Tuesday, August 11, 2015

“Preponderance of Evidence: The Intersection of Geology, NAGPRA, and Kennewick Man"

Next Thursday, August 13th, at the Far View Lodge in Mesa Verde National Park, Dr. Lillian Wakeley will present a thought-provoking talk about the 1996 discovery of the remains of 9,000 year old Kennewick Man and the resulting legal battles fought under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. The program begins at 7:00 p.m. and is free to the public.

The Kennewick Man remains were claimed by several Native American tribes under NAGPRA, but legal actions intensified as questions arose about whether a preponderance of evidence identified the remains as Native American under the law and whether or not NAGPRA applied. Plans for a detailed site study to help determine the environment, cultural affiliation, and burial status, were abandoned when the site was covered under tons of rock and soil.

Lillian Wakeley is a consulting geologist with world-wide research experience in near-surface soil properties, desert and river geomorphology, specialty geo-materials, interpreting paleo-environments, and science for the public. She holds an M.S. in Geology from Utah State University and a D.Ed. from Penn State. She recently retired after 27 years as an engineering and environmental geologist for the Army Corps of Engineers. Lillian led the geologic study of the Kennewick Man discovery site and currently serves as a volunteer geologic consultant to Mesa Verde National Park and various Bureau of Land Management sites.

The Four Corners Lecture Series is sponsored by Anasazi Heritage Center; Aramark Parks and Destinations; Bureau of Land Management; Cortez Cultural Center; Crow Canyon Archaeological Center; Edge of the Cedars State Park Museum; Fort Lewis College Office of the President, Dept. of Anthropology and Center of Southwest Studies; Hisatsinom Chapter Colorado Archaeological Society; KSJD Dryland Community Radio; Mesa Verde Foundation; Mesa Verde Museum Association; and Mesa Verde National Park.

For a list of other programs in the series, click here.


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