Archive | March, 2013
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Mudlark!

30 Mar

Mudlark!

I’ve been meaning to post about this for several days now; on the 25th of March, my Thames Foreshore Permit arrived. For the next three years, I’ll be able to dig on the foreshore to a depth of seven centimeters, scouring the banks of the tidal Thames for treasure and relics. If I report enough finds to the PAS and the Museum of London over that period, I’ll be eligible to apply for one of only about fifty mudlark permits, and to become a member of the Society of Thames Mudlarks.

The permit arrived with various maps depicting in detail which areas I am eligible to detect and search. I hope that my Maldon training lends itself to the Thames search. It would be a rare and fine thing to belong to the society.

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Return to Maldon

27 Mar

Armed with waders (well, one of us, at least), snowshoes, a floating sieve, and a glass-bottomed coffee can for seeing beneath the surface refraction of the river, we returned to Maldon to make another attempt at the foreshore’s secrets.

Low (spring) tide was at 6.33 am, so we had to get quite an early start. There were other difficulties, too, including a broken snowshoe, and our inability to work together as only one of us could dare the mud.

On the positive side, I began to sort out the signals the AT PRO was giving me in some very challenging ground (tidal water with plenty of junk iron). There were little rivulet intake streams cutting into the profound drifts of mud on their way to join the river; in periods of storm these must become more pronounced to drain adjacent inland areas, and they seemed likely spots for metal/coinage losses. In a couple of these I did find modern coins, and I also found an old spike of metal, probably lead.

After the tide came in, setting our bucket adrift and almost carrying it off, Kurt and I drove past the stature of the Saxon warrior Byrthnoth, who defended Maldon (unsuccessfully) from Danish Viking raiders in 991. Like the raiders, I suspect we will return to the river at some point, better armed and clad for its perils…

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Forrest Fenn Treasure Resource Page

18 Mar

Forrest Fenn Treasure Resource Page

A page of resources for those seeking Forrest Fenn’s treasure…from his official website.

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Maldon Misadventure

18 Mar

In which we spend five minutes braving the deep, stinky mud (and goose poop) to detect the Crown Foreshore in Maldon.

Wet, Muddy Day in Essex (Maldon and West Mersea)

18 Mar

We started off detecting on a bit of Crown Foreshore in Maldon. Spirits were high, but so was the mud — almost four feet deep in places. I nearly lost my wellies twice in the first moments.

IMG_9360Hannah at Maldon IMG_9362 IMG_9363

After five minutes spent fighting the mud in Maldon, we decided to move on for some beach digging at (relatively) nearby Mersea Island. It was very near high tide, so conditions weren’t optimal, but Aga got to try her first detecting. Kathleen had the most consistent success, turning in three modern coins with her Ace 250.

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Kat’s lucky trio:

KatsWestMerseaCoins

Aga’s first ‘find’, a bit of aluminium:

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This was all that West Mersea gave up today: IMG_0040

I was intrigued by this object. I’m not sure whether it is sedimentary rock scored by some invertebrate, or perhaps a decorated bit of bone. Can anyone identify it?IMG_0042

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Apex Prospecting Pick ‘Extreme’

18 Mar

In another unpacking video, my dad receives the top-of-the-range Extreme pick from Apex, with three rare-earth magnets built into the pick head. My friend Gabriel thinks the blog medium privileges puns; I don’t know how that is, but I did almost call this post ‘Pick of the Litter’ or ‘Pick a Winner’.

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Surprise Unpacking Video

16 Mar

The girls volunteer to help with an unpacking video, not knowing that what they unpack will change their detecting future…forever.