Kennewick Man | KUOW News and Information

Kennewick Man

Genetic information from Kennewick Man shows the Bering Land Bridge may not have been the only route humans used to migrate to North America more than 10,000 years ago.





Returning an ancient skeleton known as Kennewick Man to the earth was a private affair. After decades of legal battling, a couple hundred people gathered in the early-morning chill of February for the burial.

Kennewick Man is finally laid to rest

Feb 22, 2017

Bill Radke talks with Anna King about the burial of Kennewick Man. Anna King is a reporter for the Northwest News Network. Her series on Kennewick Man's return to Northwest tribes is called "Back To Earth."

Kennewick Man was reinterred Saturday by several Northwest tribes in a private ceremony. It ended a 20-year battle between scientists who wanted to study the bones and tribes who wanted to lay them to rest.

The tribes call Kennewick Man the Ancient One. And Armand Minthorn has been one of the most visible Northwest Native Americans fighting to rebury those bones. Now, a new law will hand the bones over to tribes.

The Northwest tribes feel a sense of completion knowing Kennewick Man’s ancient bones will rest again in the Earth. That’s because President Obama recently signed a law giving them control of the 9,000-year-old remains.

But scientists say they are losing a one-of-a-kind storyteller forever.

The man who watches over the ancient bones of Kennewick Man will soon return them to five Northwest tribes — and he’s happy about that.

Kennewick Man is an ancient skeleton found along the banks of the Columbia River by students in 1996. The discovery caused a legal battle between Northwest tribes and scientists. But now, President Barack Obama has signed a bill that requires the 9,000-year-old remains be returned to tribes within 90 days.

Several Northwest tribes are meeting this week with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and with the Washington state Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation to discuss the imminent reburial of the Ancient One, or Kennewick Man.

Members of the U.S. House and Senate expect to pass a law in the next few days that would return a 9,000-year old set of human remains to Northwest tribes. “Kennewick Man” was found along the banks of the Columbia River in 1996 by two students.

The passage of a congressional bill that authorizes drinking and wastewater projects nationwide has Northwest tribes celebrating. An amendment to the bill means the 9,000-year-old human remains discovered near Kennewick, Washington, 20 years ago will be returned for final burial.

An ancient skeleton known as Kennewick Man moved a major step forward toward reburial Wednesday. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced it has accepted DNA analysis that ties the remains found in the Tri-Cities to modern Native Americans.

Lessons From The Kennewick Man

Jun 24, 2015

Kim Malcolm talks with anthropologist John Hawks about what we can learn about Northwest history from the Kennewick Man.

Marcie Sillman speaks with Peter Lape, curator of archaeology at the Burke Museum, about the significance of recently revealed DNA tests on the Kennewick Man. The tests strongly indicate that the prehistoric male who roamed the Columbia River Basin 9,000 years ago is a distant ancestor of the modern-day Colville Tribe.

Ross Reynolds talks to Peter Lape, curator of archeology at the Burke Museum, about the origins of the Kennewick Man.

KUOW Photo/Marcie Sillman

Just past the front door of the Burke Natural History Museum, on the University of Washington campus, you’ll find a little alcove. It’s the perfect place to linger on a rainy day.  

Under display cases of sparkling crystals and other mineral specimens, you’ll see sets of slim drawers. Open one, and after you let out a squeak of surprise, you can marvel at the bodies of insects, birds and other small creatures those drawers contain.

A skeleton that's about 9,000 years old is giving up a few of his secrets today. Monday, scientists who have a new book about the ancient remains found near Kennewick 18 years ago spoke to the press.