A colleague found this wall painting. We are sure about the elements related to mining and the divining rods. But we've got no clue for the spiral element that seems to be operated/carried by two people.

For dating we've got a hint at least. There is a particular kind of bird in the painting, maybe the "Northern Bald Ibis". They nested in the cliffs, and on castles and ruins in the Graz/Steiermark and Salzburg regions of Austria. They got hunted and vanished around 1630-1645, as their feathers were used for hat decoration (plume hunting). Thus, the painting should date around that period.

Location: The wall-painting was found in a celler of a patrician house in Graz.

Can anybody help out?

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  • 5
    As the context is finding water (with the divining rods), maybe it's just a drill or an Archimedes' screw. – Carlos Martin Nov 1 '19 at 14:41
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    Judging from their clothing, I'd say it's at least couple of centuries earlier than the late 19th. – NothingToSeeHere Nov 1 '19 at 17:38
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    I would say quite a bit earlier (for the reference), say 1556. – justCal Nov 1 '19 at 18:24
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    I think there is too much evidence that a copy of Metallica was available to the artist for it to be a bad drawing of anything. The only conclusion (opinoin) I can come to is that it represents another form of divination for metal deposits. The larger spirals in the middle would create a tendancy for the item to rotate around the central rod, and if the spirals were made of iron or steel as Aricola recommends as the proper material for detecting gold, then this may be a device specifically for finding gold deposits. I feel this device and the birds represent information from another source. – justCal Nov 2 '19 at 17:24
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    If there are two men looking for water or minerals with those gadgets, the tool that needs two people to be used, with greater height than a man, can be an earth drill to be used vertically. – Danielillo Nov 2 '19 at 23:11

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