I.D. Day

Saturday, I went to the Natural History Museum for I.D. day. I showed a boxful of rocks to two geologists, and was confounded by their inability to identify many of the same rocks that had stumped me. I knew that chemical and microscopic analysis was sometimes necessary, but I had no idea how often.

I also showed a box of arrowheads to two archaeologists. I didn’t expect to learn much because some of my collection came from Georgia and some from Mississippi, and I didn’t even know which was which. To my delight, I was told that I had only a few arrowheads but a great many spear heads, and that this dated much of my collection to before the invention of the bow and arrow, making it thousands of years old rather than hundreds as I had believed.

I find it hard to accept that really old objects don’t always look really old. Of course, I pick up rocks that were formed tens of millions of years ago all the time, yet who would know it by looking at them? Clearly, rocks age better than we do.