What is that?

Posted by Katy Meyers Emery on November 20, 2012 under Uncategorized | 7 Comments to Read

Mystery Object, and yes the back of my car is covered with a duck sheet

We’ve found some interesting artifacts on campus, some of which can be a little difficult to identify, and others that are a little bit weird. There are random chunks of metal, bent and rusted until identification is impossible. Old bottles that have lost their labels and have weird embossing that make determining function hard. We’ve even found human hair! Many artifacts we find are more industrial and relating to building construction- items that we don’t run into on a daily basis. Others are things no longer used by our society such as parts of slate pens or inkwells. Usually, with a little bit of cleaning, research into potential artifacts and imagination we can come up with at least an idea of use or function.

I’m totally stumped on this one. This large circular hunk of concrete was given to us by construction workers putting in new steam pipes south of Beaumont Tower. The concrete has a horseshoe embedded in it, that appears to be some type of handle. There’s even a nail still in one of the horseshoe holes. They said it was a sump pump cover, but that doesn’t really make sense. It might be from an old cistern. It is definitely more homemade or make do. The thing is quite heavy show it would be a great cover for something that needed protecting. One suggestion from the department it that its an early version of a kettleball… Not too sure about that one.

Any thoughts?

  • g marquardt said,

    maybe some type of “anchor” to tie a horse to.

  • admin said,

    maybe… that would be a creative explanation for the horseshoe being there.

  • D Elkins said,

    Possibly a makeshift anchor or like is said in the article a makeshift cover. Whatever it is it doesn’t look manufactured and was made with a horseshoe and concrete easy to come by in the 19th and early 20th century. looks like it was made out of cheap materials to serve a practical purpose. Maybe a quick fix replacement part done years ago considering where it was found?

  • D Elkins said,

    Or maybe a makeshift post to hold ropes for a tent or fly for events?

  • wolthuis said,

    judging by the tapered bottom and the heavy corrosion on the horseshoe,I am fairly confident that this is a old septic tank cover.

  • admin said,


  • Blogging Archaeology: December Questions » MSU Campus Archaeology Program said,

    […] we find things on campus and have no idea what they are. Two summers ago, we were called out to check out an artifact found by Beaumont Tower. It was a circular piece of concrete with a horseshoe in it. While we still don’t know quite […]

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