Skull Wars by David Hurst Thomas
Kennewick Man, Archeology, and the Battle for Native American Identity

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The 1996 discovery, near Kennewick, Washington, of a 9,000-year-old Caucasoid skeleton brought more to the surface than bones. The explosive controversy and resulting lawsuit also raised a far more fundamental question: Who owns history? Many Indians see archeologists as desecrators of tribal rites and traditions; archeologists see their livelihoods and science threatened by the 1990 Federal reparation law, which gives tribes control over remains in their traditional territories.In this new work, Thomas charts the riveting story of this lawsuit, the archeologists’ deteriorating relations with American Indians, and the rise of scientific archeology. His telling of the tale gains extra credence from his own reputation as a leader in building cooperation between the two sides.

About David Hurst Thomas

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As Curator of Anthropology and former Chairman of the Department of Anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, David Hurst Thomas is responsible for the largest collection of Indian artifacts and remains in the world. Thomas is a founding Trustee of the National Museum of the American Indian and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He lives in New York City.
Published April 5, 2001 by Basic Books. 370 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Law & Philosophy, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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Is there a greater paradox in North American history than the Indian? Labeling them either superhuman or subhuman, noble or savage, we've had a hard time placing the people that Columbus mistakenly

Feb 28 2000 | Read Full Review of Skull Wars : Kennewick Man, A...

Publishers Weekly

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When some scientists claimed it possessed Caucasoid features and openly questioned the origins of the continent's early inhabitants, Indians were incensed and demanded the return of the remains, setting off yet another furor in this ancient tug-of-war over history written in bone.

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Project MUSE

It is at once a history of American archaeology, a multiple ethnography in which the ethnographers are examined as closely as their subjects, a treatise on the nature of science, a discourse on current politics, and a prize-worthy example of modern journalism.

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