No Bone Unturned

Dr. Douglas Owsley, curator for the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and forensic scientist "reads bones like most people read books." He also gains as much knowledge from them. In No Bone Unturned: The Adventures of the Smithsonian's Top Forensic Scientist and the Legal Battle for America's Oldest Skeletons, Jeff Benedict presents a double story: a sensitive portrait of this extraordinary scientist and a thorough reporting of the landmark 1996 lawsuit, Robson Bonnichsen et al v. U.S. et al. Benedict admits that his initial plan was to focus on the lawsuit, in which a group of scientists sued the federal government for the right to study the remains of 9,600 year-old Kennewick Man--the oldest complete human skeleton to be found in America and claimed by the Umatilla Native American tribe for reburial, but shifted his focus after hearing about Owsley. The result is a fascinating account of how one man's commitment to science and knowledge could help rewrite North American human history.

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