It looks digested; I suspect that is making it look more unusual than it
Associate Professor and Chair
Department of Anthropology
Ithaca, NY 14853
On 2/21/12 12:43 PM, "[log in to unmask]"
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>Dear Zooarchers: I've got a real poser of a phalanx and would greatly
>appreciate help in identifying it. The bone was excavated from a
>2nd-century ditch at Roman Vindolanda in Northumbria, England.
>Measurements are given on two of the views (posted at Bone Commons, see
>Before appealing to the List, we have extensively compared this bone and
>are certain that it is not human, although it does fairly strongly
>resemble a human toe-bone. Neither is it a bear, a big badger, or any type
>of porpoise, dolphin, seal, or manatee. Neither is it a lion, a big lynx,
>or a cheetah. It is bird-like in some ways -- particularly in the
>configuration of the proximal end, with the shallow double facets and the
>long extensor process, but it is not a swan, eagle, gyrfalcon, large owl,
>or large vulture.
>Could it be a tortoise? Never mind that Britain has no native tortoises --
>perhaps the Romans imported one as a trophy or as "smoked leg of
>Here's the link to see the images -- many thanks for taking a look!