The London Hammer
An iron and wooden hammer, sometimes called the “London Artifact” or “London Hammer,” found by local hikers in a creek bed near London, Texas in 1936, has been promoted by Carl Baugh and other strict creationists as an out-of place artifact. They maintain that the hammer, which was partially embedded in a small, limy rock concretion, originated in a Cretaceous rock formation (or an Ordovician or Silurian one, depending on the account), thus contradicting the standard geologic timetable.
However, the hammer was not documented in situ, and has not been reliably associated with any specific host formation. Other relatively recent implements have been found encased in by similar nodules, and can form within centuries or even decades under proper conditions (Stromberg, 2004). The hammer in question was probably dropped or discarded by a local miner or craftsman within the last few hundred years, after which dissolved limy sediment hardened into a nodule around it. Although a brief rebuttal to Baugh’s hammer claims was made by Cole (1985), Baugh and a few other creationists continue to promote it. This review provides further analysis of the hammer and creationist claims about it.
As with all extraordinary claims, the burden of proof is on those making the claims, not on those questioning them. Despite some creationist assertions that the hammer is a dramatic pre-Flood relic, no clear evidence linking the hammer to any ancient formation has been presented. Moreover, the hammer’s artistic style and the condition of the handle suggest a historically recent age. It may well have been dropped by a local worker within the last few hundred years, after which dissolved sediment hardened into a concretion around it. Unless Baugh or others can provide rigorous evidence that the hammer was once naturally situated in a pre-Quaternary stratum, it remains merely a curiosity, not a reliable out-of-place artifact.