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A cast iron cup from Oklahoma, estimated to be…300 million years old

There aren’t many articles about this item online, and they’re all quite short, but there are very good quality photos, which is pleasing.

Officially, such objects are called “out-of-place artifacts” because they are found in an archaeological layer where their existence is simply impossible. There have actually been quite a few such artifacts in history, but rarely do any of them survive to the present day; most simply disappeared somewhere.

So, as for this find, its history began in 1912 at the coal-fired power station in the town of Thomas, Oklahoma, USA. One of the workers split a piece of coal that was too large for the cart, and inside it was a small object resembling a cup or pot.

The cup was further examined and found to be made of cast iron (an iron-carbon alloy). Inside the chunks of coal, a solid impression of the cup was preserved, meaning that it did not recently end up in the coal, but had been in it for so long that the coal had formed around it.

It was then determined that the age of the coal seam from which this batch of coal was brought to the power station was approximately…300 million years!

In proof of the authenticity of the find, there is a small note written by the very worker who found this cup:

“When I was working at the municipal power station in Thomas, Oklahoma, in 1912, I came across a solid chunk of coal that was too large to be used. I broke it with a sledgehammer. This iron pot fell out of the center, leaving an impression on the piece of coal in the shape of a pot. Jim Stoll (company employee) witnessed me breaking the coal, and he saw the pot fall out of it. Later, I traced the source of the coal and found that it was mined at the Wilberton mines, Oklahoma.”

At the end of the note was the name of this worker, “Frank J. Kennard,” and it was added that he was “Sworn in at Salpur Springs, Arkansas, November 27, 1948.”

The coal deposits of the Wilberton mine have been studied repeatedly, and it is still confirmed that they are indeed about 295-300 million years old.

For decades, this cup has been passed from hand to hand by different people. Once, it even fell into the hands of specialists in iron alloys, and after studying it for several days, they concluded that the item was authentic and not contemporary at all. Although how exactly they determined this is not explained.

Currently, this cast iron cup, along with a copy of Kennard’s letter, is kept in the so-called Museum of Evidence of the Creation of the World in Glen Rose, Texas.

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