Jump to content
seansims

Middle phalanx fossil ID

Recommended Posts

seansims

Hi, I recently found this bone on the shore of the Thames & wondered if anyone could help identifying it please. The bone is very dense & has a great colour & patination. From what I can gather it is a middle phalanx from a horse type creature?? What I'm trying to work out is possibly how old it could be & what type of horse it may have come from. Thanks

No automatic alt text available.

here is the other side next to other objects I found

20476376_10155639571019413_1899049529065388491_n.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Foozil

Sorry, I'm not familiar with your area, but are you referring to the river Thames?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
seansims

Yes, right by London Bridge

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Doctor Mud
37 minutes ago, seansims said:

Hi, I recently found this bone on the shore of the Thames & wondered if anyone could help identifying it please. The bone is very dense & has a great colour & patination. From what I can gather it is a middle phalanx from a horse type creature?? What I'm trying to work out is possibly how old it could be & what type of horse it may have come from. Thanks

No automatic alt text available.

here is the other side next to other objects I found

20476376_10155639571019413_1899049529065388491_n.jpg

Wow!

 

Very interesting place to search. Must be so much history.

 

That black object on the left looks interesting. Do you know what it is?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
seansims

hi, yes, found all of these objets & loads of Roman/Medieval pottery in just 30 mins! The black object is cast iron. It was covered in rust when I found it - I initially thought it was a door latch of some sort, but after carefully cleaning it, I noticed it was of a forearm with part of a ring. No clue as to what age it is - could be as early as Roman or just simply a piece of Victorian decoration?  One clue as to being old is that the reverse is very crudely cast, & I'm guessing anything Victorian would have had a cleaner cast on the reverse. Be nice if it was Roman :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Doctor Mud

I'm always fascinated by the layers of human history in Europe. Coming originally from New Zealand with only 800 years of human history.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Max-fossils

On your bottom picture, the two long things seem to be very old rusted nails (the ones you hammer, not the ones on your fingers :P). 

The black thing looks like some kind of iron object, maybe even simply an iron concretion. The other thing, on the far right, also looks like some kind of pottery/artifact.

So basically the only "fossil" there is is the phalanx, and it's not even sure if it is a fossil or not (you can do the flame test to find out: burn it, and if it smells, then it's bone; if it doesn't smell, it's fossil!). If you post more pictures of it (from different angles), we will surely be able to tell you from what animal it comes from ( @Harry Pristis will be helpful here).

 

Still all very cool and history-rich finds!

 

Btw, you might want to take a look at this fossil location, Abbey Woods: https://ukfossils.co.uk/2016/06/16/abbey-wood/ https://english.fossiel.net/sites/fossil_site.php?plaats=488

 

Best regards,

 

Max

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
seansims

the Thames at low tide is basically a refuse dump awash with thousands of pieces of history just sitting there. You can pick up sack loads of pottery pieces & I found 20 clay pipe stems in 30 mins. There are a lot of animal bones, but this one stood out due to it's rich brown colour and hard density - feels like a stone to touch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Max-fossils
11 minutes ago, seansims said:

hi, yes, found all of these objets & loads of Roman/Medieval pottery in just 30 mins! The black object is cast iron. It was covered in rust when I found it - I initially thought it was a door latch of some sort, but after carefully cleaning it, I noticed it was of a forearm with part of a ring. No clue as to what age it is - could be as early as Roman or just simply a piece of Victorian decoration?  One clue as to being old is that the reverse is very crudely cast, & I'm guessing anything Victorian would have had a cleaner cast on the reverse. Be nice if it was Roman :-)

Oops, seems like you already answered... :wacko:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Doctor Mud

There are also Pleistocene deposits with mammal remains in London.

I read about Hippopotamus remains that were unearthed in Trafalgar Square:

 

http://www.nhm.ac.uk/natureplus/blogs/whats-new/2014/07/10/londons-wild-times-past-and-present?fromGateway=true

 

This is supposed to date back 125,000 years. I would be interested to read a paper on it.

 

I wonder if you could also find reworked Pleistocene fossils on the banks of the Thames?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
caldigger

Sean, this same type of subject was addressed a while back on animal finds along the Thames.  Unfortunately , the Thames was used (as you have already pointed out) as a garbage dump for centuries. What better way of disposing of your waste than to throw it into a river to be carried away.  The Thames river is littered with animal carcasses from being butchered and bones disposed of.  You will have to do some testing to establish if fossilized.

If it is not a fossil, the least it could be is a discarded mutton bone held by King Henry Vlll right?  Cross your fingers!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
seansims

Yeah, the shore is littered with bones!! The one I'm asking about doesn't smell at all with the burn-test and feels more like a rock/stone to touch and sounds like a stone when you drop it on a surface which is the reason I posted on the site. Whatever it is, it's a beautifully tactile object! .. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Doctor Mud
13 minutes ago, caldigger said:

Sean, this same type of subject was addressed a while back on animal finds along the Themes.  Unfortunately , the Themes was used (as you have already pointed out) as a garbage dump for centuries. What better way of disposing of your waste than to throw it into a river to be carried away.  The Themes river is littered with animal carcasses from being butchered and bones disposed of.  You will have to do some testing to establish if fossilized.

If it is not a fossil, the least it could be is a discarded mutton bone held by King Henry Vlll right?  Cross your fingers!

Good point.

 

Many layers of history will be present in the river and there is the added complication of it being dump for rubbish. 

I might have led things on a slight tangent by asking about possible Pleistocene remains without a focused answer to the original question. Not saying that finding Pleistocene remains would be impossible, just more difficult to prove.

 

This bone may or may not be diagnostic @Harry Pristis Would have the best chance of telling us this?

 

Age: as caldigger said the complications of dumping in the river make it difficult. ID to an extinct animal might help, but may not be possible. Colour and mineralization can be misleading and further tests (e.g. radiocarbon dating) would be required to determine age.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Doctor Mud
8 minutes ago, seansims said:

Yeah, the shore is littered with bones!! The one I'm asking about doesn't smell at all with the burn-test and feels more like a rock/stone to touch and sounds like a stone when you drop it on a surface which is the reason I posted on the site. Whatever it is, it's a beautifully tactile object! .. 

Intriguing!

 

Lets see what others have to say.

Id to an extinct or locally absent species or radiocarbon dating is the only way to eliminate "Anthropocene" material.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
seansims

Ah, no worries Doctor Mud, just curious about it as not my usual field of history (I'm a design historian specialising in objects 18th-20thC) I just like a finding unusual objects! Nice souvenir from an afternoon on the Thames shoreline & happy to leave it as a 'mystery object!'

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
seansims

a few more photos just out of interest..

IMG_20170801_131555_1.jpg

IMG_20170801_131604.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Doctor Mud
2 minutes ago, seansims said:

Ah, no worries Doctor Mud, just curious about it as not my usual field of history (I'm a design historian specialising in objects 18th-20thC) I just like a finding unusual objects! Nice souvenir from an afternoon on the Thames shoreline & happy to leave it as a 'mystery object!'

Sounds like a fascinating job!

 

That is great sometimes to have mystery attached to an object. Sounds like it's nice to handle and you can ponder the multitude of possibilities while you handle it - Roman? Pleistocene? More recent?

 

Thanks for sharing and I hope to see some more material from you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
seansims

Cheers, & may do! I'm going to be up on the North East coast in two weeks time - up in North Yorkshire where there plenty of great fossils to be found & I may get to see the fabled Icthyosaur fossil remains which can be seen at very low tide! - will photograph & share if I manage to get to see it!

(last two photos aswell)

IMG_20170801_131815.jpg

IMG_20170801_131614.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
caldigger

It's a really beautiful piece whatever it my be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RJB

Yes, a really neat piece, and not to get off subject, but I thought London Bridge was moved to Nevada?

 

RB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Max-fossils
1 hour ago, RJB said:

Yes, a really neat piece, and not to get off subject, but I thought London Bridge was moved to Nevada?

 

RB

You wish. London Bridge is and will stay right here in Europe :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jhw

Well, they did move "A" bridge from London. Not sure exactly where it was originally, but it's now in Lake Havasu City in Arizona.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RJB

@Max-fossils, @jhw, I remember in grade school singing a song about London Bridge falling down, and i remember some bridge being taken apart, transported to nevada and put back together. 

 

RB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chase B.

Dear all, 

 

I can confirm the specimen is the pedal phalanx of a Pleistocene Eurasian wild horse (or tarpan) Equus ferus ferus.

 

Regards, 

 

Chase

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×