A PIECE of iron discovered buried in sand on Yamba's Main Beach has baffled historians and archaeologists.
Clinton Kempnich's son noticed the iron sticking out of the sand and their amazement grew as they worked at exposing it.
Submerged beneath several feet of sand and lying on a bed of rocks was a metre-long piece Mr Kempnich believes is from a naval gun.
"My first impression was that it was scrap and now it looks like it's heavy artillery," Mr Kempnich said.
"I'm a history enthusiast and the barrel walls are about four inches thick, which is over-engineered for a harbour dredge or sewerage pipe."
Unfortunately maritime archaeologists from the Heritage Branch, Office of Environment and Heritage, don't support this theory.
"Until the identity of the object, its age and archaeological significance is known, the Heritage Branch urges local residents not to interfere with it," Susie Summers, a public affairs officer, said.
If the object is of historical significance, it may be protected by the NSW Heritage Act 1977 or even the Commonwealth Historic Shipwrecks Act 1977.