UW News

February 23, 1999

Media advisory: Scientists examining Kennewick Man to meet with news media, public

The panel of six anthropologists and archaeologists that has been appointed to examine the 9,300-year-old remains of Kennewick Man, one of the oldest human skeleton’s found in North America, will meet with and answer questions from the news media and the public in separate sessions this week on the University of Washington campus.

The scientists will be performing a series of non-invasive examinations and tests Thursday through Monday (Feb. 25-March 1), in the first step toward trying to determine the ancestry of the remains. A number of American Indian tribes claim the skeleton, which was found along the Columbia River in Kennewick, Wash. Some scientists have disputed that claim, asserting the skull has non-American Indian characteristics.

At a Thursday press conference, the panel will explain its goals and the procedures it will use during the examinations. The press conference is scheduled to run from 11:30 a.m. to noon in the Burke Room of the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. The museum has been the repository of the remains since last October. The scientists will meet with the general public from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday in Kane Hall room 120 to discuss what they hope to accomplish with the examination and tests. They also will answer questions from the public. Admission is free.

Members of the scientific team are: Francis McManamon, chief archaeologist for the National Parks Service and chief consulting archaeologist for the U.S. Department of the Interior; John Fagan, president of the Portland-based Archaeological Investigations Northwest, Inc.; Gary Huckleberry, Washington State University assistant professor of anthropology; Joseph Powell, University of New Mexico assistant professor of anthropology; Jerome Rose, University of Arkansas anthropology professor; Julie Stein, University of Washington anthropology professor and Burke Museum archaeology curator.