Genetic analysis is playing an important role in answering questions about the past. In the case of the skeleton known as Kennewick Man, called the Ancient One by Native American groups, five Native American tribes of the Pacific Northwest requested repatriation of the remains for reburial, but the proceedings were halted to allow further investigation into the skeleton’s origins.
“Using ancient DNA, we were able to show that Kennewick Man is more closely related to Native Americans than any other population,” said postdoctoral scholar Morten Rasmussen, PhD. Rasmussen is the lead author of the research, published online June 17 in Nature.
“Advances in DNA sequencing technology have given us important new tools for studying the great human diasporas and the history of indigenous populations,” said Carlos Bustamante, PhD, professor of genetics. “Now we are seeing its adoption in new areas, including forensics and archeology. The case of Kennewick Man is particularly interesting given the debates surrounding the origins of Native American populations. Morten’s work aligns beautifully with the oral history of native peoples and lends strong support for their claims.”
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Full story credit: Stanford University Medical Center. “Kennewick Man closely related to Native Americans, geneticists say.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 June 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150618134420.htm>