Viewing the Nova film, "Mystery of the First Americans" with a graphic organizer and questions 1-19 from the traveler's log questions detailing crucial information to be sought from the film, my students will come to learn the following information for their traveler board. (This traveler board will have a slightly different set up as we know little about where or how he traveled. This site will be helpful in understanding the scientific information http://www.cr.nps.gov/archeology/kennewick/. For historical background: http://www.mnh.si.edu/arctic/html/kennewick_man.html ) as well as Ancient Encounters: Kennewick Man and the First Americans by James Chatters.
Kennewick Man 7400 B.C.E
Location | Description | Science | History | Controversy
The controversy over how man first came to America was ignited by the discovery of skeletal remains found by two college students on July 28, 1998 in the Columbia River in Kennewick, Washington. At first it was thought that these were bones of a murder victim but, after closer inspection by Coroner Floyd Johnson and Dr. James Chatters, forensic anthropologist and archeologist, opinions changed. After a month of further investigation in the reservoir mud, 350 additional bones, in unusually good condition, were found. Controversy arose when Armand Minthorn, Board of Trustees member and religious leader with the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, explained that his people believe that they have occupied the land where Kennewick Man was found since the beginning of time, and that scientific study of the remains would have little value for them. They insisted that the skeleton be turned over to them for repatriation and proper burial. Finally in 2004, after years of court battles, the remains were turned over for further investigation
The skeleton lacked definitive characteristics of the classic mongoloid stock to which modern Native Americans belonged. There appeared to be no flattening of the head from cradle board use, unusually light wear on his teeth, and minimal arthritis, features consistent with more recent peoples in the region. Chatters explains that suspicions were raised after the team found a leaf-shaped, gray projectile point partially healed in the right abdomen(Kennewick Man 1) With this discovery, radiocarbon and DNA analysis was ordered. It was determined to be a male, 40-55 years old, approximately 5'5" tall, missing only a few small bones in the hands and feet as well as the sternum. The isotopic- corrected age placed him at approximately 9400 years old. The Kennewick discovery, along with other recent finds, may significantly alter conventional views of how, when, and by whom the Americas were peopled. The "Pe–on Woman III", now the oldest skull from the New World, was found near the Mexico City International Airport in 1959. It was reported in Discover Magazine that, after viewing the skull in a museum, Dr. Silvia Gonzalez believed that the Pe–on Woman died anywhere from 12,700 to 13,000 years ago at the age of 27.
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