Paleontology: The Man They Ate for Dinner

In an election year, most politicians are content to let buried skeletons lie. Not Washington's Democratic Senator Warren Magnuson—although he is up for re-election in November. Last week, with Magnuson's blessing, two scientists announced in his Senate office that they had dug up the remains of a nomadic hunter who lived near what is now Washtucna, Wash., some 12,000 years ago. The human skeleton, believed to be the oldest ever discovered in the Western Hemisphere, was promptly dubbed the "Cro-Magnuson man" by Washington reporters.

During a geological survey in the Palouse River canyon in 1965, Washington State University Geologist Roald...