Cannonball

This cannonball was found offshore and appears to be suffering some degradation caused by the damaging effects of submersion and drying on iron finds. Round shot such as these were in use from the medieval period until the 19th century. Early examples were made of stone with iron becoming dominant from the 17th century onwards. This type of ammunition consists simply of a heavy round ball and receives its momentum from gunpowder placed behind it in the barrel of the cannon. They show little variation in construction over time but they do change weight and size reflecting changes in the design of the cannon used to fire them.

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This example is described as potentially having come from the vicinity of the wreck of the Resolution, which sank in Norman’s Bay during the Great Storm of 1703. Cannonballs are common finds in the south coast region which has played host to an abundance of battles, training shots and shipwrecks during the age of sail accounting for their presence on the seafloor. A concentration of them from one area may indicate the site of a naval battle, or (and especially if maritime material is recovered alongside them) the site of a shipwreck. This find was reported through the Protocol and is retained in personal possession.

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