An "iron instrument" apparently resembling the bit of a coal drill, was found inside a lump of coal taken from an excavation in Scotland in 1852 (Scotland again! It was at first supposed that a miner had broken his drill while working the seam and had left the piece of metal embedded there.But the surface of the coal was unbroken: it showed no signs of drilling or any present or former opening by which the drill might have passed into it's interior.The answer is that the concretion itself is not Ordovician.Minerals in solution can harden around an intrusive object dropped in a crack or simply left on the ground if the source rock (in this case, reportedly Ordovician) is chemically soluble (Cole, 1985).But in the sand they found the stumps of stone pillars and fragments of half worked rock, the same stone and rock that they themselves had been excavating.
like the wooden tools, it had also been petrified into a form of agate and it had been broken into pieces.
For we now know, thanks to advances in geological and anthropological dating, that such a thing is absolutely impossible. metallic spheres, at least one of which has three parallel grooves running around its equator.
The spheres are of two types - "one of solid bluish metal with white flecks, and another which is a hollow ball filled with a white spongy centre" (Jimison, 1982).
Some have a thin shell about a quarter inch thick, when broken open are filled with a strange spongy material that disintegrates into dust upon contact with air. I was intrigued by the form of the spheres, grooves around the middle and the fact that they are as hard as steel, while the material (pyrophyllite) in which they are found, is as soft as limestone with a count of only 3 on the Mohr scale.
As you probably know, pyrophyllite (Al2 Si4 O10 (OH)2) is a secondary mineral and the deposits were formed by a process of sedimentation.