A cannonball, or shrapnel shell, which still contains its original lead shot. There is a 25mm diameter hole in the cannonball through which the shot is visible.
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This cannonball, a shrapnel shell fired from a smooth bore muzzle loading weapon, was discovered in a paddock near the site of Te Kohia Pā, also known as 'L' pā, in the 1980s. It still contains its original lead shot, which was designed to scatter when a bursting charge was ignited. On 17 March 1860 the pā was the site of the first engagement of the Taranaki Wars. The pā, on the western side of the Pekapeka Block above Waitara, was pounded by artillery throughout the engagement but Māori were well protected by covered trenches.
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