London Hammer

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London Hammer in 1986

The London Hammer (also known as the "London Artifact") is a name given to a hammer made of iron and wood that was found in London, Texas in 1936. Part of the hammer is embedded in a limy rock concretion, leading to it being regarded by some as an anomalous artifact, asking how an obviously man-made tool could come to be encased in a 400 million year old rock. It has been stated that carbon dating "showed inconclusive dates ranging from the present to 700 years ago."[1][2]

History[edit]

The hammer was purportedly found by a local couple, Max Hahn and his wife, while out walking along the course of the Red Creek near the town of London.[3] They spotted a curious piece of loose rock with a bit of wood apparently embedded in it and took it home with them. A decade later, their son Max broke open the rock to find the concealed hammer head within.

The metal hammerhead is approximately 6 inches (15 centimeters) long and has a diameter of 1 in (25 mm), leading some to suggest that this hammer was not used for large projects, but rather for fine work or soft metal.[4] The metal of the hammerhead has been confirmed to consist of 96.6% iron, 2.6% chlorine, and 0.74% sulfur. The hammerhead has not rusted since its discovery in the mid-1930s.

Other observers have noted that the hammer is stylistically consistent with typical American tools manufactured in the region in the late 1800s. One possible explanation for the artifact is that the highly soluble minerals in the ancient limestone may have formed a concretion around the object, via a common process (like that of a petrifying well) which often creates similar encrustations around fossils and other nuclei.[2] J.R. Cole states: "The stone is real, and it looks impressive to someone unfamiliar with geological processes. How could a modern artifact 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."[1][5]

The Hammer began to attract wider attention after it was bought by creationist Carl Baugh in 1983, who claimed the artifact was a "monumental 'pre-Flood' discovery."[6] He has used it as the basis of speculation of how the atmospheric quality of a pre-flood earth could have encouraged the growth of giants.[1][7] The hammer is now an exhibit in Baugh's Creation Evidence Museum, which sells replicas of it to visitors.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Cole, J.R. (Winter 1985). "If I Had a Hammer". Creation Evolution Journal. National Center for Science Education Inc. 5 (15): 46–47. One of his principal pieces of evidence for human contemporaneity with supposedly ancient geological strata is an iron hammer with a wooden handle found near London, Texas by others in the 1930s in an "Ordovician" stone concretion "in the scenario" (but not in the Glen Rose region). "Humanists," Baugh said, claim it is an "18th century miner's hammer." Noting the appearance of the handle, Baugh said a similar-looking piece of wood from Michigan had just been radiocarbon dated 11,500 years old. (He gave no reference and did not blink at the date earlier than his view of creation.) Apparently this was meant to suggest that the hammer was earlier than the 19th (not 18th) century date other observers have suggested and to imply that the hammer itself had been subjected to radiocarbon dating, although it had not been (Baugh, 1983b). 
  2. ^ a b Kuban, Glen J. (14 July 2006). "The London Hammer: An Alleged Out-of-Place Artifact". Glen Kuban's Web Sites. Retrieved 7 July 2015. An iron and wooden hammer, sometimes called the "London Artifact" or "London Hammer," found by local hikers in a creek bed near London, Texas in 1936, has been promoted by Carl Baugh and other strict creationists as an out-of place artifact. They maintain that the hammer, which was partially embedded in a small, limy rock concretion, originated in a Cretaceous rock formation (or an Ordovician or Silurian one, depending on the account), thus contradicting the standard geologic timetable. However, the hammer was not documented in situ, and has not been reliably associated with any specific host formation. Other relatively recent implements have been found encased in by similar nodules, and can form within centuries or even decades under proper conditions (Stromberg, 2004). The hammer in question was probably dropped or discarded by a local miner or craftsman within the last few hundred years, after which dissolved limy sediment hardened into a nodule around it. Although a brief rebuttal to Baugh's hammer claims was made by Cole (1985), Baugh and a few other creationists continue to promote it. This review provides further analysis of the hammer and creationist claims about it. 
  3. ^ Helfinstine, Robert F; Roth, Jerry D. (2007). "Texas Tracks and Artifacts: Do Texas Fossils Indicate Coexistence of Men and Dinosaurs?". R & J Pub. 
  4. ^ "The London Artifact". www.creationevidence.org. Retrieved 25 February 2015. 
  5. ^ Mihai, Andrei (March 19, 2009). "The 10 most amazing unexplained artifacts". ZME Science. Retrieved Feb 22, 2015. 
  6. ^ Hiddleston, Jim (20 July 2011). "The London Hammer". Historic Mysteries. Retrieved 25 February 2015. First of all, there are conflicting reports as to where the object was actually located in the surrounding rocks. And there is no photographic evidence of the object prior to being disturbed. One report states that the hammer was embedded in a rock formation dating from the Cretaceaus Period (65-135 million years ago). But other accounts state that Mr. Hahn found the hammer bearing nodule “near” these surrounding rocks. Skeptics argue that minerals could have cemented the hammer around the Cretaceous rock after it was dropped or left behind. This could easily lead novice geologists to believe that the hammer and the rock formation are from the same time period. The only true method of determining the age of the hammer is through Carbon 14 dating of the wooden handle, but Baugh has yet to authorize this procedure. The handle appears to be partially fossilized, so this certainly adds to the argument that this a very ancient tool. But fossilization can occur prematurely through various natural methods. To skeptics, the hammer appears to be a tool that was abandoned or lost some 200 years ago, but to it’s [sic] supporters, this is a clear indication that man has been on this Earth much longer than previously thought. 
  7. ^ Coppedge, M. "Giant Humans and Dinosaurs". www.biblebelievers.org.au. 
  8. ^ Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews (9 May 2007). "The London Artifact (Texas)". Bad Archaeology. Retrieved 17 December 2016.