After waiting nine -- count 'em -- years to look at Kenniwick Man, the 9,000 year-old skeleton found on the banks of the Columbia River, an 11 member team of scientists are finally getting a close look... there are more than 350 pieces! But the team is very excited about what they have found so far. "I have looked at thousands of skeltons and this is one of the most intact, most fascinating, most important I have ever seen," said Douglas W. Owsley, a forensic anthropologist from the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History. "Its the type of skeleton that comes along once in a lifetime."
Dr. Owsley said the answers to the big questions -- where he fits in the migratory patterns of early Americans, his age a the time of death, what type of culture he belonged to -- will come after future examinations. These bones are very different from what you see in Native American skeletons, continued Dr. Owsley. After their 10 days study of the bones, a report on the results will be released in October. We can hardly wait especially from this comment by another of the scientists, Dr. Berryman who said, "This is like an extraordinary rare book, and we're reading it one page at a time." (Story from the NY Times 7/19/05)