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U.S. Court Bars Burial of Mystery Ancient Skeleton
Wed 4 February, 2004 23:20
By Adam Tanner
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Denying a request by American Indian tribes who sought an immediate burial, a U.S. appeals court ruled on Wednesday that scientists should be allowed to continue testing on a 9,000 year-old skeleton.
The legal battle dates back to 1996, after two teenagers discovered a skeleton near of the shore of the Columbia River near Kennewick, Washington.
Scientists dated the "Kennewick Man" remains as 8,340 to 9,200 years old, yet it was a puzzling find because its features different from those of American Indians. Scientists hoped further study would shed light on early North Americans.
Indian tribes demanded the burial of the remains which they believe belong to a distant relative, but the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied that request, backing a lower court ruling.