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Strange Discovery

Article about: Could it have been a smelter? to make greek fire to pour over enemys attempting to take cover in the shelter of the walls? Byzantium and the Greeks had been using it for many centuries, perh

  1. #1
    Elmo2009
    ?

    Default Strange Discovery

    sorry if this is in the wrong forum.

    Earlier while walking the dog half a mile inland from the sea at Shoeburyness near the Garrison. I found a strange item that had been dug up due to property development in the area. At first I thought it was the end of a cannon but then saw that it was infact complete in length, just cross sectioned like an explosion had pulled it apart. So my guess is now that it is a 'mini mortar' type weapon but from what age/time?

    Please see attached pics, it is 10x5 inches size. Evidence of burning on the inside suggests it was a weapon although it could also be one half of a mould? It is very heavy also so presumed to be made of Iron. Chipping away at the surface reveals a very shiny material.

    Any help appreciated,

    Chris
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  2. #2
    ?

    Default Re: Strange Discovery

    things that make you go hmmmmmmmmm. i have no idea.

  3. #3
    Elmo2009
    ?

    Default Re: Strange Discovery

    i have since discovered that the area where it was dug up is a confirmed iron age fort, then later a roman estuary fort.

    Did romans have gunpowder?

  4. #4
    Reg
    Reg is offline
    ?

    Default Re: Strange Discovery

    No to gunpowder question! They would have been real trouble if they Had! LOL

    No idea what it is though, mould theory sounds good!

    Cheers
    Reg

  5. #5

    Default Re: Strange Discovery

    It looks like a mold to a some kind of spear...could be something else

  6. #6
    ?

    Default Re: Strange Discovery

    Wow....my first guess would have been an exploded iron cannon but, other then that it's anyone's guess. Interesting find none the less.

  7. #7
    ?

    Default Re: Strange Discovery

    Perhaps it is 1/2 of an old black powder signal mortar? Given the proximity to the sea, it might have been a signaling device to warn ships in foggy conditions or to announce a ship's arrival/departure from port.
    MarkV
    COL, U.S. Army (Ret.)

  8. #8
    Elmo2009
    ?

    Default Re: Strange Discovery

    i thought it was made of iron but was wrong. After chipping away the deposits (not corrosion) it uncovered SOLID COPPER! Copper is heavier than iron so that explains why this is so heavy, it really does weigh big time.

    The signal mortar theory is a good idea but it is not like any examples I have seen and is constructed very crudely i.e there is no precision in its construction. Signal mortars i see from the 1600's seem very small like 3 inches tall maximum. This thing is 10 inches long

    i will make an attempt to brush the crap off now and send more pics as soon as I find the wire brush.

    Chris

  9. #9
    ?

    Default Re: Strange Discovery

    I did some Google searches and found various examples of signal mortars made from iron and bronze - and in varied heights. Here's a link to a c. 1450 English mortar that stands over 8 inches in total (they list it as 8" from bore to touch hole) so I don't think the overall height would exclude this as a signal mortar.

    Antique Centre Worldwide - Antique Arms and Armour Antiques - Antique Cannon & Mortar

    I am certainly no expert on these things but it could have been locally produced with no standard pattern used to make it.
    MarkV
    COL, U.S. Army (Ret.)

  10. #10

    Default Re: Strange Discovery

    Quote by Elmo2009 View Post
    Signal mortars i see from the 1600's seem very small like 3 inches tall maximum. This thing is 10 inches long


    Chris
    Maybe it's to signal really really big ships.

    Mike

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