Mystery Object

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA few weeks ago Mike Gill carried out a gradiometer survey of the north of site and we were intrigued by the large magnetic anomaly which was apparent. Our first plan was to site a new pit on where we believed the anomaly to be but this revealed no significant metallic objects although yielding similar layering and pottery finds to other areas of the garden. We then employed a metal detector to look around the site of our new pit and under the edge of the spoil heap we did indeed get a strong response from the detector. The response was found to come from a a couple of large nails and a spike-like object about 0.5m long, all in the top soil with the spike being buried vertically with its top about 0.1m below the ground surface.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs such it would seem to be unremarkable except that on closer examination it has a small wheel about 20mm in diameter mounted by a rivet in a slot towards the end of the spike which has been flattened into a leaf shape. We are puzzled as to its purpose – any suggestions? – from its situation we would estimate that it is probably of recent origin (within last 100 years).

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1 Response to Mystery Object

  1. Steve Fox says:

    If it helps, I’ve put some more photos here..
    At first glance it looks like the wheel was intended to turn freely, but the debris around it is very dense and smells carbonised as if it has been used as a fire poker. It is possible that it is fixed and purely decorative! The wheel has no groove around the outer edge ruling out a pulley and if it has a purpose it seems to me more likely to be a roller bearing type action.
    The other end terminates in a flattened flaring, slightly bent reminiscent of an old metal tyre lever. It was difficult to say whether it was complete or the object was broken off at this end.

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