was found, tells a tale of "cowboys" and Indians, revolving around a stalled investigation. Local tribes, backed by the federal government, claim Kennewick Man as an ancestor and want to rebury him. Even as this book hits the shelves, an appeal by anthropologists is pending in the courts, and Chatters's intent seems to be to influence popular opinion. The first half of this book, a reconstruction of the weeks leading up to the government's appropriation of the bones, reads like a bad thriller; the author relies on a handful of dialogue modifiers to convey character, making it easy to tell the good from the bad from the ugly. Chatters's "cowboys" in white hats are the anthropologists, and his Indians are as mean and thick-headed as they come. They "growl" and speak "angrily," and are always getting in the author's face. He, meanwhile, invariably has the last word: "I glared at him and snapped, `The First Amendment always applies.'" The second half of the book is a surprisingly engaging treatment of the science used to reconstruct the past from ancient remains, and of some theories on prehistoric migrations from Europe and Asia that might explain Kennewick Man, and that attempt to debunk Native Americans' claim to him. (June 7) Forecast: Being released in the midst of a court case the hearing is scheduled for June 19 this is bound to garner media attention and controversy as each side make its case in the battle for these bones. The author will tour in the Northwestern U.S., where interest is particularly high. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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