Re: 9,000-Year-Old Caucasian Found in Seattle!

Susan S. Chin (
Sat, 14 Sep 1996 16:34:07 GMT

Ted Rosen ( wrote:
: Excuse me for failing to produce newspaper accounts of this event, but
: it seems there's some debate about an ancient skull found in Kendall
: Park in King County, Washington.
: Workers were digging in the area and unearthed the skull, which was
: ferried off to UW for analysis. The scientists in question (sorry, no
: names yet) pegged this ancient skull as being undoubtedly caucasian. I
: believe he made this determination by involving some of the well-known
: tests for skull size/diameter and dentition.
: Other researchers felt the skull was unusual for the known dwellers of
: the ancient Northwest, notably ancient members of the quasi-mongoloid
: Iriquios.
: As you might expect, armchair Euro-buffs immediately began to cite the
: possibility of sea-faring Europeans finding themselves hopelessly
: marooned among the ancient tributaries and maze-like features of the
: ancient Puget Sound.
: On one talk show, Norsemen were cited as the possible explorers and
: the C-14 dating methods questioned. Never mind that the Erickson's
: adventures took place circa 1000 BP; the scientists must be wrong.
: As an amateur anthropologist, I'm intrigued, but convinced that the
: skull is not caucasian. I'm led to understand that subtleties in form
: are determined by averaging large numbers of specimens to forge a
: framework for classification. And we all know that not all whites have
: sharp noses and not all ancient American Indians had flat teeth.
: If anyone has any news inre this story, I'd love to hear it. In the
: meantime, I'll cull the local rags for more info.

: - TR

Yes, I was very skeptical myself after reading about this in this
newsgroup last week.

The key here is VARIATION. Humans within a race vary in morphology just
as humans across races do. I wouldn't be so quick to call this a white guy,
er Caucasian male. What characters did they use to determine it was male
anyway? Let alone that the individual was of European ancestry?