Sunday, December 27, 2009

8 Year Old Kiddos First Find

Added To World Metal Detctor Community by New Mexico Treasure Hunters Assosciation

About a month or so ago me and the kiddo decided to go play with her detector ( CHEAP LITTLE WAL MART TYPE) at an old trailer park. we found a ton of pennies and so forth and we started towards the old pool area. i decided a this point i would use my detector now an play around and let her go do her thing. i kinda watch her for a min or two, she digs everything that is beeping :o) i figured it would keep her busy for a bit and hopefully she would find some clad that way she could say she made some money and add it to her piggy bank. so i am whipping through uraound the building and the playground and so forth. i glance over and she is walking back towards me and she says real calmly " i found a ring" ( like it was no big deal. ) i see it in her hand, and it just looks like an old curtain ring. and i tease her and say "so are we rich?" so she hands it to me and start looking, WOW! She actually found a 14k Gold ring!!!!! i couldnt believe it. i have been detecting all this time and know what to really look for ( so i thought) and never found a gold ring. here comes the kiddo with her cheapy detector and pops out a gold ring! it just kinda shows you that having a clear head and enjoying what you are doing can be productive. sometimes i feel frustrated going out for long periods of times and sometomes not find anything at all i have relized i am trying to hard i am not looking at the brighter side of the hobby. enjoying the outdoors, taking time to see everything i am waliking across. just going out there with the goal of finding something of value. since that day, we have had some great detecting trips. the best of all were where we found nothing but relaxation away from everyday life. we will see what santa brings her this year as far as a better detector. ( santa is on the poor side this year) stupid economy!!! LOL

One last thing, they have the saying "take a kid fishing" well, i say take a kid detecting, they will learn alot as you will learn alot from them too.




Happy hunting everyone! and have a MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

Chris
VP/NMTHA





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A detectorists poem

Added To The World Metal Detector Community By David Lascelles


Have you ever waited for a field that's baked rock-hard for weeks
And prayed with all your heart for gentle rain.
The next time that you see it, its mud up to your cheeks
And when that's dry, it's seeded once again.

Or, with anticipation, you've looked forward to a site
And drooled about the "goodies" it might yield
To be told before you search it that it really isn't right
'Cos the farmers gone and sold the bloody field.

There's every kind of Gremlin (just when you don't need any)
Like wind and pouring rain, and snow and sleet
And sites which have no cover when you have to "spend a penny"
Or wellies that are split and wet our feet.

There's silver paper, ring pulls, and blobs of lead to boot
And cartridge ends galore - that's far from funny.
Yes every coin is George 111, and all as rough as soot
And buttons which look just like silver money.

You'd think with all this bitching that we'd all bear a grudge
About the things we have or have not found,
But, it's true dedication, with backsides caked in sludge,
Recovering our history from the ground.

It won't always be "Treasure" - there'll be days devoid of "goodies"
Yet the chance of decent finds is always there
But, being there's a pleasure, to seach alongside buddies
Enjoying spacious fields and country air.

So, when the Harvest's over and "Bonanza Time" approaches
You anticipate the things that you may find
Remember - there's a field out there that's strewn with roman brooches
And jewelled strapends Saxons left behind.

There's a Bronze Age patterned Axe Head where they have grown potatoes,
That hammered silver's never very deep.
And where that Celtic shrine was, the ground is full of Staters
You know, those things we see when we're asleep.

So remember on the field edge before youu make a start
To search for several hours in perfect bliss
That win or lose you're out there, be glad to be a part
Of the truly greatest hobby that there is.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Finding Three Iceni Coin Hoards In Suffolk

Added To World Metal Detector Community By Roman Ron Morley

I want to tell you how the finding of three Iceni dating coin hoards came about here in West Suffolk England. The first two came to light in the late 1950's and early 1960's and the third in the early in the1970's and none of them strangely enough turned up more than a couple of miles from my home with each of them in turn coming to light in a different way. (I apologise in advance to those of you who may have read this story in part before in theTreasure Hunting magazine but the complete story is well worth the telling). Although I was never actually the finder of any of these hoards myself I was involved in all of them in some way as you will see:-
The first hoard came to light on Monday, November 23rd 1959, six days before my fifteenth birthday, and is the nearest I have got in fifty-five years of searching to discovering a hoard in it's entirety myself. It came to light on my then favourite site, the 'Roman Field' here in my home village of Lakenheath in Suffolk. As you completed your schooling at fifteen years of age back in those days the end of my final 'term' at school was fast approaching. I had been off school with a bout of tonsilitis the week prior to the coins appearing and was now in my recuperation period so on nthe Tuesday morning and feeling somewhat better I had decided to cycle around to the 'Roman' field to see if any ploughing was being carried out. I was in luck for here I found Bill Mackender, the local Estate's head ploughman, turning over the old roman dating site. I started my usual procedure of walking behind the plough waiting to see if anything interesting would be brought to the surface. Well DaveT, my present day detecting partner is always telling me "if your name's on it you'll find it" and never was a saying more true as far as the finding of this particular hoard was concerned. I was lucky in one way that morning in that by a 1000-1 chance while I was there the plough left a large centionalis coin of Magnentius laying exposed in the bottom of the furrow the only time I have ever come across a coin in that way but after that my luck quickly ran out. Shortly after my arrival on site Bill's tractor started to cough and splutter and repeatedly came to a juddering halt, Bill kept hopping off and tinkering with the engine managing several times to get it going again. This scenario was repeated over the next 60 minutes before Bill finally gave up and with the parting remark that I had put a 'hex' on his tractor chugged off back to the farmyard leaving the field only 50% ploughed. I wandered around the ploughed area for a while noting a large piece of Roman dating quern, (corn-grinding) stone had been ploughed out on the last circuit of the plough. I returned a couple of days later to see if the ploughing had been completed only to find no more had been done since my last visit. However Lady Briscoe, the Squire's wife who was also an archaeologist of some note was on site. She was in a bit of trouble however as she had driven her car over the stubble to the edge of the ploughed area only for the car's off-side wheels to fall into the last furrow. Her car was firmly stuck so she quickly dispatched me to a neighbouring field where two of her other estate workers were ploughing. I reported her plight and they duly brought their tractor over and towed her car out. While we were waiting for the 'rescuers' to appear I showed her where the quernstone had been ploughed out remarking on its large size. Any other time she would have got a spade from the boot of her car and set me to digging in the area but not today as she was too upset regarding her predicament and once the car was released she quicky returned to the local Manor leaving me to bike home. On the following Monday I returned to school only to be told on returning home at the end of the day that Bill had discovered a hoard of coins on the Roman field that morning. Bill knowing the field had Roman connection always spent much of his time while ploughing there looking over his shoulder to see if anything of interest was appearing on the surface behind him. In this case he spotted a shower of green discs fly up in the air, he stopped, looked, and quickly shot off on his bike to report his find. When I heard the news of the find to say I was gutted was an understatement especially when I found out later they had turned up on the first circuit of the plough that morning. I popped up to the the field on the following Saturday morning where I met Lady Briscoe and Dr Parsons, a local GP who like her ladyship were members of a local archaeological society. A small excavation had been opened up in the area of the find-spot a couple of days earlier and as we approached the the first thing I spotted was a coin from the hoard laying by the hole. Also close by the excavation lay the large piece of quern-stone I had spotted a week earlier, no doubt placed there as a marker by the person who had originally buried the coins. I got a chance over the next couple of weeks to assist Laady Briscoe on the small dig finding several missed hoard coins in the process. It appears the field had been ploughed about an inch deeper than normal this had been enough to disturb the coins from their resting place. The hoard that consisted of 3 gold staters, 396 silver Iceni and 63 early Roman denaraii was found laying in half of a pottery Belgic type pottery jar. The pot had been broken some time in the past, it had been split in two from top to bottom and it was here that the coins lay in the remaining half of a full length pot. There was no sign of the other half of this pottery jar and I suspect some years previously the pot had been hit by the plough removing its top half sideways complete with a number of the hoard coins in the process as several more coins from the same hoard were discovered by various detectorists over several years in the 1970's when over a 20 metre square area 2 more gold staters, several denaraii and Iceni issues came to light. Very rare Celtic coins were amongst those discovered back then with at least five silver CAN DURO issues turning up, these were catalogued at £350:00 in the 1970's. Today, some thirty odd years on and allowing for inflation you would imagine the present day price for the same coin should read at least £1500. However in common with many other once rare coin types that have been found in numbers by detectors over the years, the book price has dropped back to £275:00. Back in 1959 one of the three gold staters found was only the second of its type known, today a dozen or more are recorded. I'm sure that there are undiscovered coins from the hoard still buried there but the land is no longer ploughed having been lain to grass and covered in grazing cattle for the past 20 years or more. Footnote: Bill the finder was rewarded with the then so-called 'market value' of the coins- a paltry £350:00 today the same hoard would command a price of £25,000.

The second hoard started to come to light in the local fens the following year. I say 'started' as these came out in dribs and drabs over many years. Most fen fields around this area of East Anglia tend to be very flat and consist of jet black peaty soil that contain little in the way of ancient artefacts. However the exception to the rule was a black peaty field in the local fen that stuck out like the proverbial sore thumb from its neighbours having four sandy rises upon it. Local farmworkers spent their lunch breaks walking these higher sandy areas picking up ancient pottery and flint tools in the process. However one of these sandhills also started to produce blackened coins, these turned out to be Roman-dating silver denaraii as well as Iceni issues. Once the new came out over the next few weeks Lady Briscoe collected over 60 coins from half a dozen finders and sent them to the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge for cleaning. I got permission to walk the area one sunny and windy Sunday afternoon where I picked up five of these coins, three of which were exposed by the wind in front of my eyes stuck together one on top of the other. The first coins that names the Iceni King Prasutagus turned up as part of this hoard with at least ten eventually coming to light. Most of these were found in the1970's/1980's with many other coin types from the same hoard being detected at that time. I recorded over two hundred various coin types from this hoard all coming from this one sand-hill by various people. I fear that a lot more coins were found and never reported in fact I would 'guesstimate' that the all-over total from this hoard discovered there numbered some five hundred. The chances of investigating the site further are now nil as it is now under a very large RSPB Nature Reserve.

The third hoard came to light in 1972 and again the way it came to light was completely different to the previous two. It was discovered on the boundary of the local American U.S.A.F.E. base on a building site where at the time they were busy at the time constructing new Officers Married Quarters. On the day in question the workmen were on their 10 o'clock break when one of their number went outside for a smoke. While there he noticed a number of discoloured metal discs laying beside a nearby newly constructed house. In a few minutes he had picked up some seventy two examples. His actions were soon noticed by other workers and soon a dozen or more workers were scrabbling in the dirt looking for more of the coins A fight soon broke out amongst the men and the police were called in to restore some semblance of order. The men were told if any of them had found coins they were to be handed in as they represented Treasure Trove. Most of the men did as they were told but I was to find out sometime later that not all had handed in their finds as instructed. An inquest was held in February 1972 by which time a total of two hundred and fifty-five Iceni coins had been found and seventy two Roman silver denaraii. After the inquest the finders were each rewarded according to how many coins they had handed in and what their value was. I became involved some two years or so after the initial discovery when I was asked by a third party to value two 'lots' of these coins kept by two of the original workers, one cache consisted of eight coins the other some eighteen. I can't remember what valuation I put on them at the time however I do remember there was amongst the coins an almost mint condition issue of Caligula with his bust on one side and his mother's bust on the other and I know its present day value is in excess of £3200:00!! Some of the hoard are believed to be still beneath the house where the coins originated and there is now talk of these houses being pulled down and rebuilt bigger and better if so we may yet hear further about this hoard in the future. So there you have it, a tale of three hoards, none ever found in its entirety and who knows I may get a chance in the next few years to reinvestigate at least one area here in Suffolk where one of the three originlly turned up.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

How I started Metal Detecting - The Beginning

Added To World Metal Detector Community By Roman Ron Morley

At the end of November I celebrated my 65th birthday which is usually the official 'retirement' age for workers here in Britain although I took early retirement from my post on the local USAFE base after 37 + years some two years ago. Since my 'official' retirement I have been taking time out to reflect on how I first developed an interest in all things ancient. Well it all started for me some 55 years ago when I was still attending my local Primary School. One day during morning break in the school playground another local lad by the name of Johnny Allsop told me his dad, who was a local farmer, had a field littered with Roman dating pottery shards. He offered to take me and show me where it was situated, I took up his offer and sure enough there was ancient pottery laying everywhere. I picked up some pieces and once home stored them in a large biscuit box.
With my interest now well and truly aroused I started to explore other areas of the parish and was soon cycling up a local ancient trackway known as Sandy Drove.It was here I discovered another interesting field where pieces of pottery lay in abundance, I had inadvertently stumbled on a large Roman dating complex. Within a few months my biscuit box was bulging with pottery, flints and clay pipe bowls. (May I say at this point I was very lucky to have been born in this particular area of East Anglia, had I not been it was doubtful I would ever have developed my interest in seaching for ancient artefacts. The 'Brecklands' that lay in this area of England consists of large tracts of sandy soil, here when the winds blow the fields' top soil soon blows away revealing any objects dropped in the past, likewise the rain quickly washes the sand away and any objects are soon exposed to the naked eye.) As it was I took my little cache of finds to school to show my teacher when Mr Dent the headmaster advised me to take them to the local Manor-house to show to a certain Lady Briscoe , the Lord of the Manor's wife who just happened to be an archaeologist. I wasn't too sure what to do as the fields that lay alongside Sandy Drove belonged to her husband, being part of their estate, and I hadn't been given the necessary permission to go on there searching in the first place. I was only around 10 years old at this time and was more than a little scared to go to the 'Hall' and talk to this very posh old lady.
Still one day a few weeks later and taking my courage in both hands I cycled down to the local manor-house where standing on tip-toe I just managed to reach the big brass knocker. I banged it four times and soon heard approaching footsteps echoing within the house getting ever closed. The door swung open revealing an old grey haired lady, I blurted out what I had been doing and was soon ushered into the house. The old lady who opened the door was indeed Lady Grace Briscoe but my fears were to prove groundless as she was very kind and friendly and was soon examining my box of 'finds'. Certain pieces of pottery within the box interested her and I soon found myself sitting in the passenger seat of her Wolsey 4-44 car as I took her to show her to the field from where the pottery had first appeared, I now found out this area was known by her as the 'Roman Field' and in fact she had carried out excavations here in 1949. I was now given free range of her husband's Estate, I searched other fields laying behind the 'Roman' Field again I was very lucky as these fields turned out to contain sites dating from the Bronze Age, Iron Age, Roman period, Saxon period right through to casual Mediaeval-dating losses. In those years through the1950's right through the 1960's I was the only local interested enough to spend hours when the fields were clear of crops walking up and down looking for signs of early occupation. In those heady far-off days bronze coins, brooches, worked flint tools etc lay on the top of the soil standing out like the proverbial sore thumb against their sandy back-drop. I found some 100 Roman coins as well as silver hammered mediaeval types laying on the field surfaces over the next nineteen years. Strangely enough these all came from the Briscoe Estate fields, Johnny Allsop's dad's field that lay in another area of the village never yielding any 'eyes-only' coin findsfor me at all although Johnny's dad had spotted and picked up scores of them over the years laying on the surface. In those days bronze issues came out of the soil as good as the day they were lost always having a lovely green and shiny patina unlike the sad-looking specimens we find today. Of course it was a very 'seasonal' occupation back then that only lasted for a few weeks in any given year normally those searching weeks would be late in the summer when the fields were clear of crops plus of course the field surface had also to be rainwashed or wind-blown before you could spot any would-be finds anyway. Anyway I built up a nice collection over those years plus I enjoyed digging out some Roman-dating kilns that were exposed after deep ploughing in 1970-72
It was in early 1972 when a local lad turned up on my doorstep one evening with one of these new fangled metal detectors. It was an unusual type in that it was an American model he had brought with him that looked light years ahead of the few crude British models I had seen up to then. He had come to see me as he was looking for somewhere to search so I took him to my main Roman coin producing 'eyes only' field. Coin finds had dried up there during the last couple of years and I honestly thought I had found most of them so telling him he might be lucky and find one that I had missed I left him to it. To my utter amazement he found a further 150 coins on that field during that first year. I was absolutely gob-smacked, I had no idea back then at the amount of casual losses these sites could produce. Suffice to say I bought my first detector, a C-Scope Mark 11 the following year and have not looked back since. Again I count myself fortunate that I got in on the 'ground floor' as it were of detecting in this country when the majority of finds were still in the ground waiting to be found. Now some 20+ detectors later I am still going strong, retirement has meant I have much more spare time to search although my fields are few and far between. I hope to continue my searching for at least another ten years, and as far as past-times are concerned, let's face it, if God created a better hobby then he kept it for himself!

Tales of the riverbank and how it led me to dump digging.

Added To World Metal Detector Community by Ted Gurski

I first started metal detecting in the early seventies after seeing an advert in Exchange & Mart for a new metal detector. The advert boasted everything, “Find buried treasure, coins, gold” etc. etc. I posted the coupon along with cheque for £19 I think it was and a while later the box arrived and I couldn’t contain my excitement.
On opening the parcel was a bit disappointed to find basically a plastic stick with a plastic loop on the end. It was the BFO type and ran off a minute battery but unperturbed I was off out to seek my fortune and to be honest when I tried it around local land it did find coins and all other metal too. Having had a little success on land I thought I’d try the beach so was soon off to Redcar beach and it was then for the first time I met other detectorists. Well, when I saw what they were using and then looked down at my bit of flimsy plastic, embarrassment set in, so soon after it was relegated to the attic and I bought a second hand Whites TR/IB machine for £65.
All this has nothing to do with my story I just wanted to let you know how I got started.
One day years later I was walking along the banks of the river Tees and in the mud bank I spotted the neck of a green bottle sticking out so I waded in up to my knees and extracted a very nice Cod bottle. For those of you who don’t know, this is the type that has an internal marble stopper. Looking round further I saw lots of broken pottery and more broken bottles and half of a pot lid marked “WOODS ARECA NUT TOOTHPASTE”
All of this led to many more visits to the same place with a spade and fork and along with a friend, we started amassing a nice collection of bottles, ginger beers and pot lids. Then we travelled further a field for new places to dig and had many happy days at places like Harrogate, Darlington and even as far as Scotland. After a while I had so much stuff in the house the wife was threatening divorce so I hired a stall in Stockton’s Flea market which was held every alternate Saturday and sold all except the best over a period of 3 weeks. My dump digging era came to an end one day while digging at Darlington with my friend Dave. We were digging alongside each other at a depth of about 9 feet when suddenly the wall of earth in front of me caved in and I was buried way over my head. I will never forget the feeling of terror and was sure I was going to die there. Luckily, Dave saw it coming and was able to raise his hands and spade in the air and save himself. It took him 20 minuets to get himself out and a further 45 minuets to save me. I’d had other near misses before at Harrogate so I decided to end it all that day. (Don’t mean I was committing suicide, just stopped dump digging)
So I was soon back detecting again but my curiosity got the better of me and I had to have one more look at the mud bank, after all, I knew from going there that every tide
could change the look of it. This time I went a bit further down close to the Transporter bridge which is a cable bridge that ferries vehicles across the Tees. I donned wellies and waded in just for a look. The tide was just receding and on the wet mud I spotted a coin and then another and another. In less than an hour I picked up over 20 coins eyes only.
They were all late Victorian up to early 1950s. This was the first of many many trips there over the years always without a detector. The place has so much metal in it, iron girders etc that there’s not a detector in the world would work there.
I know a lot of you won’t believe me but this is the honest truth, in all the times I went there, the least I ever found was 8 coins and my best day was 52 coins eyes only.
As I said nothing special, pennies, halfpennies, brass thruppences and the odd tanner and shilling and once a nice Spanish coin. Also, a very nice Victorian brooch, lead soldiers, lead motorcycles which I believe were from an old Monopoly game, a fireman’s badge, porcelain dolls heads (3) lots of clay pipes and lots more I’ve forgotten about.
We live in Italy now and I’m still 100% into metal detecting but have so many happy memories of both dump digging and detecting in the UK and if anyone from Cleveland Discoverers club reads this I’ll see you all again in March.

read metal detecting secrets here

Terry Herbert's Saxon Gold Hoard

Added To World Metal Detector Community By "Roman Ron Morley"

have a theory regarding the original owners of Terry Herbert's sensational Saxon gold find. Some of the pieces in the hoard are folded up or bent out of shape a gold cross in particular seems to have had one wing of the cross broken off with the other wing folded over. The talk at the moment is of some Saxons burying this cache for safekeeping but the bent up hacked up state of some of the pieces in the hoard suggests to me more a case of the Vikings having stashed it away. Viking buried 'hack silver' hoards consisting of hacked up/bent up silver bowls and plates etc that turn up occasionally in this country as well as abroad. This latest find suggests to me it represents a possible first, a Viking 'hack gold' hoard. I could well imagine a Viking force landing on the East Coast, possibly camping at Thetford in Norfolk on their march inland (it is indeed recorded that the Viking 'army' camped at Thetford). They then made their way across the Midlands to the kingdom of Mercia looting as they went. By now they were pursued by Saxon forces so they buried their huge hacked up golden hoard before facing their adversaries. Not surviving the ensuing battle their ill-gotten gains remained hidden until Terry dropped on to it. Well it's only a theory but don't be surprised if you hear the word Viking brought into the equation by the arkies at a later date. (I note in the Daily Mail today the farmer whose land it was found on is not happy with the finder saying he wanted to keep the find more low-key and that it's more about the money for Terry and he is going to have words with him about it. Same old story, hoard found, finders fall out/landowner and finder fall out etc etc. I was also surprised to see that the the farmer was actually named in the article and where he farmed was also mentioned- no nighthawks trouble there then!!!!! )

Saturday, December 19, 2009

An Introduction to Metal Detecting

A metal detector is a device which responds to metal that may not be readily apparent.The simplest form of a metal detector consists of an oscillator producing an alternating current that passes through a coil producing an alternating magnetic field. If a piece of electrically conductive metal is close to the coil, eddy currents will be induced in the metal, and this produces an alternating magnetic field of its own. If another coil is used to measure the magnetic field (acting as a magnetometer), the change in the magnetic field due to the metallic object can be detected.The first industrial metal detectors were developed in the 1960s and were used extensively for mining and other industrial applications. Uses include de-mining (the detection of land mines), the detection of weapons such as knives and guns, especially in airport security, geophysical prospecting, archaeology and treasure hunting. Metal detectors are also used to detect foreign bodies in food, and in the construction industry to detect steel reinforcing bars in concrete and pipes and wires buried in walls and floors.
The Most common use for metal detectors are for Hobby Use or as it is commonly known.
Metal detector enthusiasts or "detectorists" as they are usually reffered to can be aged as young as six or seven and some carry on well into their seventies and eighties.
It is a fascinating hobby and most trips out with a metal detector results in the detectorist uncovering a lost or discarded item or two from the past. Not every item found with a metal detector is treasure..I have spent many a day digging up ring pulls from soft drinks cans on the beach and pieces of lead and shotgun cartridge caps from the fields,but its not all about finding a lost kings hidden cache...or a hoard of shiny gold celtic coins.The thrill of digging a button from a soldiers tunic, or a seal that would once have been used to authenticate georgian documents, is more than enough to give most finders a thrill and make the day wothwhile.
Depending on which part of the world you live, the "treasure" differs. For example, in Australia the main target for detectorists are the beautiful, shiny and hopefully large gold nuggets that we all dream of! The united states detectorists are keen on digging up relics from the civil war and anything being dug dating to pre 1880 being classed as a good old find. While in the Uk its Celtic Coins, Roman Torques and the like that are wish for the day.
Places That detectorists search:
BeachesLakes/Rivers and Sea BedsFieldsSchoolyardsFestival or Market sitesFootpathsKerbsHomesteadsChurchyardsGardens Etc
Metal Detectorist Are not just active in the field they are very active on the internet and forum style social networking sites such as THE WORLD METAL DETECTOR COMMUNITY Are very popular providing, Information on finds , Photos, videos, and live chat. Beginners are catered for with forum discussions enabling even the greenest "detectorist" to lear the hobby quickly.
There are several worthwhile publications on the subject which are not only useful for seasoned beepers but for the complete novice and people with the thought of maybe taking up the hobby, such as Treasure Hunting Secrets and Treasure Hunting Expo
Who Knows Maybe the next big Discovery Will Be made by you?