Genetics has now proven that assumption to be incorrect, Ponce de León adds.
(The leading anthropologists originally behind this claim, Douglas Owsley of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.
Her reading of the data, Mulligan says, puts Kennewick equally close to some other groups in Central and South America; indeed, Willerslev his colleagues also conclude that Kennewick Man has affinities to more southern groups.Their conclusion: The Ancient One is closely related to at least one of the five tribes that originally fought to rebury him on spiritual grounds. When radiocarbon dating revealed that he was thousands of years old, a legal tug of war began between local tribes and scientists who wanted to study him, but ended in the tribes’ defeat in 2004.“This is great news for us,” says Jim Boyd, chair of the business council of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation in Washington. The findings are “ironic” given the long controversy over where the bones should end up, says lead author Eske Willerslev, a paleogeneticist at the University of Copenhagen.Its closest living relative is thought to be either the Tasmanian devil or the numbat.The thylacine was one of only two marsupials to have a pouch in both sexes (the other being the water opossum).