Thursday, April 8, 2010

A historic mystery: Kennewick Man

In 1996 the multi-thousand year slumber of the Kennewick Man was disturbed. Found near the shore of the Columbia River in Southern Washington, Kennewick Man, although dead for years, has brought with him quite a controversy.

Apparently, no one is entirely sure what race this man was. Because of this, local Native Americans claim that he was, in fact, a Native American; some archeologists believe he is of the Caucasian type. Naturally, this leads to the debate on whether the Native Americans have any say about the excavation of the remains and what will happen to Kennewick Man or if he is the property of the state. Native Americans would like Kennewick Man to rest in peace while scientists would like to study him to finally discover his identity.

Still more, though, is if Kennewick Man isn’t a Native American what is he? At an approximate age of 9,300 years, Kennewick Man predates the original estimated age by several thousand years. This pile of bones has led many to question when exactly did early Europeans trek to America and the Northwest in particular. How and where did Kennewick Man come from? The discovery of a non-Native American found for this period in time could be a historic discovery – possibly changing historians’ views on when this land was settled. But, be that as it may, the world may never know what the Kennewick Man’s situation really was, because he’s certainly not willing to give up his secrets.

To read more about the fascinating Kennewick Man, check out the Tri-City Herald's website.