February 24, 2006
PC SCIENCE:(via Raoul Ortega):
Kennewick Man yields more secrets (Sandi Doughton, 2/24/06, Seattle Times)
Kennewick Man is whispering across 9,000 years.
The story his bones tell has no clear beginning yet. But the end is coming into sharp focus, say scientists who have been studying the controversial skeleton for the past six months. [...]
Seattle archaeologist Jim Chatters, who was the first scientist to examine the bones in 1996, said being able to re-examine them in greater detail with more modern methods has changed some of his earlier impressions.
For example, spots on the temple and elbow that he originally concluded were evidence of an infection have been shown to be simple weathering, he said.
Several other questions about Kennewick Man are still awaiting lab results, including a new round of carbon-dating and isotopic studies to show what his diet was like.
But the most contentious issue of all probably won't be settled for some time.
The first measurements of the skull showed it didn't match existing Native American populations. And that led to suggestions that Kennewick Man's ancestors might not have originated in Northern Asia like those of most Native Americans, who are believed to have crossed from Asia to Alaska about 11,000 years ago.
Owsley and his colleagues have made an extensive set of new skull measurements. They now are comparing them to a database of more than 7,000 modern and prehistoric people from around the world.
"We have a lot more work to do," he said.
Anyone who wasn't born in the last 24 hours think these guys haven't determined that he's not a population match but are trying to avoid being politically incorrect? Posted by Orrin Judd at February 24, 2006 5:28 PM