The London Artifact was found near London, Texas in Kimble County. The site is part of a large geographical zone called the Edwards Plateau. It primarily consists of Cretaceous rock. In June of 1934, Max Hahn discovered a rock, sitting loose on a rock ledge beside a waterfall outside London, Texas. Noticing that this weathered rock had wood protruding from it, he and family members cracked it open with a hammer and chisel, exposing the hammerhead to the light of day for the first time since the stone formed around it. To verify that the hammer was made of metal, they cut into one of the beveled sides with a file. In the resulting nick, bright, shiny iron was exposed. The bright metal in the nick is still there, with no detectable corrosion. The metal hammerhead is approximately six inches (15.24cm) long with a nominal diameter of one inch. This seems somewhat small for a gross pounding instrument, suggesting that this tool was meant for fine work or soft metal.
The density of the iron in a central, cross-sectional plane is shown in Photo K16. It shows the interior metal to be very pure, with no bubbles. Modern industry cannot consistently produce iron castings with this quality, as evidenced by test results that show bubbles and density variations that have caused pump and valve bodies to break. The handle eye is oval shaped, and roughly 1"x1/2".
Photo K16 shows that the density is about 10% greater near the surface. In this representation, colors are used to indicate the density of a particular region. The white areas are most dense, and the dark areas are least dense.
As previously stated, a file cut was made in one of the side edges in 1934, and has remained corrosion-free in the sixty-plus years since the artifact was discovered. The area is shown in photo G3.
The wooden handle appears to have been broken off, then worn smooth where it protruded from the rock concretion. Photo G6 shows the handle from the top with the hammerhead removed. The dark area in the wood is where it has partially turned to coal. The end of the handle visible through the top of the hammerhead eye appears sawn off, as shown in photo E2.
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