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Interesting Artifact Found On Ongoing Dig

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Posted 6 years ago


(5 items)

We acquired this on an ongoing dig here in Arizona. It was camoflauged under an alligator juniper tree, just blending in with the dirt, half covered. We undug the rest of it and are not sure of the material, it's about 30-35 lbs, height is 17-1/2" tall and 20" wide and 9" depth, with very detailed artwork! It is not clay or cement, it has the feel and look of what corral looks like after being beat by the water for many years. The details are truly amazing and it appears to have been painted or possibly a reddish color at one time. I have included a photo of the house where we are digging. This used to be an old Wells Fargo Stage Stop. I would guess this dates maybe to 1920ish but not for certain. If anyone has ever seen something like this and can identify it, please let me know!

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  1. Manikin Manikin, 6 years ago
    Oh this is amazing piece ! I would surely date earlier than 20's . Wish I could feel the material it is made of hard to tell by photo. A museum piece for sure . It almost appears to have barnacles on it ? Does it ? Spectacular ! Thanks for sharing . I love the old building also ! Love !!
  2. Mike Skaggs, 6 years ago
    Thanks Manikin,
    I am quite sure it's older than the 20's too, and it feels like coral and pitted and jaggedy edges where it's been aged and washed away or sunned away, i guess it could be barnacles, i never thought of that! it is an amazing piece and the details are even more amazing in person! thanks for your comments
  3. Manikin Manikin, 6 years ago
    I wonder if this was buried with an Native American Indian as part of their ceremony ? They often buried them with treasures . So interesting . You can ship it direct to me LOL
  4. rocker-sd rocker-sd, 6 years ago
    I am guessing that it is plaster or chalk. Could it possibly be a early advertising piece? A lot of early breweria backbar advertising pieces were made of plaster. You could test it by scratching the bottom and see if it shows white, and produces a white powdery substance.
  5. Manikin Manikin, 6 years ago
    Maybe it is efflorescence crystals? What happens is, water infiltrates the block or the concrete wall and dissolves minerals. As water evaporates from the surface of the unit the mineral deposits are left behind, thus efflorescence crystals can grow. Although efflorescence is generally a visual problem, if the efflorescence crystals grow inside the surface of the unit, it can cause spalling, which is when the surface peels, pops out or flakes off. The salt pushes from the inside out and can eventually cause crumbling and deterioration.
  6. mike skaggs, 6 years ago
    Thanks everyone for all your suggestions! I dont think it is plaster, its not crumbly, its very hard and it was at 7000 foot elevation where we found it so its been exposed to snow, rain, hot sun in summer time and its only pitted like coral would do. the efflorescence is interesting but i have to look into it more. I would hope it is not from a burial site because it was right by the house. the brewaria idea is also interesting. i am definitely in love with it whatever its original purpose was. thanks again!
  7. Manikin Manikin, 6 years ago
    I love it no matter what it is and think it is of museum quality . In fact that might be your answer do you have a museum near you that you could show it to ?
  8. Mike Skaggs, 6 years ago
    Thanks Manikin!
    I really like that idea the best! There is Jerome AZ Mine Museum located nearby that I am going to contact.

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