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Thread: Found in a river need help identifying

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  1. #1

    Feb 2013
    45
    39 times

    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.
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    Tnmountains, mr_rich, mr.b and 2 others like this.

  2. #2
    us
    Oct 2009
    North Carolina
    White's DFX & Spectrum~Garrett's Pro-Pointer~VibraProbe
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    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!

  3. #3

    Nov 2012
    Stafford,Virginia
    Fisher 1266x and a shovel
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    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.

  4. #4
    us
    Jan 2013
    Alta, California
    Whites GMT, Vsat, MXT, 5900Di Pro, Minelab GPX 5000, GPxtreme, 2200SD, Excalibur 1000
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    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...

  5. #5
    It's a rare piece of Starface memorabilia.

    I always tell the truth. Even when I lie.
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    Perses, Sledgod2, Breezie and 3 others like this.

  6. #6
    Educator

    Feb 2006
    Occupied CSA (Richmond VA)
    White's 6000, Nautilus DMC-1, Minelab
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    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.
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    Last edited by TheCannonballGuy; Feb 10, 2013 at 02:43 AM.

  7. #7
    d2
    d2 is offline
    us
    Mar 2005
    Arkansas
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    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

  8. #8
    us
    Apr 2012
    Mid-Missouri
    Garrett AT Pro
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    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!

  9. #9

    Feb 2013
    Toms River NJ
    Cinmaster GT
    30
    8 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    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.
    Breezie likes this.

  10. #10
    us
    Oct 2009
    North Carolina
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigchuck52 View Post
    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.
    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.

    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!

  11. #11
    us
    Dec 2004
    South Florida
    70's Whites TM Amphibian, HH Pulse, Ace 250
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    Beach and Shallow Water Hunting
    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?

  12. #12
    us
    Dec 2004
    South Florida
    70's Whites TM Amphibian, HH Pulse, Ace 250
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    861 times
    Beach and Shallow Water Hunting
    I hope its not something like these faces...

    Last edited by Bigcypresshunter; Feb 11, 2013 at 04:51 PM.

  13. #13
    Charter Member

    Dec 2012
    MXT-PRO
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    Metal Detecting
    I'll take a shot. Looks like an Aztec throwing star.

  14. #14

    Jul 2012
    nc Ohio
    Tesoro Lobo
    1,293
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    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    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.

  15. #15

    Feb 2013
    45
    39 times
    I think it is lead just from the weight but I honestly dont know. Its not magnetic and pretty heavy

 

 
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