Skip to content
Hardcover Riddle of the Bones: Politics, Science, Race, and the Story of Kennewick Man Book

ISBN: 0387988777

ISBN13: 9780387988771

Riddle of the Bones: Politics, Science, Race, and the Story of Kennewick Man

Select Format

Select Condition ThriftBooks Help Icon


Format: Hardcover

Condition: Good

Save $26.60!
List Price $32.99
Almost Gone, Only 1 Left!

Book Overview

Roger Downey takes us to the center of the controversies over "Kennewick Man," the surprising 9,000-year-old Caucasoid-like skeleton, and the interpretation of when and where the Americas were first settled. THE RIDDLE OF THE BONES, vividly told by a Seattle Weekly journalist who has covered the story from the first dicoveries in the Pacific Northwest, forces us to reconsider what we know of America's first settlers and who can legitimately lay claim...

Customer Reviews

3 ratings

Make no bones about it

Every so often you read a book that is so much better than you thought it was going to be, you are stunned. Riddle of the Bones was such a book for me. With "Bones," author Roger Downey has given us a significant piece of work. And like one of the archeological treasures he describes in his book, it is a real find. This is a book that will withstand the test of time--maybe not geologic time, but regular time.What's remarkable about this book is that it takes on the challenge of telling the story of humankind's long and controversial search for its origins while at the same time chronicling the tangled story of Kennewick Man, with all of its legal maneuvering, back-stabbing, mumbo-jumbo science, and media saturation. This book is good enough to launch a few careers, because it provides a valuable lesson in the scientific disciplines seeking to answer the multitude of questions regarding human origin. To read this book is to gain an understanding of how "what came before" links with the modern-day Kennewick case. You will also learn about hard science from reading this book--about the latest advances in radiocarbon-dating, blood group typing, statistical analysis, molecular biology, genetic drift, and the like. In an easy style, the author explains the latest scientific breakthroughs in studies of early humans, and keeps this information in context with the Kennewick Man case. Throughout the book, interspersed with the K-Man story, the author relates "case histories" of previous significant archeological finds in the Americas--from the finds of the Folsom and Clovis peoples in New Mexico to the flooded-out Marmes remains along the Palouse River in Washington state. In another case, he explains how the Monte Verde dig in Chile, South America, is revolutionizing much of today's thinking on the arrival of the first peoples on this continent. The author's first-hand descriptions of his visits to several of these sites not only make for fascinating reading, they help us understand why Kennewick Man has become such a sensational story in relation to the other finds. For example, had the Kennewick Man remains been handled in the same manner as those from the Buhl site in Idaho--that is, returned to the indigenous Indian tribes in accordance with federal law, then, in all likelihood, the sensational story of Kennewick Man would have never happened.And, oh, what a cast of characters, living and dead, the author parades before us in this book-Indians, reporters, rogue scientists, mainstream scientists, politicians, lawyers, judges, feds, Asatrus warriors (Viking wannabes), civilians-on and on they have been drawn into the K-Man case. From the very beginning they've been stonewalling, bickering, sensationalizing, breaking the law, and otherwise turning the case upside down. Don't look too hard for hero figures in this book, for they are hard to find.Most certainly, the best things to come out of the Kennewick

Who knew bones could be so lively?

I read this book because I knew Mr. Downey's writing through his work as a critic, journalist and playwright, not because of any special interest in or knowledge of archeology. What a delight to find a book about a totally alien subject that is such a fine and informative read! The same strengths that inform Downey's arts journalism bring what could be an arcane subject to vibrant life. In THE RIDDLE OF THE BONES, he tells a compelling story complete with rich characters, an eye for the offbeat detail, provocative ideas and a plot that is constructed like a thriller. I have no idea what feathers he's ruffled in the apparently insular world of archeology (and the comic opera world of "Asutru"!), but he's written a concise book that is a satisfying and compelling look at "the bones" for the person with little previous knowledge of the subject. If you've wondered about all the fuss over Kennewick Man, this is the book to read.

The Truth at Last

After years of reading misinformation and misleading statements in the press accounts regarding Kennewick Man, finally someone has written the true account. The author interviewed Dr. Chatters, Mr. Van Pelt, as well as other characters in the story and professionals in the field. He read the court transcripts. He pursued the truth when conflicting statements were made. What I like best is his style of writing, like a mystery novel. He also does well developing the characters. And, he does more than tell the Kennewick Man story, he puts it in context with Clovis, Folsom, and physical anthropology. This is a real winner.
Copyright © 2023 Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Do Not Sell/Share My Personal Information | Cookie Policy | Cookie Preferences | Accessibility Statement
ThriftBooks® and the ThriftBooks® logo are registered trademarks of Thrift Books Global, LLC
GoDaddy Verified and Secured