Licking a bone is the only way to ensure that the mysterious fragment is not a pebble or a stone. (Elizabeth Bastian / MJ)

BY ELIZABETH BASTIAN,
Managing Editor


I licked a bone today.

It took up until now to work up my courage to do so, and to make sure that this wasn’t some kind of strange joke played on all the new diggers.

Licking a bone is the only way to ensure that the mysterious fragment is not a pebble or a stone. I simply did not believe it at first.

However, I was wrong.

The spongy material of the bone will stick to your tongue, unlike a rock or a sherd of pottery would. Strange but, as a I discovered for myself today, very true!

With all the knowledge I have acquired about different types of pottery and bones while at Gabii, identifying finds has become much easier. But, when in doubt, I feel secure knowing I have a ready back up plan.

And I have ingested so much ancient dust in the past two weeks during digging, I am sure a little dirt on my tongue isn’t going to do much damage.