One of the most fascinating mysteries that prevails in the Columbia Basin is the discovery of the "Kennewick Man". The Kennewick Man has been a constant topic of conversation since the bones were discovered in 1996.

Kennewick Man is also known as the Ancient One is one of the most complete skeletal remains ever discovered in North America.


A lot of misinformation has circulated over the years about the Kennewick Man and we've compiled 10 facts you might not know about the Kennewick Man.

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When Was The Kennewick Man Discovered?

According to the National Park Service site, here are the details on the discovery:

The human skeletal remains that have come to be referred to as the "Kennewick Man", or the "Ancient One", were found in July 1996 below the surface of Lake Wallula, a section of the Columbia River pooled behind McNary Dam in Kennewick, Washington


Why Was There Controversy Surrounding This Discovery?

According to the National Park Service site, here's why the discovery of the Kennewick Man was controversial:

Almost immediately controversy developed regarding who was responsible for determining what would be done with the remains. Claims were made by Indian tribes, local officials, and some members of the scientific community. The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE), the agency responsible for the land where the remains were recovered took possession, but its actions, following the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), to resolve the situation were challenged in Federal court.

How Old Is The Kennewick Man?

Referred to as the Ancient One, the Kennewick Man is believed to be close to 9000 years old.


Why Was There A Dispute Over The Remains Of The Kennewick Man?

Native American tribes in the Northwest laid claims to the remains but it was initially believed that the Kennewick Man was “Caucasoid” and not Native American.

Did The Government Get Sued Over The Remains Of The Kennewick Man?

Yes, the US Government was sued by a group of scholars trying to prevent the skeletal remains from reverting to the Native American tribes

Was The Kennewick Man Lawsuit Resolved?

After many tests and many years, it was later discovered that the bones were of a Native American man, rendering the remains the property of the Native American Tribes

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Does The Smithsonian Have A Section On The Kennewick Man?

Yes, you can read more about the Kennewick Man and news briefs here.

Can I Go See The Remains Of The Kennewick Man?

Even though the Kennewick Man's remains for a while were housed at the Burke Museum, the skeletal body was never on display for the general public.

How Did The Native American Tribes Gain Control Of The Kennewick Man?

After multiple DNA tests confirmed the lineage of the Kennewick Man to the Native American tribes, Senator Patty Murray and Congressman Denny Heck expedited the release of the bones under the NAGPRA agreement.

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Where Is The Kennewick Man Today?

The Kennewick Man was released to the tribes and buried in a ceremony and location that's only known to the Native American Tribes. The burial happened in 2016 after a release of the remains from the Corp Of Engineers.

How Can You Learn More About The Kennewick Man?

There are several books you can read. The facts compiled for this article include the National Park website, The Burke Museum, The Smithsonian, and Wikipedia.

You can read more fascinating facts about the Kennewick Man here.

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