Read Their Skeletons Speak: Kennewick Man and the Paleoamerican World by Sally M. Walker Douglas W. Owsley Online


On July 28, 1996, two young men stumbled upon human bones in the shallow water along the shore of the Columbia River near Kennewick, Washington. Was this an unsolved murder? The remnants of some settler's or Native American's unmarked grave? What was the story behind this skeleton? Within weeks, scientific testing yielded astonishing news: the bones were more than 9,000 yOn July 28, 1996, two young men stumbled upon human bones in the shallow water along the shore of the Columbia River near Kennewick, Washington. Was this an unsolved murder? The remnants of some settler's or Native American's unmarked grave? What was the story behind this skeleton? Within weeks, scientific testing yielded astonishing news: the bones were more than 9,000 years old! The skeleton instantly escalated from interesting to extraordinary. He was an individual who could provide firsthand evidence about the arrival of humans in North America. The bones found scattered in the mud acquired a name: Kennewick Man. Authors Sally M. Walker and Douglas W. Owsley take you through the painstaking process of how scientists determined who Kennewick Man was and what his life was like. New research, never-before-seen photos of Kennewick Man's remains, and a lifelike facial reconstruction will introduce you to one of North America's earliest residents. But the story doesn't end there. Walker and Owsley also introduce you to a handful of other Paleoamerican skeletons, exploring their commonalities with Kennewick Man. Together, their voices form a chorus to tell the complex tale of how humans came to North America--if we will only listen....

Title : Their Skeletons Speak: Kennewick Man and the Paleoamerican World
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780761374572
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 96 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Their Skeletons Speak: Kennewick Man and the Paleoamerican World Reviews

  • Michelle Pegram
    2018-11-13 14:44

    Two young men who are trying to get a good view of some boat races wade into the water near Kennewick, Washington and literally step on the skeletal remains of a paleoamerican over 9000 years old. This discovery sets off a political battle that nearly derails the knowledge that it was possible to glean from this man who came to be known as the Kennewick Man. This fascinating look at forensic anthropology takes the reader on a journey from discovery to dating to the daily life of a man who lived before the continents took their current shape. Walker tells the story of a man who fished to survive, who suffered nearly debilitating injuries that did not stop him, and whose bones create a map of the work that he did. Through measurements, observations of skull shape, and wear patterns on the teeth that were found, this man becomes known to us in so many ways. The story is woven between other the tales of other paleoamericans who were found in other parts of the country - some, unlike the Kennewick Man, who were found in situ (or in the grave). When woven together, they give us a glimpse of a world long past. Despite political battles between scientists and Native American tribes over the rights to the remains and questions of record-keeping and expertise, the Kennewick Man's skeleton speaks to us if we are willing to listen.I can see this being used in the classroom in a variety of ways. Most appropriate for the upper middle school to high school level, there are ways to make predictions about what students think bones can tell us and then reading sections to verify these ideas. I think it would be fun to have a diagram of a skeleton on which the class recorded what was learned from the different bones of the body. Given the ethical questions involved in a discovery like this, there is also room for activities like debates or research on the laws that exist and why they were needed. I highly recommend this for use in the classroom, but really, it is just a page-turning, illuminating read.

  • Karin
    2018-10-23 19:08

    This might be too advanced for some intermediate grades. Very good for a class- intro to biocultural (non majors). Really explains/shows just how many people with various specialties worked on skeleton from first examination to second in 2004 - great list of names in the back of the book. Also really great pictures. Had a few burials I either heard of briefly or did not know about. Kept thinks of class projects to have students do- NAGPRA and discoveries, what people should do when they find remains etc.

  • Lee-ann
    2018-11-03 18:40

    didn't finish

  • Bette
    2018-11-19 11:52

    In 1996 a skull was found in the Columbia River in Kennewick, Washington. Initial radiocarbon dating, approximately 4 weeks after the bones were found, told the scientists that this man was around 9,000 years old. Due to NGAPRA and its interpretation Indian tribes generally request and receive ancient bones discovered in their ancestral territory and these bones are not examined by the scientific community. A group of 8 sued the government to allow the study of Kennewick Man. It took 3 years before scientists were allowed a short-term examination of the bones. In 1999 the team of scientists who examined the bones, concluded that Kennewick man more closely resembled people from Polynesia and southern Asia than Native Americans or Europeans.So finally, after 8 years in court, the original 8 scientists, anthropologists, archeologists, etc. who had sued to be allowed to examine and study the bones won their case. Kennewick Man was not a traveler he had lived in the area nor was he affiliated with a modern tribe. In 2004 scientists were began examining the bones, this book is a narrative of their findings; combined with background information on other Paleoamerican remains found across the United States.I couldn’t wait to turn the page, the photographs of the bones the detailed explanations of findings and the questions left to be answered enthralled me. Clan of the Cave Bear, TV forensic shows aside - there are some definitely interesting scientific advances that keep asking and answering questions of when North America became inhabited and who these people were and how they lived.

  • Mark Reynolds
    2018-10-28 18:01

    Excellent! Although written for young adults (hence the YA designation at the library which I originally missed), it presented all sides of each issue in a balanced way, from the scientific controversies over the peopling of the Americas to the court cases pitting Native American groups wanting reburial against scientists wanting archaeological study. While the writing style was at the YA level, the concepts were not. And I learned a lot.

  • Jim Erekson
    2018-10-19 14:06

    A remarkable book from Lerner. Lerner's history involves a 1959 start with their main imprint which became best known for its photo-based nonfiction series books. This imprint, CarolRhoda, has been around almost just as long (1969) but focuses on individual picturebooks of both nonfiction and fiction, instead of series books. They also own Millbrook since 2004, which has both some interesting series and some great stand-alone books. The production of this book screamed National Geographic. The organization, voice, and graphic design choices are all familiar from NG--not just NG books, but also magazines. The thoroughness of the reporting in the text was extremely pleasing, and especially the fact that understanding Kennewick Man depends on understanding (or invites understanding) of other PaleoAmerican finds. One of the strange things about this book was that Doug Owsley is featured regularly in the text in the third person, even though he has credit as one of the main authors. I always find it archaic 'official' style when an author tries to claim this kind of detachment--it's a scientific, pseudo-objective affectation. In a popular nonfiction book, it is not inappropriate anymore for the authors to use the "I" voice. I remember hearing about this on the news in 1996 and having some of my sciency friends pooh-pooh it because of how many non-Asian human remains had been proven incorrectly dated. I hear a lot about this in the Mormon community, because so many amateur historians and archaeologists want to find some kind of hard proof for Book of Mormon claims. But this story seems to float on its scientific merit without a lot of the other hullaballoo. However, it is nice to see that the land bridge argument is no longer exclusive--it was just about the only theory you could get scientists to talk about up into the 1990s. While I've read a lot of books with dark themes, the sheer volume of actual skulls and bones in this book and the direct and plain discussions of death, burials, controversy over Native American ownership, and other content gave this a truly dark feel for me and not just the 'shock' of some other titles (Zombie Makers: True Stories of Nature's Undead).

  • Heather
    2018-11-13 17:02

    Sally Walker's books are always well done, and this is no exception. I've read a number of books that talk about Kennewick Man/the Ancient One, and I always get derailed by the controversy between scientists and Native American tribes. Fortunately, this book doesn't do that. Yes, it mentions the events and the feelings on both sides, and it does it in a very tasteful way. But mostly it just focuses on what we have learned from studying Kennewick Man. The thing that makes this book most interesting and unique is the connections that are drawn between Kennewick Man and the remains of other Paleoamericans. Sally Walker makes you really think about these remains as the people and individuals that they were. Her research and explanations are always well done, and you can tell how much work she has put in to telling the story. One thing I found fascinating was all of the source notes, which indicate that she frequently interviewed, spoke to, and emailed key scientists and participants to get her data, explanations, and quotations. Another fabulous thing about the book is the prevalence of quality photos which help with scientific explanation, make the stories more real, and make things easier to understand. It is a quality piece of work.

  • Rachelle
    2018-11-14 16:05

    Full color pictures and illustrations lend visual appeal to this book about the discovery of unidentified human bones in the Columbia River in Washington. Readers will come to understand what scientists look for when they are studying bones for identification. Length of bones, condition of teeth, postmortem erosion are all pieces of a puzzle that can tell a story once assembled. Large chunks of text may discourage some readers but the photographs are fascinating with informative captions that leave just enough out to encourage readers to forge ahead.A twin text for this nonfiction title is, "Midwinterblood" by Marcus Sedgwick. "Midwinterblood" is a series of connected stories spanning generations. In one section, bones are discovered during an archeological dig. The arrangement of the bones and unusual objects found with them gave the scientists clues to the identity of the remains.

  • Kathy
    2018-10-20 14:42

    The events surrounding the discovery and later investigations into the paleolithic skeleton called Kennewick Man are woven into a more general history of early man in the United States making clear their significance. What is most fascinating about this introduction to paleoarcheology in the U.S. is the way interpretations have changed over time, with advances in technology and sheer leaps of imagination. Forensic clues are a big part of this kind of investigation and the authors (including a Smithsonian scientist who was part of one of the teams that studied these bones) make connections to the TV forensic science familiar to young readers. Written clearly and presented attractively with plentiful photos and diagrams, this is fascinating reading for a teen or an adult. The information is well documented and there are suggestions for further reading in print and on the web.

  • marin
    2018-10-23 13:41

    market research3 1/2 stars. Follows the bumpy, forensic path of identifying Kennewick Man's bones. Limited booktalking appeal. High quality paper and photographs. Narrative is not linear which disrupts the flow. Example of interjection that detracts from the story: "We must always remember Arch Lake Woman was more than bones and teeth. Like us, she felt happiness, sadness, and perhaps, curiosity. Had she wondered about her world? What had she and her people believed about death Did they believe in the afterlife?" (pg. 59) Narrative a bit wordy and repetitive. High quality paper and photograph reprints. Sidebars. Overall timeline at the front of the book would be helpful. Source notes, selected bibliography, further reading, and index. Photo acknowledgments badly formatted into one paragraph. Carolrhoda

  • Anne
    2018-11-02 15:07

    3.5 starsBeginning with the 1996 discovery of the Kennewick Man, this book explores the science of working with prehistoric remains and the clues that can be gathered from them to divine what life might have been like in that era. It goes on to look at other discoveries and what we have learned from those as well. Lots of photographs and illustrations to add interest. Text is dense, but authors do a good job keeping out too much of the scientific jargon. An emphasis is placed on how many people are needed of a variety of backgrounds to work together with these discoveries. Could be motivational to some as possible future career choices.

  • Mark Flowers
    2018-11-06 17:03

    Every Bone Tells a Story, Written in Bone, Their Skeletons Speak -- looks like we need a new metaphor for titles about archaeology. Title aside, this is a great book about Kennewick Man, though it does not rise to the great heights of Rubalcaba's Every Bone (which, incidentally, contained a chapter on Kennewick). Have I mentioned how much I love Walker? I do so here:

  • Angie
    2018-11-15 14:56

    Sally Walker does a wonderful job explaining the discovery of Kennewick Man and what was discovered from his remains. She writes on a level that anyone can understand and she provides enough scientific and historical information to make the subject really interesting. I especially liked how she wove the discoveries of other Paleoamerican remains into the narrative. She also provides lots of information and documentation for the discovery with the back matter of the book.

  • Rachel Barnard
    2018-10-21 12:43

    InformationalThe book begins with two young men surprisingly finding a set of skeleton bones along the shore of in the state of Washington. They turned the bones in for testing and found out discovering news. The bones were over 9000 years old. The authors of the books takes the reader into the process of how the bones were experimented on and how they could help the human population learn more about life on earth when first created.

  • Sarah
    2018-11-17 10:57

    Some thoughts here about this book and why it's a great companion book to Jim Murphy's The Giant and How He Humbugged America:

  • Carrie Shaurette
    2018-11-09 15:46

    While it can be intriguing to read about the process of extracting information through human remains, the narrative here gets too bogged down in the scientific details. This would be a tough sell to kids not already interested in archeology and anthropology.

  • Susan
    2018-11-06 16:52

    Another awesome book from Sally Walker! Even with my interest in archaeology, I still learned a lot! (and kids interested in other fields of science, geology, forensics, art, etc. might enjoy how all the disciplines come together...)

  • Liz B
    2018-11-08 18:07

    Excellent combination of history, archaeology, anthropology, and forensic sciences. My favorite part was the way that Walker shows how scientific theories changed and are still changing--how we use newly discovered evidence to change what we think about the distant past.

  • Edward Sullivan
    2018-11-13 12:55

    Collaborating with a Smithsonian anthropologist, Sally Walker once again delves deeply into the worlds of archeaology, physical anthropology, and forensic science. A fascinating, insightful, handsomely designed and illustrated book though not quite as compelling as Walker's Written in Bone.

  • Kendra
    2018-11-09 16:52

  • Ani
    2018-11-03 19:08

    Read my review on my book blog!

  • Jeanne
    2018-10-23 13:54

    Quite interesting. Since I always wanted to be an archaeologist but wasn't smart enough! I learn via books.

  • Allison
    2018-10-26 17:59

    A good intro to paleoamerican archaeology. The primary focus is Kennewick man but also covers either discoveries. the authors explain the scientists conclusions and also the reasoning. Good book.

  • Faith Fishcrazy
    2018-10-25 16:02

    Very interesting book. Really enjoyed the modern explanations of modern techniques used to find out all this information from mere mangled bones!

  • Cassandra
    2018-10-24 12:02

    Easy to read and excellent illustrations, it was very informative and expanded my knowledge on an interesting topic.

  • Laura Cushing
    2018-10-26 10:43

    Story of the discovery of Kennewick man, and what his skeleton shows about paleoamericans. Beautiful full color photographs, and interesting information.

  • Beth
    2018-11-17 15:09

    There are quite a few assumptions in this book that are presented as fact, taking away the final star.

  • PWRL
    2018-10-21 13:09


  • Sarah
    2018-11-01 19:04

    Overall enjoyable but a bit dense for children IMHO. I wish there had been more definitions of certain anthropology terms and professions, but the story totally sucked me in.

  • Ronda Nissen
    2018-10-25 14:00

    A tough but interesting read, quite informative