Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Out Soon: Long-Awaited Scientific Volume On 'Kennewick Man' Skeleton

Texas A&M University Press
A new book about Kennewick Man is due to hit bookstands in mid-September.

A skeleton some 9,000 years old is giving up a few of his secrets. A new book about the so-called Kennewick Man, whose remains were found 18 years ago, is due to hit bookstands in mid-September.

Kennewick Man was found resting in the shallow water of the Columbia River. His early story was that of some strife; a rock-point was found buried in his hip bone.

For years, the Northwest tribes who want to rebury the ancient remains and the scientists that want to study him fought in court. This new book, titled “Kennewick Man: The Scientific Investigation of an Ancient American Skeleton,” reveals the studies that were ultimately allowed by federal court.

According to the book, Kennewick Man was likely a coastal sea hunter from the far north, and he hadn’t been in Washington’s desert for too long.

“He lived most of his life in coastal locations, north of the state of Washington,” said Doug Owsley, the book’s co-editor. “And in keeping with these findings, you know if you look at Kennewick Man’s dental wear, it’s reminiscent of working hides, and similar to really wear that we see in early Eskimo skeletons.”

Owsley says there’s still one question he’s dying to answer: What kind of rock makes up the stone point buried in Kennewick Man’s hip? The answer would give clues to his routes across the North American landscape.

Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Tri-Cities. She covers the Mid-Columbia region, from nuclear reactors to Mexican rodeos.