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2 September 2010
Mysterious object unearthed in South Carolina

Museum volunteer David Bertrand of Georgetown (South Carolina, USA) recently discovered a mysterious object that has archaeologists baffled. The object, made of unglazed clay and about the size of an egg, appears to have a tiny human face and has crosshatch markings that appear to have been made with a thin sharp object; it also has a hole through it, possibly for suspension. Bertrand found it whilst gardening.
     Archaeologists have speculated that the object could be a boat stone, a weight attached to a throwing stick that increases accuracy and throwing distance, or a weight for a net. Ron Anthony of Charlestown County Museum suggested that it resembled artifacts from the Deptford Period (2500 to 100 BCE), but he noted that "In all the publications, I haven't seen anything like this." South Carolina archaeologist Carl Steen also remarked that he had not seen any similar object, and noted that "It's a pretty curious object. I would say that it's an important find because of how interesting it is. It will stimulate conversation, if nothing else." Martha Zierden, curator of the Charlestown County Museum stated that "We didn't know about it and we still don't. It wasn't anything that we recognized. From time to time, people bring us odd things we don't have an answer for."
     Bertrand hopes that he will be able to find out more about the object. It is currently on display with Native American objects in the Georgetown County Museum.

Source: Georgetown Times (24 August 2010)

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