LOL. Well, the lawyer for the three California professors suing to keep a valuable set of very ancient bones above ground isn’t diplomatic, but my sense is that he’s pretty much got it right. Strictly legally, the Kumeyaay tribe may be able to bury the two skeletons, though they don’t seem to be ancestors; but “No other set of New World remains… holds such a high degree of research potential.” They’re way old.

UD thinks a compromise is in order, maybe involving a ceremony that would not involve, or that would delay, burial.

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One Response to ““The idea that we’re going to turn this incredible treasure over to some local tribe because they think it’s grandma’s bones is crazy.””

  1. Polish Peter Says:

    While the lawyer’s comment is flippant, this is a very serious issue, and it’s great that Schoeninger, Bettinger, and White are standing up to the pressure groups. In the Eastern Hemisphere and central and South America, new analytical techniques involving ancient DNA and isotopic analysis to study diet and migration are revolutionizing our understanding of prehistoric societies. It’s nearly impossible to apply these analytical methods in North America, even if the skeletal remains are dated millennia before you can infer a tenuous link with any modern ethnolinguistic group. For many archaeologists digging in the U.S. and Canada, finding a prehistoric burial is their worst nightmare.

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