Mystery over workers’ oddball find
Workers on the massive Transmission Gully road project have unearthed what is believed to be amid-19th century ship’s cannonball.
The 53kg sphere is about 25cm in diameter and was found in the headwaters of the Horokiri Stream site. Project archaeologistMary O’Keeffe said the ball had ‘‘the exact dimensions of balls used in huge cannons mounted on ships around the mid-19th century’’.
‘‘How it ended up in the creek is a big mystery.’’
Initial thoughts turned to 1846, when Crown troops attacked the pa of Ngati Toa leader Te Rangihaeata and his people at Matai Taua (Pauatahanui) and Battle Hill.
‘‘But the cannonball was found some 2km from Battle Hill and anyway there are detailed records of the guns used there. They fired balls only around a tenth of the weight of this one,’’ O’Keeffe said.
An exclusion zone was set up when the ball was found, police and an army bomb disposal unit were called in, and Ngati Toa iwi was notified. The cannonball is likely to end up in PatakaMuseum.
The 53kg cannonball found by Transmission Gully workers in the headwaters of the Horokiri Stream. Above, a bomb disposal expert brought to the site as a precaution.