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Steel ball.? Any ideas

Havnt been detecting for a while but this find has me intreaged
20mm steel ball

1 Like

Could be just a large bearing? Where did you find it?

Out on the mudflats up here

Possibly canister shot from a cannon. Will be an iron ball rather than steel though if l am right.

Ship ballast. Keith found a couple in Pell stream and the museum told him thats what they were. The logging ships carried them over here dumped them and then returned full of timber.
Caz

I am guessing that the museum was not right. Steel balls can be and have been used as ballast but much more recently.
Back in ‘those days’ flint was often used and other rocks, sometimes large iron objects were brought out to NZ as ships ballast. An example of that is railway tracks but that was much later.
Lead was also used and preferred as it was soft and dampened the shock if the ship collided with something.
That ball appears to be cast iron and much more likely to be cannon canister shot or grape shot.
If it had by chance been ballast then it would be lying everywhere.
I wonder what museum said that. Of course cannon balls and canister shot might have been stowed low in the bilges as ballast on the trip out.

What on earth would ship ballast be doing in Pell stream? It is miles from the coast so that doesn’t make sense.

JW :cowboy_hat_face:

Interesting. I wasn’t privy to the conversation so I have no idea what was discussed or said really.I gather that the Blackadders used them for some kind of stabilising weight when working on on their claim?? No idea it must be a guy thing!!

I highly doubt that it is a steel ball from a ball mill as it has characteristics of cast iron so I am still going with shrapnel from a muzzle loading cannon era shrapnel shell/canister shot.

If you type in Shrapnel/Cannister shot you will see the various types and forms - it came string wrapped which I would say this is from maybe, enclosed in a spring with iron discs at the end and enclosed in a tin canister.

Thanks for having a look
after seeing grapeshot found on the Thames encrusted like the one I found it got the imagination going might see if mud wiggle can put it through his time machine

Got one myself, had me puzzling over it for a while now. Found it on Butt Flats.
Will feed mine into the Tardis and see what’s in there and let you know.