Archaeology Magazine Archive

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Kennewick Update 1 Volume 50 Number 3, May/June 1997
by Andrew L. Slayman

Kennewick Man, the 8,400-year-old skeleton discovered last July in Washington State (see "A Battle Over Bones," ARCHAEOLOGY, January/February), may yet see a laboratory. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which has jurisdiction over the skeleton, had originally awarded it to a coalition of American Indian tribes, but a group of scientists challenged the decision in court. The Corps of Engineers filed a motion to dismiss the scientists' complaint, but, on February 3, U.S. magistrate John Jelderks ruled that their case could go forward. On March 11, lawyers for the scientists filed a motion to compel the Corps of Engineers to allow study of the skeleton. Studies would include DNA analysis and measurements of the skull, bones, and teeth. As ARCHAEOLOGY went to press, the Corps of Engineers had not answered the motion, but the scientists' lawyers expected it would oppose the motion and a court hearing would be necessary.

© 1997 by the Archaeological Institute of America