I was in archaeology field school in a survey training session many, many years ago.
Buff B. was our trainer. He was an old cowboy who had become enamored with archaeology. He even owned his own archaeology company somewhere in the deep south, Mississippi, I believe.
In full survey mode, we made our sweep along the desert floor and not much was showing up.
Suddenly I had a sherd all covered with caliche - you know that white calcium carbonate stuff that covers up everything here in the desert and may mask a design element!
Well, not willing to use water from my water bottle to soften up the caliche, I licked the sherd.
Buff saw me!
“A few years ago,” he told me, “I was on a dig down south. I was lickin’ the sherds just as you are doing. My crew chief said, ‘Buff, do you know you are digging a privy?’ I ain’t licked a sherd since.”
And, my friends, neither have I!