Posted on July 11, 2005

Scientists Detail Study of Kennewick Man

Melanthia Mitchell, AP, July 11

Cloistered around padded tables, scientists from around the country have been peering through microscopes and measuring bone fragments trying to unearth the history of an ancient skeleton found along the Columbia River.

Researchers on Sunday offered details of their first comprehensive study of the 9,000-year-old Kennewick Man, one of the oldest and most complete skeletons ever found in North America.


“I’m very interested in that skull,” Berryman said as he pointed to ice-blue translucent plastic models of a skull and pelvis, sitting atop a boardroom table at the University Towers hotel near the university.

“There appears to be some European-type facial features.” That, he said, could suggest there were other migrations of people other than those strictly out of Asia.

Certain skull measurements, including the shorter face and less width across the cheekbones, don’t match that traditionally associated with Native American characteristics, said Dr. Douglas W. Owsley, a forensic anthropologist with the National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.