A two-faced polymorphic/polyiconic glass figure, both a bird head looking to the right (note the eye and the demarcation of upper and lower beak), and overall seemingly a flying bird profile (head upper left).
Below, the opposite side of the figure with backlighting: The composition of the cement in the concrete among Dave's finds has been analyzed and determined to be a mixture of natural limestone and clay, as opposed to the synthetic (Portland) cement developed in the early 1800s and almost always used currently. Right, a small (3 mm diameter) iron protrusion from the back of the head, also in classic zoomorphic form.
Judging from the remaining shell casings and the cupule width, the kernels were about 3 mm x 1.5 mm.
This glass point was in the point and blade cache that is apparently of Late Archaic to Early Woodland age.
But things are whatever they are, and the scientific method dictates that unexpected phenomena be examined and evaluated in terms of actual physical evidence rather than sum- marily dismissed because they do not fit within an established paradigm.
The carbon content of the tested sample varied from one segment to another, one showing 0.007%, another 2.2%, and the rest in the range of 0.04% to 0.08% - altogether much less homogeneous than what one would expect in recently manufactured iron.ndicate about a 90% probability of origin somewhere between 209 and 783 AD, the two more closely corresponding readings indicating 209 to 551 AD, alto- gether coinciding more or less with the Middle Woodland Period.
Click on the image below to see charts of the readings calibrated against the Int Cal04 atmospheric curve using Oxford University's Ox Cal software: Native American artifacts in direct context, one can say with certainty only that these are the numbers returned by the radiocarbon dating process.
This author's tentative hypothesis is that this time-consuming and labor-intensive technology with no perceived practical application was abandoned (and subsequently forgotten) around the time of cultural decline corresponding to the transition from the Middle to the Late Woodland Period, when survival-related concerns became paramount.
A sample (shown below) like the one dated, and from direct context in the find, was analyzed by EDS (energy-dispersive spectroscopy) and WDS (wavelength dispersive spectroscopy) at Yale University.
The carbon content of a fragment of the specimen, determined after anneal- ing and cooling, was less than 0.1%.
(The rightmost two of the photos directly above are of the same rod.) The iron in its current state is not at all flexible, indicating that it likely was formed while still hot.
Possible evidence of prehistoric iron smelting has long been recognized in Ohio, as at the well known Spruce Hill walled earthworks site in Ross County, close to the location of Dave Gillilan's finds.