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Kennewick Man

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Author Topic: Kennewick Man  (Read 1023 times)
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« on: May 07, 2007, 03:13:43 pm »

Scientific significance
The remains of the Kennewick Man.The remains were initially given to forensic anthropologists (one of whom was James C. Chatters, a forensic anthropologist for the Benton County Sheriff's Department) who studied them until it was determined that they were of a man who lived between 5,000 and 9,500 years ago. He was between 40 and 55, had a healed broken arm and a healed broken rib, and a 2.2-inch spear point was lodged in his hip (which did not kill him but probably was the source of recurring infection that could have ultimately killed him). Prior to detailed scientific analysis, a digital reconstruction of the skull revealed what some called Caucasoid features, although at least one of the early studies concluded the skull most resembled that of the present-day people of New Guinea. Press coverage frequently noted a similarity in appearance to actor Patrick Stewart.

Later research suggests he most closely resembles South-East Asian, Polynesian or Ainu peoples. If confirmed, this would lend support to the theory that an important migration route lay along the North Pacific shoreline from Asia to America during a time when inland routes were blocked by ice. DNA analysis, which some Native American groups oppose, could help resolve this mystery, should there be enough remaining intact to extract from the bones.

All Paleo-Indian remains tested to date have been found to possess the same mitochondrial haplogroups as do modern Native Americans[citation needed]. Craniometric analyses have been contradictory, with some studies linking Paleo-Indians to modern Native Americans, some to European or Southeast Asian populations, and some finding no close affinity to any modern peoples.

Kennewick Man features prominently in debate raging currently over the history of the peopling of the Americas. Some scientists continue to defend the traditional Bering Strait land-bridge model of a single land migration from Siberia toward the end of the last ice age, while many scientists have come to believe that multiple waves of migration from Asia and possibly Europe occurred.

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