Kennewick Man Case: Tribal Consultation, Scientific Studies, and Legal Issues

  • Francis P. McManamonEmail author
Living reference work entry


The human skeletal remains now referred to as the “Kennewick Man” or the “Ancient One” were found in July 1996 in shallow water along the southern shore of Lake Wallula, a section of the Columbia River pooled behind McNary Dam in Kennewick, Washington. In February 2017, at an undisclosed location somewhere in the internal basin of the Columbia River, not far from the river, the remains were reburied by members of the tribes who had constantly sought such an outcome throughout the more than two decades since the discovery of the remains. This act concluded, if it did not resolve, arguments about how this set of ancient human remains should be treated. One can anticipate that cultural, legal, and scientific aspects of the case will continue to be debated and discussed in the future although the proximate question about how to treat the remains has been answered.

Discovery and the Start of the Case

The Kennewick skeletal remains were discovered by a pair of college students...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Digital Antiquity, School of Human Evolution and Social ChangeArizona State UniversityTempeUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Marcel Otte
    • 1
  1. 1.Service of PrehistoryUniversity of LiègeLiègeBelgium