Musket or pistol balls (297) excavated at a British Revolutionary War camp

Object Number: 
INV.5924.113-410
Date: 
1760-1783
Medium: 
Lead
Dimensions: 
largest: 3/4 in. ( 1.9 cm )
Marks: 
engraved: (113), on musket ball: "SP" engraved: (114), on front of circle"T" (upside-down triangle above letter)
Description: 
Lead musket or pistol balls excavated at the British military camp on the Dyckman farm in Washington Heights, Manhattan; some have been flattened or halved; many have been engraved with lines; one has been shaped into a rectangle and another into a rough pentagon; one ball has been shaped into a flat circle and inscribed; another has been inscribed.
Gallery Label: 
These musket or pistol balls were excavated by Reginald P. Bolton, William L. Calver, and others prior to the formation of the Field Exploration Committee in 1918, at the British camp on the Dyckman farm, between Seaman and Payson Avenues at 204th St. The letters "SP" were engraved into the musket ball by a soldier, and are possibly initials. The indentations on three balls are toothmarks made by soldiers, who often chewed on bullets to allieve pain during punishment whippings.
Credit Line: 
Gift of the Washington Headquarters Association, Daughters of the American Revolution, 1947
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group