After a ridiculous court battle, Kennewick Man can finally tell us his story. The 9400-year-old skeleton was discovered by accident in 1996 by a group of young men wandering along the banks of the Columbia River. His appearance was so different from what we know as Native Americans, that it was assumed he was a modern Caucasian pioneer--until a primitive spear point hinted at his great age. Native American groups moved in quickly to take charge of the remains but scientists sued to continue their studies. This week those studies began anew.
On a similar note down Mexico way, other archaeological news hit the papers this week. Forty-thousand year old footprints were found in the Valsequillo Basin. This site is part of a cluster of sites that has also seen controversy and no doubt this discovery will only add to it. You see, according to conventional theories, humans didn't arrive in the New World till only about 12,000 years ago and those were only the Mongoloid ancestors of today's Amerinds.
While the evidence continues to mount that very different people entered the Americas at earlier dates, Kennewick Man might be the last ancient who will be allowed to tell us tales of long ago. Sen. John McCain in an very unheroic act that I have to assume is just vote-buying seeks to cover up that information by forcing all ancient remains, Amerind and not, to be doomed to NAGPRA hell.
I don't know about you but if I walk up out of the Earth 9000 years from now and a politician tells me to shut up, I'll be damn pissed.
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