Naomi Sherer reviews...
Riddle of the Bones
This chronicles the epic adventures of a skeleton called "Kennewick Man":
first as a pretext for a media feeding-frenzy;
then as the centerpiece of a legal circus pitting celebrated scientist against Native Americans, the Corps of Engineers, and the Clinton White House;
and, finally, as an object of rational scientific study.
Downey explores changing scientific theories about how and by whom the Americas first came to be settled. He reviews the deep divisions within the fields of anthropology and archeology concerning the role of politics and race in the pursuit of scientific goals.
In this continuing debate, Downey describes the major players and details the controversial scientific, religious, and political arguments. In the process, we learn as much about ourselves as we do about our past.
Easy reading in a style much like a mystery, you will find it hard to put down.
Published by Copernicus
an imprint of
Springer-Verlag New York, Inc.
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
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