November 16, 1990
The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act is passed to protect the remains of native peoples on federal land if they are affiliated with any modern-day tribes.
July 28, 1996
Kennewick Man's skull is found in the Columbia River near Kennewick, Washington, during a boat race. More bones are found from July 28 to August 29 in the immediate area.
July 29, 1996
The bones are X-rayed and CAT-scanned. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is informed of the discovery because the site is federal land under its control.
July 30, 1996
A local newspaper in Eastern Washington publishes a story of the discovery. This first public news prompts a representative of a local Native American tribe to contact authorities about the discovery.
August 5, 1996
One bone fragment is sent to the University of California, Riverside, to be dated by a destructive test.
August 26, 1996
Early analysis reports the bone fragment to be about 8,400 years old.
September 2, 1996
Kennewick Man's bones are transferred to the control of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
September 9, 1996
A group of five Native American tribes claims these human remains under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, a federal law.
September 17, 1996
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers agrees to the tribal claim and publishes an official "Notice of Intent to Repatriate" statement as required by law.
October 16, 1996
Eight anthropologists file suit in U.S. Magistrate Court in Portland, Oregon, to prevent the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from repatriating the remains to the tribes, and to require further study of the remains.
October 24, 1996
Litigation begins in the U.S. Magistrate Court.
December 1, 1997
Additional research is carried out at the site on the Columbia River.
April 1, 1998
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers gives Kennewick Man to the U.S. interior department.
April 6, 1998
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers stabilizes the site where the bones were found.
June 17, 1998
Out-of-court mediation between the parties begin.
September 3, 1998
A federal judge orders Kennewick Man moved to the Burke Museum at the University of Washington.
October 29, 1998
Kennewick Man's bones are transferred to the Thomas Burke Memorial Washington State Museum at the University of Washington in Seattle, where they will be cared for until a final decision about them is reached.
February 27, 1999
A team of federally selected anthropologists present their preliminary findings based on non-destructive examinations of the remains carried out at the Thomas Burke Memorial Washington State Museum earlier in the week.
July 27, 1999
Despite tribal opposition, the National Park Service announces its decision to destroy more of Kennewick Man's skeleton in order to confirm the age of the bones.
September 8 & 9, 1999
Scholars working for the National Park Service select a bone sample to be used in dating Kennewick Man.
October 15, 1999
A federal report links Kennewick Man to Asian peoples and not the tribes claiming an ancestral link to the remains.
January 12, 2000
Radiocarbon dating confirms Kennewick Man is about 9,300 years old.
September 25, 2000
The Interior Department rules that the bones should be given to the tribes who claimed them as belonging to an ancestor.
August 30, 2002
U.S. Magistrate John Jelderks in Portland rules the bones should be turned over to a team of scientists for study, blocking the return to a coalition of Native American tribes for burial.
October 28, 2002
Four Northwest Indian tribes that claim Kennewick man as their ancestor file notice that they will appeal the ruling rejecting their request to bury the skeleton.
9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upholds Jelderks ruling.
April 19, 2004
9th Circuit Court of Appeals denies the request for a rehearing en banc of the Bonnichsen decision. While awaiting instructions from the legal owners (Army Corps of Engineers), the museum will continue to provide a secure and respectful repository for these human remains for as long as required by the court and the legal owners of the remains.