Feb 09, 2013, 04:09 PM
Found in a river need help identifying
Hi guys I'm brand new to this but was snorkeling in a local river and found this heavy metal artifact. I have no clue as to what it may be or what kind of metal it is so hopefully you all can help! The area is a very old known inhabited spot by Native Americans and even the Spanish occupied it at one time.
Feb 09, 2013 04:09 PM
Feb 09, 2013, 10:02 PM
I wonder if this was some type of caltrop weapon? Welcome to the forum! Breezie
Last edited by Breezie; Feb 09, 2013 at 10:07 PM.
Every time I watch Gone With The Wind, I think we're gonna win this time!
Feb 09, 2013, 10:17 PM
We need to know "lead?" or certain kind of "metal?" huge difference.. Looks like lead to me but you say metal?
Last edited by HutSiteDigger; Feb 09, 2013 at 11:21 PM.
Feb 09, 2013, 11:42 PM
Well you've dated it to within the last 440 years but if you found it in the river then it's in too good of shape to have been there very long and being that it is metal, it would have sunk directly to the bottom past the gravel and into the bedrock had it been there for more than one flood. So I would have to say that it was dropped either before the 2005 or the 1997 floods depending on what state you are in. The Spanish settled in California in the mid 1570's...
Feb 10, 2013, 12:31 AM
It's a rare piece of Starface memorabilia.
I always tell the truth. Even when I lie.
Feb 10, 2013, 01:09 AM
First... Lowd, please pardon me for this momentary sidetrack from discussing your find.
Breezie, I intend the following only as helpful, educational information.
An actual Caltrop (also called a "horse-crippler" and a "crow's-foot") ALWAYS has ONLY four spikes/spines, which are ALWAYS arranged in a tetrahedral pattern. (A tripod with a fourth spike/spine coming straight up from the center of the tripod.)
The "working principle" of a Caltrop: Due to the tetrahedral shape, when you drop it on the ground, one of the four spikes/spines ALWAYS points straight up, vertically, in order to be capable of piercing a horse's hoof or soldier's booted foot. To see some modernday versions of a Caltrop, go here: Caltrop - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Historical info about caltrops is here: Weaponry: The Caltrop
Various objects with more than four spikes have been incorrectly identified as a Caltrop. That ID is incorrect because you cannot cause the five-or-more-spikes object to sit on the ground with one spike pointing straight up. For an example, see the photo below, which shows four objects wrongly identified as a Caltrop. Because of the six points/arms, these objects will not sit on the ground with one of them pointing straight up. The objects in that photo are actually Tumbler Media, also called Tumbler Stars, which the metalcasting industry uses in a Tumbler Mill to remove burrs from raw-out-of-the mold metal castings. Unfortunately, Ebay sellers frequently list various forms of Tumbler Media/Stars as "civil war caltrops" -- which is false in two ways. They are not Caltrops/Horse-cripplers/Crows-feet, and absolutely none were used in the American Civil War. No civil war era document (battle-report, supply list, soldier's letter, etc) has ever been found which mentions use of Caltrops in that war.
I'll also attach a photo of an actual excavated Roman iron Caltrop (size is approximately 4 inches), and two drawings showing their use in olden times and in modern war. Note that in each case, they have only four spikes/spines.
Last edited by TheCannonballGuy; Feb 10, 2013 at 02:43 AM.
Feb 10, 2013, 06:49 AM
Lowd, a very neat find. I think it is old too. I find Civil War mini balls in our river all the time that were put there around 1862-63 and some of them are laying on the top and require no digging what so ever. I hope you find out what it is...d2
Feb 10, 2013, 08:52 AM
Because of the facial features and hair style of the image, I'm going to say definitely not native American. It looks a little like Shaggy from Scooby Doo! It could be very old.... Not sure. I'm going to guess it's from the last 50 years. Other than that, I have no idea!
Feb 10, 2013, 10:33 PM
Okay some thoughts here. The piece looks to be cast because of the smoothness of the back and the spikes seem rounded. The face is an incredible detail. If I were to guess I would say from the shape of the crown of the head that it was carved from a peach pit, then pressed into a clay mold where the metal would have been poured. Could be a one of a kind from someone with time on their hands. Could have been done on a ship by a sailor then lost overboard. The mold could have been made from anything onboard like a flour, salt and water mix to make a hardened mold. Just a thought.
Feb 11, 2013, 09:02 AM
BigChuck, great observation on the face/peach pit theory. I remember when I was a young child, there was a man in our neighborhood who carved peach pits. One of his signature carvings was a monkey with his tail in his mouth. He also carved faces.
Originally Posted by bigchuck52
I agree with you on it being a one of a kind, molded piece; perhaps 'camp art' where there was leisure time and available lead.
This is one of the most interesting finds I've seen in a long time! Breezie
Every time I watch Gone With The Wind, I think we're gonna win this time!
Feb 11, 2013, 04:24 PM
Well, rivers are one of the best places to find old stuff. Its interesting for sure. Would like to know what kind of metal it is and what river it was found in. Could it be silver?
Feb 11, 2013, 04:29 PM
I hope its not something like these faces...
Last edited by Bigcypresshunter; Feb 11, 2013 at 04:51 PM.
Feb 11, 2013, 04:30 PM
I'll take a shot. Looks like an Aztec throwing star.
Feb 11, 2013, 04:34 PM
looks like lead to me.
I wonder how lead was bought in muzzle loader days. I have found bars that didn't look very old, and some odd shaped globs on the surface while artifact hunting.
I wonder if it was just a shape lead came in......kind of small though......interesting.
Two rules in life: Don't sweat the small stuff.
It's all small stuff.
Oct 04, 2013, 07:02 PM
I think it is lead just from the weight but I honestly dont know. Its not magnetic and pretty heavy
Oct 05, 2013, 12:00 AM
I still can't get over the fact that I see George Bush's face on this,maybe it's because my eyes want me too... But - if it's lead then it should be fairly old, how old? no clue.. really just don't know about this one..
Last edited by HutSiteDigger; Oct 05, 2013 at 12:02 AM.
Oct 05, 2013, 01:36 AM
Maybe a buoy sinker that line could be wrapped around.
Oct 05, 2013, 02:00 AM
It looks to me like something off a tombstone maybe. The fact that a portrait is on it seems to make me think it isn't too old because of the technology needed to do that. Or perhaps its some kind of Boy Scout medal - they're known for tipping over their canoes a lot. Either way I think it probably looks older than it is just from getting beat up in the river.
Oct 05, 2013, 02:37 AM
I tend to agree that it was a medal/medallion of sorts - an example of the Sun or a Star with a face. It may have been held by an attachment at the tip of the top point which broke and has since worn down
Oct 05, 2013, 03:22 AM
I would leave all your options open get it to a university or archive to have them check a lil piece to see what kind matter it's made of due to your location an the history of the area...... Looks like that star an them jacks could be native toys of some sort
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