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Stones Forum >> Massachusetts 5 year old discovers ancient artifact
||Massachusetts 5 year old discovers ancient artifact
from South Central Indiana, US
| Posted 17-05-2009 at 06:35  |
Submitted by coldrum. This child has some theories that need to be on the Mysteries Forum --
It’s tough for Marshall Hayum to look like the movie archeologist Indiana Jones.
After all, this tow-headed youngster is 5 years old, stands less than four feet tall and tips the scales at less than 45 pounds.
Yet it wasn’t “Indy,” but Marshall — a preschooler at Green Meadow School — who recently turned up a tangible link to the past: a sculpted piece of stone about five inches long, dropped by some long-ago fisherman who once used it to anchor nets in the river.
Perhaps more intriguing is the stone’s location. It was ... a mere 50 feet from the
Green Meadow Elementary School.
Hayum was on a nature walk with his class, with an assignment to search for signs of spring.
While classmates were no doubt looking up, Hayum was looking down, eyes peeled for interesting stones.
“He’s always running around with his head down,” said Andy Hayum, Marshall’s father. “He comes home with pocketfuls of rocks.”
Luckily for Marshall, persistence pays off, and when he came across a funny-looking rock lying on the ground, instinct told him to investigate.
“It looked like a bomb,” Marshall said. “So I picked it up.”
According to Concord Museum Director David Wood, the “bomb” is actually called a plummet. Although not much is known about plummets, Wood said the prevailing theory is that they were used by Native Americans to weigh down their reed-woven fishing nets.
Wood said Marshall’s plummet is an impressive specimen. It’s a piece of granite distinguished by the fact someone, thousands of years ago, sat down and chipped it into a usable tool, probably using a separate, pointed rock to “peck away” at its surface.
Although dating the plummet is difficult, Wood estimated it is most likely between 3,500 and 4,500 years old and may have been made by one of the Algonquin-speaking tribes in the area.
Marshall, however, as an imaginative and inquisitive 5-year-old, has his own theories.
“It’s like 70 years old,” he said with a mischievous grin. “I wasn’t there. … [Maybe] when they had it, there were dinosaurs and volcanoes!”
Skeptical too, is Marshall, of the notion that the rock’s crafters were Native Americans.
“Maybe they were gorillas!” he giggled.
Though he may be a little young too understand the historical significance of his find — in fact, Wood said Marshall is the youngest plummet-finder he’s ever encountered — his teachers are amazed.
“We did a loop around the school, and it was just sitting there sticking halfway up through the dirt,” said teacher Tiffany Kennedy, who immediately recognized it as unusual.
Kennedy then brought the rock to art teacher Sharon Santillo, who tucked it into an oatmeal box in her car and promised to bring it to the museum.
“The people at the museum get all kinds of things brought in, said Santillo. “When I took it out, they were immediately excited. ‘You have a plummet!’ they said.”
“They said they usually have to tell people they have a nice rock,” she said.
Wood said he was similarly impressed. “To come across this at the edge of a playground is a funny thing,” he said, adding that perhaps Marshall’s sharp eye would suit him to a study of ancient rocks.
Andy was inclined to agree, and said a career in archaeology or geology might be a good fit for Marshall.
The plummet prodigy, however, seems undeclared at this point.
“I want to be on the news!” he shouted.
Whatever Marshall ends up doing, Wood said he hopes he learns more about a Native American culture that has fascinated inhabitants for generations.
For more, including a photo of little Marshall holding the plummet, see http://www.wickedlocal.com/maynard/news/x1194157459/Maynard-boy-discover-ancient-artifact
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