New Jersey workers were cleaning up the Pequannock River in Bloomingdale's Sloan Park to prepare for a flood mitigation project Thursday when they spotted a stone with an unusual marking. Upon closer inspection, they discovered what appears to be a crowned royal on the chunk of rock.
The carved stone was "buried underground beneath the riverbed," the Borough of Bloomingdale New Jersey Government announced in a Thursday Facebook post.
The 14 by 12-inch rock shows a woman with curly hair, a crown and a high-neck ruff — a crimped collar typically worn in Western Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries.
"We have no idea what it is but we are trying to find out," the borough added.
Bloomingdale Mayor Jon Dunleavy told NorthJersey.com officials recovered the stone and a few local historians are already studying it.
“It is quite an extraordinary find and the borough hopes to find out what it actually is," Dunleavy said.
But some locals were already sharing their own theories with the local government.
"Could it have something to do with the tissue paper company in that area that used to supply sanitary paper, toilet paper, to the English royal family? They would have had royal seal," one resident commented.
"Reminds me of one of the child kings in France or Mary Queen of Scots," another added.
"My wife thinks it looks like The Infant of Prague Statue," another man said.
"Tapestry of the Infant of Prague. Hung in religious places or homes in devotion," a woman said.
Sloan Park has been closed to the public for seven years due to severe flood damage from Hurricane Irene, NorthJersey.com previously reported.
"Rather than continuing to invest money and making these repairs, the town decided it's time to really try to find a permanent fix," Dunleavy told the news site in June. "The goal was to primarily stop Main Street from flooding because the water was leaving the park's boundaries flooding our businesses on Main Street."
Dunleavy said workers are currently focusing on restoring the riverbed, placing caged stone at the bottom of the Pequannock River with the goal of restoring the banks to their normal height.