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The Kennewick Man Case | Court Documents | Affidavits & Declarations

Plaintiffs' October 1, 1999 Status Report to the Court


Alan L. Schneider, OSB No. 68147
1437 SW Columbia Street, Suite 200
Portland, OR 97201
Telephone: (503) 274-8444
Facsimile: (503) 274-8445

Paula A. Barran, OSB No. 80397
601 SW 2 , Suite 2300
Portland, OR 97204
Telephone: (503) 228-0500
Facsimile: (503) 274-1212

Attorneys for Plaintiff





County of Multnomah

USDC No. CV 96-1481 JE


I, Cleone H. Hawkinson, being first duly sworn, do depose and state as follows:

1. I hold a Master's degree in anthropology with an emphasis in physical anthropology. I received my Master's degree in 1981 from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, and my Bachelor's degree in 1978 (also from the University of Tennessee). During my undergraduate and graduate studies, I spent approximately 36 months conducting skeletal evaluations.

2. On September 8, 1999, I was present at the Burke Museum in Seattle, Washington, when government representatives removed bone samples from the Kennewick skeleton for radiocarbon dating. I attended the sample removal as an observer for the plaintiffs in the above lawsuit. Other observers present during the sample removal were Mr. Steve McNallan, observer for the Asatru Folk Assembly, and two tribal representatives (on a rotating basis). Government representatives who were present during the sample removal include: Dr. Frank McManamon; Mr. Jason Roberts; Dr. Michael Trimble; Ms. Terry Militello; Ms. Rhonda Lueck; Dr. Vicki Cassman; Ms. Kathryn Taylor. Also present was Ms. Laura Phillips from the Burke Museum. Ms. Allison Rumsey, Department of Justice, and Mr. Timothy Simmons, U.S. Attorney's Office, Portland, Oregon, were present in the hallway outside the laboratory room. Another individual who was not introduced was present and took Polaroid pictures of the process.

3. Before sample removal began, Dr. McManamon told us that the samples would be obtained from a foot bone and piece of lower leg bone. The foot bone was later identified as the right first metatarsal. Attachment 1 illustrates where this bone is located in the human body. The lower leg bone was later identified as a piece of proximal left tibia. Attachment 2 illustrates the approximate anatomical position of this bone. Dr. McManamon also informed us that a third bone, a piece of femur, was being held in reserve for sampling in case any problems were encountered with either of the other two bones.

4. The first bone to be sampled was the metatarsal. This bone was cut into two pieces by making a transverse cut through the midshaft. After the two pieces were separated, Dr. Cassman weighed each of them. She reported that one piece weighed 9.4 grams and the other 9.1 grams. I did not have a good view of the metatarsal since I was seated at a distance from the work table and neither the metatarsal nor the tibia were held up for inspection by the observers. However, from where I was sitting, the metatarsal appeared to be well preserved. Ms. Lueck reported that the Master Catalog numbers for the original intact bone was CENWW.97.R.24(MTa). The two new pieces were given the number CENWW.97.R.24(MTal) for the distal portion and CENWW.97.R.24 (MTa2) for the proximal portion.

5. The tibia fragment was sampled by cutting what appeared to be a wedge or rectangular shaped section from the anterior distal (i.e., front lower) part of the fragment. This section appeared to be' approximately 2 1/2 to 3 inches in length and approximately 1/4 inch wide by 1/4 inch thick. After it was removed from the rest of bone, the section was then cut into two pieces by making a transverse cut through the mid point of its longest axis. Dr. Cassman reported that one of the resulting pieces weighed 6.5 grams and the other 5.3 grams. As previously noted, my view of the bones was limited. However, from where I was sitting, it did appear that the tibia fragment was in a more fragile condition than the metatarsal. Both ends appeared to have postmortem breaks, and I could see two pronounced lengthwise breaks or cracks in the bone. Sediment was visible in the medulary cavities of the broken ends. As the extracted section was being cut into two pieces, a splinter of bone broke off one piece. This splinter crumbled further when it was picked up to be weighed with the piece to which it belonged. Ms. Lueck reported that the Master Catalog number for the tibia fragment prior to sampling was CENWW.97.L.20.b. The two radiocarbon samples have been assigned numbers and CENWW.97.L.20.b2.

6. As the metatarsal samples were being packaged for transport and before the tibia samples were removed, Dr. McManamon informed us that four radiocarbon laboratories would be used to analyze the samples. Three laboratories had already been selected, and discussions were still underway with the fourth laboratory (which he identified as "Stafford Labs in Colorado"). From what Dr. McManamon said, I got the impression that each laboratory would receive a single sample (i.e., one of the metatarsal samples would be sent to one laboratory, the second to another laboratory, and so on). Dr. McManamon stated that this procedure was being used to get the best results on the potential age of the skeleton. He stated that they were using this method as a "check on the labs."

7. The principal tools used for cutting the samples were a Dremel power tool and a hand hacksaw. The Dremel tool was equipped with a circular cutting blade. Ms. Taylor was the person who used these tools to cut the bones. Dr. McManamon stated that she is a "forensic anthropologist experienced in cutting bone." I have since been informed that she has a Master's degree from the University of Arizona and is currently employed by the King County (Washington) Corner's of office as a forensic investigator. Dr:' McManamon did not say what experience, if any, she has in removing radiocarbon samples from human bone as old as the Kennewick skeleton. Dr. McManamon and Dr. Cassman assisted in removal of the samples.

8. The Dremel tool seemed to generate a significant amount of dust and fine powder. For example, the section taken from the tibia fragment reportedly weighed 12 grams before it was cut in two.

After it was bisected, the combined weight of the two resulting pieces was 11.8 grams (i.e., 6.5 grams for one and 5.3 grams for the other). Since the splinter from one piece was weighed with that piece, the difference between the before and after weights (i.e., two-tenths of a gram) would appear to represent dust and powder produced by the act of cutting. Use of a finer scale tool, such as a jeweler's saw, might have left more of the bone intact. Dust and other particles collected during the cutting process were put into separate zip lock plastic bags for each sample. We were told that these bags would be added to the inventory list and stored with the rest of the collection. We were not given any information about the dimensions of the blades used to cut the samples or the precision of the lab scale used to weigh the samples.

9. During one of the question and answer periods, I asked if anything had been done to prepare the bones before the samples were taken. I was told that the bones were taken from their storage boxes as is (except for removal of their catalog labels), and that nothing was used to clean the surfaces of the bone before cutting began. I then asked if the bone vibrated enough during cutting to cause surface sediments to come loose. Dr. McManamon stated that the bone did vibrate and that surface concretions might have fallen onto the samples.

10. Photographs of the sampling process were taken by Ms. Militello with a 35 mm camera, and by another individual who was equipped with a Polaroid camera. It appeared that most of the photographs were taken at distances ranging from two to five feet and from various angles. I did not observed any use of a size scale or standardized positioning. Such unscaled, nonstandardized photographs may be useful for recording the steps taken to obtain the radiocarbon samples. However, they will have' little value for reconstructing the dimensions or characteristics of the bones taken or for other scientific purposes. I did not observe anyone measure the length or other dimensions of the samples or the bones from which the samples were taken.

11. Following completion of the sampling process and after the work table had been cleared, a tribal religious ceremony was held in the laboratory room used for removal of the samples. Before the ceremony began, Dr. McManamon reiterated that the government's protocol only allowed for three observers to be present in the room at any one time. Since two more tribal representatives had arrived a few minutes earlier, there were now three tribal representatives who would be excluded from the ceremony because of the government's protocol. Accordingly, I offered my observer's chair to one of the tribal representatives. Mr. McNallan stated that he would do likewise. I also informed Dr. McManamon that plaintiffs would not object if the fourth tribal representative were permitted to join in the ceremony. Mr. McNallen concurred. Dr. McManamon conferred with Dr. Trimble, after which Dr. Trimble agreed to permit all four tribal representatives to be present in the room for the ceremony. Mr. McNallan and I observed the ceremony from the doorway leading into the laboratory room. The skeleton was not present in the room during the ceremony.

12. Several times during the sampling process, Dr. McManamon and Dr. Trimble stated that the procedures used in their process were "standard" or "conventional" for radiocarbon dating. It did not appear to me that their procedures were consistent with the recommendations set out in Dr. Stafford and Dr. Taylor's affidavits.

DATED this 29th day of September, 1999.

Cleone H. Hawkinson

SUBSCRIBED and SWORN to before me this 29th day of September, 1999.

(signed) Timpra Lyn McKenzie
Notary Public for Oregon
My Commission Expires: 08/25/03

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