The London Artifact Print E-mail

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.

Photo K16

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. Photo to the right is 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


Photo G6


Photo E2

Remaining Questions:

Further analysis is planned to answer questions that include the following: 

  • Is the chlorine content in the iron alloy found throughout the hammerhead or only at the surface?
  • Is the concentration of iron oxides higher in the rock immediately next to the hammerhead?
  • Are there carbon-bearing residues in the cavity?
  • There are reports that the file mark may contain FeO.  This iron oxide does not readily form under present environmental conditions.  We also know that evidence points to a decaying geomagnetic field, with a half-life of approximately 1400 years.  If the hammer is truly ancient, could the stronger magnetic field have had the effect of helping the formation of FeO?
  • If the artifact is truly from the Cretaceous time frame, where does this leave evolutionary theory, since man was not supposed to have evolved for another 100-million years or so?
  • If the artifact is relatively recent, that means that the Cretaceous Hensell Sand formation from which it came is relatively young.  Some may argue that the original rock and fossil were eroded and reworked, but reworked fossils show evidence of wear.  The fossils in the concretion retain fine detail, indicating that they were not reworked, but part of the original formation.  Again, where does that leave evolutionary theory with its traditional dates for the Cretaceous formations?


 

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