Sunday, January 4, 2015

1/4/15 Report - More Mystery Object Ideas And Close-ups. Learning A Ton By Researching Mystery Objects.

Written by the Treasureguide for the exclusive use of

Unidentified Object Previously Posted.

When you research mystery objects, you may or may not positively identify the item.  In either case you will likely learn something and it is not uncommon to learn a lot about things other than the item while doing research.

A few days ago I posted this round mystery item with a hole part way through it and asked for thoughts and opinions about the item  and, as always, I received a lot of informative replys.  Nonetheless, I'm still far from a solid conclusion. 

I tested the object in water.  Despite how it looks, it is dense and sinks like a rock (no pun intended), however water pours right through it.  When picked up out of the water, the water in the hole disappears in a couple of seconds.  It did not appear to dissolve in a short submersion. 

Fred D.  It has me totally stumped but...I believe it to be within the last few hundred years. Early Native Americans did not have a concrete or cement knowledge and this thing is definitely a conglomerate of crushed shell. I do not believe it was made by a sea animal. Too utilitarian. It must be some sort of tool or utensil we just don't know about but it gives us a different world to explore.

Thanks Fred.   I get a lot of help from Fred.

Bill F. helped too.  His idea was... early concrete..Tabby..was made with shells.  The shells contributed lime, which formed more of a stucco than concrete.

My guess...a concretious material which formed above the waterline,
was broken off and rolled around by wave action to form the ball you
have now.

Thanks Bill.

Here is a link to a site about tabby.

Here is what Wikipedia says that tabby is.   A liquid mixture of crushed seashells (or limestone flakes,) sand, clay and crude hydrated lime made by burning sea shells was poured into the forms.

William M., someone else who frequently provides a lot of valuable input for the blog, said,
I think you may have a weathered bow drill capstone made of coquina.

William also provided some pictures of a bow drill (See below.).

Bow Drill Illustration
provided by William M.

 Ron J. also wondered if it could be part of a drilling tool.
Aquanaut John had another very different thought.  He wondered if it could be part of a time release chum ball.  From what I've read so far, I'm thinking not, but on the other hand, I'm not sure.  I don't know hardly anything about chum balls.

I took some additional close-up photos where I could see some things that appeared to be different than the typical small pieces of shell that makes up the bulk of the item.

Here they are.

Vibrant Red Spot. 
I'd like to get that under higher magnification.

Dull Blue Spot (right of center)

Brown Shell Pieces.
Well I haven't solved the puzzle to my satisfaction yet, and maybe I never will, but I've learned a bit in the process and hope you have too.

I learned something about tabby, bow drills, nutting stones, paint pots, coquina, and even chum balls.

I'm still would like any additional ideas about the object.

On the Treasure Coast we'll have nothing much more than a two-foot surf for a couple of days and then maybe around mid-week something closer to five feet.

Happy hunting (and researching),