The 2015 Annual Meeting, held on February 22, 2015 at Farmington High School, 10 Montieth Drive, Farmington,
CT, was highlighted by the presence of Dr. Douglas Owsley of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.
In a nearly 2-hour talk, Dr. Owsley described not only the history of the finding and legal wrangling associated with the discovery, examination and ultimate fate of the skeleton but -- even more interesting -- the variety of tools he and his associates used to examine in detail the skeleton and what conclusions they were able to draw from it.
The skeleton itself was first discovered in 1996 by two college students watching boat races on the Columbia River near Kennewick, Washington, who stumbled across a human skull in the shallow water near the shore. After reporting this to the police, subsequent investigations showed that the skeleton was between 8,430 and 9,200 years old; and this led to a historic legal confrontation, bitter political debates, and intense debates between scientists, government officials, the US Army Corps of Engineers, and Native American tribes over who should control such ancient finds ... and, who gets to decide. Dr. Owsley, a forensic anthropologist, was one of the principal scientists engaged in carefully choreographed examinations of the skeleton, stretching over 16 days, which were allowed them. Some of their findings included the following:
Note: Where an image is shown below, click it to get a larger view. All images shown here, as well as others, can be found in the Meeting's image collection, along with explanatory captions.
Unfortunately, this is only an overview of his talk. Many more details and images can be found in Dr.
Owsley's book Kennewick Man: The Scientific Investigation of an Ancient American Skeleton, and in another
book by James B. Chatters, Ancient Encounters: Kennewick Man and the First Americans who also studied the
> To view a flyer for the meeting, please click .
> To access the Program accompanying this meeting, please click .
> To read an article on Kennewick Man, put out by the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, please click Kennewick Man.
> For a biographical sketch of Dr. Owsley on Wikipedia, please click Douglas Owsley.
> Webmaster's Note: In the Spring 2008 FOSA Newsletter, an article appeared giving an update of the then-ongoing analysis of the Kennewick Man. Readers can access a reprint of the article by clicking Reprinted Article.
Preceding this was the "business" portion of the meeting. Highlights include:
> Recording Secretary Mike Cahill provided a year-in-review report on FOSA's 2014 activities.
> Nick Bellantoni spoke of his work at State Archaeologist leading up to his retirement last July; and of his work with the Archaeological Society of Connecticut, of which he's now a Board member.
> Brian Jones spoke of his work this past year since his becoming Connecticut's State Archaeologist, thanking FOSA members for all of the invaluable volunteer work they've provided.
> Scott Brady discussed this year's Nominations to the Board of Directors and for Correspondence Secretary.
> Mike Raber presented Certificate Achievement Awards, to Cynthia Redman for her work during her 3 terms as FOSA President, her organizational and leadership skills and work in the FOSA library; and to Joan McCarthy for her work as FOSA's Corresponding Secretary, an often anonymous and at-times thankless job which is nevertheless an absolutely necessary one. Both of their certificates can be viewed in the "Special Features" section of this web site by clicking .
> All this was kept in motion by FOSA President Mandy Ranslow, who also noted that this year's Archaeology Fair will be held on October 17 at Central Connecticut State University.
Images in this section courtesy of Jim Hall.