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The Kennewick Man Case | Events

The Army Corps Process to Approve Study

In August 2002, the Federal District Court directed the Army Corps of Engineers to allow scientists to study the Kennewick Man skeleton. Since then many people have contacted us asking about the results. They are surprised to learn that studies didn't begin until July 2005.

The next question invariably follows: What has taken the scientists so long? The ACOE's appeal to the Ninth Circuit is part of the reason for the delay. These documents show the ACOE process that scientists followed to gain access in July 2005 for the baseline taphonomic studies. This process continues for the next series of studies, slated for 2006. Unfortunately, it has been necessary for attorneys to remain involved throughout the process.

In the August 2002 ruling, the Court directed the scientists to submit a plan to the ACOE within 45 days.

The plan was tabled until the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in February 2004, upholding the lower court's opinion that studies be allowed.

The process faltered. The ACOE required details impossible to provide without access to evaluate the condition of the skeleton. However the Corps denied access to the skeleton until a final plan was approved. Attorneys negotiated a solution. The Corps allowed limited access on December 14-15, 2004.

We will post results of the baseline taphonomic study when they are released. We have posted pictures here.

On January 26, 2006 the scientists submitted a proposal for the next phase of studies and how they might be scheduled. Not all studies were approved by the ACOE. The final schedule and description of approved studies with stipulations will be posted when it becomes available.

We thank the Army Corps of Engineers for suggesting that we post their documents and for providing us with copies.

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