We need your help! What is this? Freak of the Week #25


Is it natural or not!? Is it natural or not!?

For this week’s Freak of the Week we need your assistance in helping to identify an object! It’s a rectangular piece of sandstone that was found in a stream near the Tarlton Cross Mound site in southwestern Fairfield Co. Another large stone found near this one we recognized as a natural piece of the sandstone bedrock, however we aren’t as certain about this one. The edges seem to be natural; there are no tool marks, etc. to indicate that it was intentionally cut to be this shape. However the flat surface shows an unusual pattern and is less definitive. Can this be due to normal weathering? Would the iron present in the sandstone be more resistant during weathering and create this pattern of “grooves” around the perimeter of the stone? Or could this pattern be due to quarrying of the stone or maybe it’s use in historic construction? However there are no known quarrying operations, historic foundations, or cemeteries near this site.

Oblique view of stone, showing pattern. Oblique view of stone, showing pattern.

Natural weathering creates an infinite number of patterns and shapes in rocks, thus we don’t want to anoint this piece as a human-created unless we have definitive evidence. We’ve also sent these photos to geologists who are familiar with sandstone and to archaeologists for their opinions. What do you think? Ever seen something like this!?
Tarlton Cross Mound
Tarlton Cross Mound

By the way, if you’re looking for great places to visit this fall to enjoy the outdoors and beautiful fall leaves, Tarlton Cross Mound and Wahkeena Nature Preserve are both located south of Lancaster in Fairfield County. They are close to Columbus and would make a great day trip!

Posted October 9, 2014
Topics: Natural History

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