Ooparts: The ‘London’ Hammer, Texas, USA
The fossilised ‘London Artefact’ has gained notoriety in recent years following its display in an exhibition of anomalous artefacts in the year 2000. It is a perfect example of the anomalous nature of some archaeological discoveries. On the one hand, we are presented with a hammer, clearly of human design; While on the other hand, it is embedded in a rock found in a region formed of predominantly cretaceous rock.
The rock was found in June, 1934 sitting loose on a rock ledge beside a waterfall near London, Texas.
The site is part of a large geographical zone called the Edwards Plateau. It primarily consists of Cretaceous rock.
A recent radiocarbon-dating test was performed on a sample of wood removed from the interior of the handle. The results showed inconclusive dates ranging from the present to 700 years ago.
The sandstone, within which the hammer has become embedded was dated by dr. A. W. Med of the British Geological Research Centre.
The Hammer is identical to commonly used 19th century miners hammers, of American provenance.
It was soon pointed out by the geologist NCSE researcher John Cole that minerals dissolved from ancient strata can harden around a recent object, making it look impressive to someone unfamiliar with geological processes. He said of it:
The stone is real, and it looks impressive to someone unfamiliar with geological processes. How could a modern artefact be stuck in Ordovician rock? The answer is that the concretion itself is not Ordovician. Minerals in solution can harden around an intrusive object dropped in a crack or simply left on the ground if the source rock (in this case, reportedly Ordovician) is chemically soluble (Cole, 1985).