Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Caryn M. Berg
On July 28, 1996, the random discovery of a skull on the banks of the Columbia River near Kennewick, Washington changed the climate of archaeology. Discovered by two teenagers and initially examined by James Chatters, forensic anthropologist, this skull had many characteristics indicating its Caucasian origin. Characteristics of the skull's teeth, however, suggested an extremely old specimen (around 5,000 years). Finding bones with Caucasian characteristics is not an unusual occurrence; however, potential dating of the bones to precontact times is certainly uncommon in North America. This incongruity became more pronounced after the recovery and examination of the remaining skeletal elements. The analysis of the almost-complete skeleton suggested that the bones belonged to a 40- to 50-year-old male with Caucasoid features who was approximately 5 feet, 9 inches tall and had sustained injuries throughout his life. In his right pelvis was embedded a projectile point resembling those manufactured and used by ...