August 26, 2014
Kennewick Man Full Study Finally Released
The Kennewick Man researchers have finally released their long awaited final report on Kennewick Man in a 688 page, peer reviewed book, ,“Kennewick Man: The Scientific Investigation of an Ancient American Skeleton,” that will be published this fall by Texas A&M University Press. The book has contributions from five dozen authors who studied Kennewick Man, using all the instruments of modern forensics.
He was a seal hunter who died at 7000 BCE. He had a projectile point in his hip, five broken ribs, two dents in his skull.
He came from Alaska or the Aleutians, or all the way from Asia. He lived off of seals and other marine mammals and drank glacier melt water. His body was wide set, similar to Inuit peoples in Alaska. The skull and long bones show affinity with Asian coastal groups, especially Polynesians. His skull is not like later Native American skulls. It resembles the skull of a young girl found in a submerged cave in the Yucatan and the skull of a man found in the Channel Islands, off of California. His skull most closely matches Polynesian skulls near New Zealand. His type also has elements form the Jomon People of Korea and the Ainu of northern Japan.
He may have belonged to a hunter group that followed the ice edges around the northern rim of the Pacific. This was like an ancient highway back and forth. The opposing viewpoint is that Kennewick Man and all Native Americans are descended from isolated populations in Beringia, who came in waves, after the glaciars receded. There are finally genetic tests taking place on Kennwick Man in Denmark. This will give us much needed support for any theories on his origins.
The Washington Post has the report here;
And Smithsonian Magazine adds that his grave was 300 miles inland from the sea, and yet, the evidence shows that he ate only marine mammals in the last 20 years of his life. He also drank cold glacier water of the type found in Alaska and not in the area of his death. This lends itself to the idea that he was a long distance traveler. He was buried with care, so he lived in a small band of travelers. This article also has the most detailed reconstruction of his face.
Smithsonian Magazine report;