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Bones Won’t Be Buried Yet

Two 9,000-year-old skeletons will be held by University of California, San Diego, officials—rather than turned over to American Indians for reburial—until a lawsuit is settled.

By | May 10, 2012

image: Bones Won’t Be Buried Yet Grave in the NederlandsWikimedia Commons, Vincent de Groot

Grave in the NederlandsWIKIMEDIA COMMONS, VINCENT DE GROOT

The bones of two 9,000-year-old skeletons will remain above ground for at least a little while longer, thanks to a United States district court judge who signed an injunction this week (May 7) to extend a temporary restraining order keeping the bones in the custody of University of California, San Diego, officials until a case over the bones is settled, ScienceInsider reported.

For the past 6 years, since their discovery in 2006 during excavation of the UCSD chancellor’s home, the skeletons have been the center of a legal battle. The Kumeyaay Indians of San Diego want to rebury the bones, which they believe were unearthed from ancestral tribal lands, and filed a lawsuit this April to reclaim them. But three UCSC professors fought back, filing another lawsuit later that month to keep the skeletons available for study. The hope to be able to extract and study the bones’ DNA to gain clues about the diet and lifestyles of the people from which they came, possibly some of the earliest humans to settle in North America.

The professors claim there is no evidence that the skeletons are of Kumeyaay origin. For one, the Kumeyaay likely moved into the area a mere 2,000 years ago, according to a scientific advisory committee to UCSD. Additionally, the Indians traditionally cremated their dead.

A federal court in San Francisco is scheduled to hold a hearing for the case tomorrow (May 11).

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Comments

Avatar of: Edward R. Mikol

Edward R. Mikol

Posts: 1457

May 11, 2012

I thought the controversy was because the cranial shapes looked unlike Native Americans and DNA tests were needed to determine whether other groups from the human genome were in the region.

To bury them without fixing their actual origin would be absurd.

Maybe they were Celts from what is now China who moved across the Bering Strait, and who also upset the theories in Asia by showing up in graves where red-headed Europeans were not supposed to have ever been?

Avatar of: spiralsun1

spiralsun1

Posts: 3

May 11, 2012

Yes it is POLITICS again -- interfering with TRUTH. Politics based on religion with no basis in reality -- you know, like the scopes monkey trials... I can't even believe this is an issue -- or that it was not laughed out of court! They did this with a site in Kennewick, WA where they found older bones than this -- and they were not indian bones there either. They ended up re-burying these priceless artifacts and then dropping many tons of boulders on top of them to keep them from being dug up again. Down the memory hole with any evidence contrary to indians being the first Americans... the REAL reason indians want them re-buried.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

May 11, 2012

I thought the controversy was because the cranial shapes looked unlike Native Americans and DNA tests were needed to determine whether other groups from the human genome were in the region.

To bury them without fixing their actual origin would be absurd.

Maybe they were Celts from what is now China who moved across the Bering Strait, and who also upset the theories in Asia by showing up in graves where red-headed Europeans were not supposed to have ever been?

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

May 11, 2012

Yes it is POLITICS again -- interfering with TRUTH. Politics based on religion with no basis in reality -- you know, like the scopes monkey trials... I can't even believe this is an issue -- or that it was not laughed out of court! They did this with a site in Kennewick, WA where they found older bones than this -- and they were not indian bones there either. They ended up re-burying these priceless artifacts and then dropping many tons of boulders on top of them to keep them from being dug up again. Down the memory hole with any evidence contrary to indians being the first Americans... the REAL reason indians want them re-buried.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

May 12, 2012

Religion should never trump science.

Avatar of: GrandpaTarkin

GrandpaTarkin

Posts: 8

May 12, 2012

Religion should never trump science.

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