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Originally posted by ViolatoRThe indians seemed to be worried that a body of a white man pre-dating the indians arrival and having an arrow head in his hip, might lead people to beleive that the "native" americans actually invaded north america and killed off the real natvies - white man.
Scientists sued for a chance to study the remains and a federal court ruled there was no link between the skeleton and the tribes.
When two college students found a 9,200-year-old skeleton on the Columbia River in Washington State in July 1996, initial examination seemed to suggest the bones were more Caucasian than Native American. To scientists, this skeleton, which came to be known as Kennewick Man, was a major new find that raised important issues regarding the genetic ancestry of the earliest North Americans. To resolve the matter, they wanted to test the bones for DNA. But to some Indian groups, such testing was not only a religious outrage, it was a blatant political effort to weaken Indian claims to be the original native Americans and they demanded that the bones be re-buried at once. After several years of controversy, Secretary of Interior Bruce Babbitt decided last week to let the DNA testing proceed.
The Umatilla argue that their origin beliefs say that their people have been present on the lands since the dawn of time, so a government holding that Kennewick Man is not Native American is tantamount to the government's rejecting their beliefs.
Prior to detailed scientific analysis, a digital reconstruction of the skull revealed what some called Caucasoid features. Press coverage frequently noted a similarity in appearance to Shakespearean and Star Trek actor Patrick Stewart. (Hehehe, arnt there time travel episodes of star trek!? omg, its real!)
Further research has shown that Kennewick Man is possibly not Caucasian at all, however. Rather, some researchers now suggest he most closely resembles Polynesian or Ainu peoples. This suggests that there may have been an immigration wave across the Pacific to the Americas, as well as across the Bering Strait land bridge. DNA analysis, which some Native American groups oppose, could help resolve this mystery, should there be enough left intact to extract from the bones.