Kennewick Man
Biographical Information
Age 8900-9000 years old
Sex Male
Status Paleoamerican
Culture Polynesian/Southeast Asian
Current Location
Catalog #


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Kennewick Man is the name given to the skeletal remains of a prehistoric Paleoamerican man found on the shore of Columbia River in Kennewick, Washington, on July 28, 1996. Kennewick Man is one of the most complete ancient skeletons ever found. Radiocarbon tests on bone have shown it to date from 8.9k to 9k calibrated years before present.



Despite the importance of receiving both an age of the skeleton and the possible solving of the identity of the Kennewick Man, which could not be done without a DNA analysis, a DNA analysis was not originally performed because because it was too expensive. 


Upon the disclosing of the findings, most notably the age of the bones, the Umatilla tribe (First Nationals people)demanded for possession of the remains back because it is likely of Umatilla descent.  They called upon the federal law of NAGRA (Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act). Archaeologists James Chatters and Douglas Owsley (responsible for the discovery) both maintained that the bones were unrelated to today's Native Americans but instead had features that more closely resembled Polynesian or Southeast Asian peoples, a finding that would exempt the bones from NAGPRA. A lengthy court battle ensued.


Kennewick Man, The Ancient One. (n.d.). Retrieved February 23, 2016, from

The Kennewick Man Finally Freed to Share His Secrets. (n.d.). Retrieved February 23, 2016, from

Additional InfoEdit

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