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Simon Darby
Hi all,

When digging the garden for a pond back in the mid 80's I found the following about 3 feet below the surface.  We were talking about this at work so I thought I'd dig it out and thought I'd find a forum that could identify it. IMG_0489.jpg  IMG_0490.jpg  IMG_0491.jpg 

Your help is much appreciated!

Simon.
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prep01
Hello Simon and welcome to the forum. Firstly can you tell what it is made from? My impression is that t's man made -but it looks very gritty? I think it is an unfnnished Roman lamp. The shape and sze are about right, as is the hollowed out centre but there is no hole in the 'spout' for a wick. I don't think it's a fossil.
Colin Huller
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Dirty Pete
I can see faint concentric rings so reckon it's a sandstone concretion where the central core has contracted more than the surrounding material. 

Pete.
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Weald on Bed
Like Dirty Pete says, it's a sandstone concretion or nodule. Hertfordshire does have areas of sandstone, amongst the chalk and London Clay beds, so it makes sense in terms of the local geology. Definitely not man-made!

Imagine an oval-shaped ball of hard sandstone that formed over a very long time around a softer core. At some point it's has cracked in half to show the concentric rings and the softer core which has partly worn away.  

If you look up 'Concretion' on Wikipedia you'll find a good explanation of how such objects are formed - and some examples of the wacky & misleading shapes that can result.
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prep01
I agree that there is sandstone nodules in the Boulder clay, but this looks worked to me - St Albans museum or Herts Archaeological Society would be the next step.
Colin Huller
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