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The Kennewick Man Case | Court Documents | Status Reports

Federal Defendants' May 2000 DNA Analysis Progress Report

Declaration of Francis P. McManamon, Ph.D.

Lois J. Schiffer
Assistant Attorney General

Allison Rumsey
US Department of Justice
Environment & Natural Resources Div.
Office of the Assistant Attorney General
950 Penn. Ave., N.W., Room 2740
Washington, D.C.

Kristine Olson
United States Attorney
Timothy Simmons
Assistant United States Attorney
District of Oregon
1000 SW 3rd Ave., Ste 600
Portland, Oregon 97204-2902
(503) 727-1156
(503) 727-1117


ROBSON BONNICHES, et al., Plaintiffs


UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, et al., Defendants

Declaration of Francis P. McManamon, Ph.D.

I, Francis P. McManamon declare as follows:

1. I am Chief Archeologist of the National Park Service and the Departmental Consulting Archeologist for the U. S. Department of the Interior ("DOI"). My duties and responsibilities in this capacity are as set forth in my declaration filed with this court on April 1, 2000. This declaration is being submitted in support of the Federal Defendants' filing regarding the DNA analysis. All information herein is based on my personal knowledge and upon information furnished to me in my official capacity.

2. On April 24-28 a team of scientists met at the Burke Museum to perform further physical anthropological analysis with a focus on taphonomy and micro-sampling for the purpose of selecting appropriate bone samples from which to obtain viable DNA for analysis. (See Plan for Conducting DNA Investigation of the Kennewick Remains, filed April 10, 2000.)

3. The scientific team included Dr. Francis P. McManamon, Chief Archeologist, National Park Service; Dr. R. E. Taylor, U. C. Riverside, an expert in radiometric dating and bone structure and chemistry; Dr. David Glenn Smith, U. C. Davis, an expert in anthropological genetics and DNA analysis; Dr. Joseph Powell, University of New Mexico, an expert in physical anthropology, who has examined and measured many of the existing ancient skeletons from North America and was a member of the team that examined the remains in February, 1999, and reported on them; Dr. Clark Larsen, University of North Carolina, an expert on interpreting life ways from skeletal examination; and Dr. Phillip Walker, University of California at Santa Barbara, an expert in determining life ways from skeletal examination. All of these physical anthropologists are experts in taphonomic examination and interpretation (i.e., describing what happens to the human remains from the time of death to present). The curation and conservation of the human remains was overseen by Dr. Michael K. Trimble, Curator, U. S. Army Corps of Engineers; Dr. Nancy Odegaard, Conservator, Arizona State Museum, University of Arizona; and Dr. Vicki Cassman, Conservator and Assistant Professor, University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

4. Drs. Powell, Larsen, and Walker undertook a physical anthropological examination, building upon the examination, analysis, and reporting done by Drs. Powell and Rose in 1999. The main objective of this investigation was to perform a taphonomic recording and analysis of the skeleton to assist in the identification of a well-preserved bone for the proposed DNA sample. To do this, the taphonomic examination focussed on interpreting postmortem treatment of the body and environmental conditions which the body and skeleton were subject over the millennia. Indications of weathering, discoloration, polish, cut marks, rodent or carnivore gnawing, and other forms of modification of the skeletal elements were observed, described, analyzed and interpreted. Evidence of chemical and mechanical erosion due to surface exposure, extensive ground water, riverine exposure, and animal activity was checked. Drs. Powell, Larsen, and Walker also recorded various skeletal characteristics by means of photographs and small surface impressions.

5. Dr. David Glenn Smith also assisted in the examination of the skeleton and consulted with the other experts on the team to estimate the likelihood that the various skeletal elements would yield viable samples of ancient DNA. Dr. Smith compiled information about the treatment of handling of the human remains since their discovery, in particular the radiographs that have been made of the remains, as one means of assessing the likely condition and contamination of ancient DNA in various skeletal elements.

6. After consulting with the physical anthropologists and conservators to determine the skeletal elements that appeared best preserved, Dr. R. E. Taylor took micro-samples of certain of those skeletal elements. Micro-sampling involved the removal of small portions of the bones for laboratory analysis to detect the level and condition original organic material from which DNA could be extracted successfully.

7. Dr. Smith, consulting with the other experts -- Larsen, Powell, Taylor, Walker, Odegaard, and Cassman -- developed a list and ranking of potential bones or teeth for sampling of DNA (a through j below). In addition, micro-samples were taken from bone elements k and l (listed below) to accommodate a need for comparative analysis of the overall skeletal biochemistry and interpret the other results. The preliminary listing reflects the likely intact bone collagen/carbon content and the potential diagnostic characteristics of the element and the bones which micro-samples were taken. This list is as follows:

a. 3rd right mandibular molar. 97 R75a This was not micro-sampled as it would be too much of an intervention.

b. 3rd left maxillary molar. 97 R50a This was not micro-sampled as it would be too much of an intervention.

c. 3rd left metacarpal 97 R16 (Mca). Micro-sample 1, a piece from the distal end.

d. Right 8th rib 97 I 12d(13). Micro-sample 2 from vertebral end of rib fragment. The rib fragment broke while being cut due to the fragility of the remains.

e. Portion of 8th rib 97 I 12d(13). Micro-sample 3 from the sternal end of the rib fragment.

f. 2nd cervical vertebrae 97 U4(C2a). This was not micro-sampled because of its diagnostic importance.

g. 3rd right metacarpal 97 R16(Mca). Micro-sample 4, proximal end piece. During cutting, this bone broke at mid-shaft due to the fragility of the remains.

h. 3rd right metacarpal 97 R16(Mca). Micro-sample 5, distal end piece.

i. 2nd right metacarpal 97 R16(Mcc). This was not micro-sampled due to other micro-samples already taken from neighboring bones.

j. 2nd left metacarpal 97 L16(Mcb). Micro-sample 7, piece from distal end.

k. 2nd right metatarsal 97 A.I 25c. Micro-sample 6, piece from midshaft.

l. Left tibia 97 L20b. Micro-sample 8, piece from proximal end adjacent to previous sample.

8. This tentative ranking will be evaluated in light of the reports of the physical anthropological analysis and bone chemistry and a revised ranking will be developed and used to select the bone or tooth for DNA sample. Once the sample has been selected, it will be split and sent to the two DNA laboratories: (1) Dr. Frederika Kaestle, Yale University and (2) Dr. Andrew Merriweather, University of Michigan. If cutting of the bone is necessary, we will arrange for it to occur at one of the DNA labs under carefully controlled conditions to reduce the risk of contamination. That lab will then provide the second portion of the sample to the second lab.

I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.

Executed this 1sd day of May, 2000.
Francis P. McManamon, Ph.D.

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