Archaeology/Strange Stone Item
I recently was visiting Sandy Hook, NJ and found this odd stone item. I was with a Geologist at the time who couldn't identify it as anything other than it being made from stone. He urged me to look into what it could be. After going to a local museum and seeing some Native American stone tools I got re-inspired to look into it. I have photos from other angles, too, if you need them.
Sandy Hook is also full of old war-time ruins and lost munitions so it could be from any time as far as I know.
I'm originally from Vineland and know Sandy Hook well. What you found is often called an Indian paint pot. Generally speaking, it was used to scrape pigments from the ground or to grind small amounts of plant dyes for dying leather, or decorating them selves. NJ is rich in iron deposits, kaolin clays, Pleistocene blue clays, nut shells, clam and mussel shell etc. all of which could be used as pigments. These then would be mixed with animal fat and ash from the fire into a paintable mixture. The type of stone is not known to originate in Southern NJ but comes from western PA. So I'm sure that it stood out on the beach or where ever you found it. A very nice find.