Facts about Kennewick Man

Born: c. 9000 B.C.
Died: c. 9000 B.C. (bad luck)
Birthplace: North America
Best known as: The ancient human found in Washington in 1996


Kennewick Man Biography

Kennewick Man is one of the oldest skeletons to be unearthed in the modern era, thereby becoming a point of contention between the world of scientific research and the world of cultural preservation. In 1996, two young men found a human skull in the Columbia River, near Kennewick, Washington. The skull was determined to be over 9,000 years old; nearly all of the skeletal remains were thereafter found and reconstructed. Local Native American tribes claimed the bones were those of an ancestor, and wanted the bones reburied under their traditions. Scientists claimed the bones were a great archeological find, and wanted the bones studied further to learn more about ancient human migration. After years of court battles, the U.S. Appeals court sided with the scientists in 2004. After years of continued legal action and scientific examination, an analysis in 2014 concluded that Kennewick Man was likely of Japanese or Polynesian origin. An analysis in 2015 contradicted that, saying Kennewick Man was more closely related to Native Americans, specifically, the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation in Washington. Controvery continues over details (such as where the analyzed samples came from).