posted on Jul, 21 2004 @ 12:23 PM
That is exactly what many universities are doing with their skeleton collections.
The problem is, tech is advancing so fast that next year there will be a new test to run that you didn't think to do before you reburied the bones,
especially on one of such import as this set of remains.
Lately, osteologists have been measuring bone density to study nutrition among ancient people, as well as getting blood-types from the marrow.
This is of crucial importance with Kennewick man, and could affect the way we battle viruses like aids.
It is generally understood (or was, when I was doing osteology) that America was originally populated from a small group of about 20 individuals.
Now, in an Asian population of that size, you ought to have all three blood groups represented. And it seems like there were A,B, and O in the
But among living tribes, 80% of native Americans are A. If I remember right B is unknown, and the two pockets of O are among the blackfeet of North
America and the Yamomano groups of South America. Both of those nations were so exlcusive and fierce that there was probably no interbreeding with
their neighbors for thousands of years.
So, there was some genetic event that removed all of the O and B from the population, except for two ethnic groups which kept to themselves. The big
question is, was this a disease, and does it still exist today?
If it does, this could pose a serious threat to everyone alive. Even if the original disease is extinct, understanding it could save or at least
greatly help our species.
It is more than a matter of one or another culture's history; it could potentially impact the lives and health of people living today, least of all
As a matter of fact, I don't mind the bodies of my ancestors being studied with respect. When relatives have died, we have always approved autopsies
to determine the cause of an unkown death.