An eight-year-old boy made an amazing discovery while exploring the banks of the Eno River, according to the Raleigh News and Observer.
The boy, Eli Aquino, unearthed a Civil War cannonball in North Carolina on June 1.
Aquino has an interest in archaeology and was exploring the river with his friend Cornelius Lewis and another local resident, Tim Duffy. Aquino “wanted to go find treasure. He was down there having fun,” Duffy said.
As is common with most archaeology enthusiasts, Lewis said that they usually only find old glass bottles and pieces of pottery. However, this time was much different. At first glance, the boys thought the ball could’ve been a prisoner’s ball and chain because of the fuse located on top.
The three explorers took the cannonball back to Duffy’s home and immersed it in water for about a week. Then, they called the local police department who quickly evacuated the property.
Sgt. Mark Manning from the bomb squad deemed the cannonball to still be live. Manning said that the cannonball was 12 pounds with an intact timer and would never go bad. The cannonball is now being moved to a containment vessel in which authorities will try to disarm the bomb and save as much of it as possible. The bomb was originally set to explode in one to five seconds after the timer started, and was packed with shrapnel to rain on the enemy.
It is unclear exactly how the cannonball ended up in that area, but the most likely explanation is that it came from Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston’s troops who were headquartered in that area in 1865.