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Old 04-19-2005, 07:19 PM   #1
Moedred
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Post Kennewick Man vs. Indian legislation

You remember Kennewick Man, the 9,000 year old skeleton found in Washington state in 1996. You don't find human remains much older in North America. His bones resemble the Japanese Ainu... and he has an Indian spear point lodged in his hip. Paleoanthropologists fought local tribes in the courts for nearly a decade before winning the right to study him. The tribes just wanted to bury him (and any question about who's really "native" around here). The Army Corps aided the tribe by bulldozing the dig site.

Now congress want to add two little words to the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) that will make it nearly impossible for any unfound human remains to be studied:
'Native American' means of, or relating to, a tribe, people, or culture that is OR WAS indigenous to the United States."
I don't know when they'll vote on it. Read more here...
http://www.nationalreview.com/miller...0504140803.asp
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Old 04-19-2005, 08:52 PM   #2
Aaron H
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It pisses me off!
The reason why so-called "native Americans" want such finds to be hidden because it undermines their status as "first". I suppose it would also cause great damage to their religion.
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Old 04-19-2005, 09:35 PM   #3
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I agree, they should just bury him and show some respect towards the dead.
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Old 04-21-2005, 12:18 PM   #4
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It's already well nigh impossible to study newly discovered "native" human remains. If you're working on an site and uncover human remains, all work stops, you call in the state archaeologist (or whoever the authority is - a few states don't have a state archaeologist), who notifies local tribes, and in the end, they pretty much end up being reburried right then and there. If you're lucky, you can continue to dig in another part of the site... more often, the whole area is closed. So, what happens more often is archaeologists who uncover human remains simply cover them back up, close the pit (or don't put one there if it's still at the survey stage), move over a few meters and don't say a word. If you hit a second set of remains, THEN you call in the state archaeologist (because you might have a burial ground).

The even bigger problem this legislation will cause is in the area of artifacts. NAGPRA doesn't just apply to human remains; it also applies to grave goods and any artifacts deemed "sacred" by native tribes... that includes items that were not collected archaologially, but were gathered during ethnological studies in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Many museums and archaeologists have worked with Native groups to make reasonable sense of the law as it stands so that both parties can be satisfied, but there are some extremists on both sides. Researchers who feel they shouldn't have to give ANYTHING back and should have free reign in the name of science and also Indians who feel that EVERYTHING should be returned and no one not of Native descent has the right to touch/interpret/study anything Native. This change would fuel the fires between those two groups (giving the extremist native groups more claim to many things) and infuriate the extremist researchers, upestting the relatively decent balance that has been worked out by the majority of both researchers and Native Americans... on the artifact issue that is.
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Old 04-28-2005, 04:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron H
It pisses me off!
The reason why so-called "native Americans" want such finds to be hidden because it undermines their status as "first". I suppose it would also cause great damage to their religion.

Tread carefully with generalizations.As one of those 'so-called native Americans' that you speak of,I make no claim to be 'first' to anything.As shovelbum pointed out,it's a sensitive issue and the views of both sides must be respected.The problem is finding a way for the legislation to do that.
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Old 04-28-2005, 11:52 PM   #6
Aaron H
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TombReader
Tread carefully with generalizations.As one of those 'so-called native Americans' that you speak of,I make no claim to be 'first' to anything.As shovelbum pointed out,it's a sensitive issue and the views of both sides must be respected.The problem is finding a way for the legislation to do that.
No offence, by any means, but I get upset when one group of people claim something that would help our knowledge about the past. The reason why I so boldly state "so-called" is because they are not the first ones to what is now known as N/S America...however, it is because of their actions that such important history is going to be lost forever.
It is just a few, and I by no means blame one entire group...as it is only a handful of Native Americans who are doing this.
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Old 04-29-2005, 07:46 PM   #7
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This issue doesn't neatly divide one faith against another. Some Judeo-Christian creationists have little interest in the fossil record or whether tribes prevent us fom knowing more. (I don't personally know any creationists who think this way, and I'm something of one myself.) And politically, contributions from Indian gaming groups is a bi-partisan affair, often benefiting whoever was lucky enough to be in office when the casino bill passed.

When it does, members of nearly extinct tribes come out of the woodwork, and everyone starts sifting through their genealogy hoping to prove the same. I know, sometimes the gaming revenue doesn't disperse as well as it should, but something is better than nothing. The right to profit this way - and the right to prevent others from doing the same - is one of the big perks believed to be at risk when non-Indian fossils come out of the ground.

Still, there are other reasons to avoid changing the current benefits system... Wounded Knee and all that. So why destroy bones? It changes very little in the long run. This cover-up might even hurt Indian relations with the voters someday. Practically everywhere else in the world, human remains this old are no longer sacred.
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Old 05-18-2005, 04:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron H
It pisses me off!
The reason why so-called "native Americans" want such finds to be hidden because it undermines their status as "first". I suppose it would also cause great damage to their religion.

Easy-there tiger. Son of a "so-called native Amerian" woman here

I think mom puts it very well, and she'll kill me for misquoting, but here's essentially a paraphrase.

"Whites systematically destroyed our culture for five hundred years. Archaeology is the only way to get at what was lost. These zealots are only helping to destroy what little we have left."

I agree

And, frankly, these tribes have no right to claim sovreignity over the bodies of other people. They may not even remotedly be related to them.

Just a thought or two.

-Fed
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Old 03-14-2017, 02:14 PM   #9
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Dusting off this thread, and noticed a former mod hails from this region. I hold the same ambivalence to the philosophies at play. Concluded Michael Crichton in Lost World, in a response to Ian Malcolm: "Theories are just fantasies. And they change. A hundred years from now, people will look back at us and laugh. By then there will be newer and better fantasies."

Anyway, Kennewick Man was "buried on February 18, 2017, with 200 members of five Columbia Basin tribes, at an undisclosed location in the area." I suspect he's dust, in case 4chan is wondering exactly where.
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