Archive | March, 2013
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Ready to Detect

10 Mar

Kat, Ready to Detect

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Southend-on-Sea

10 Mar

K&K dig for a deep target in their first beach outing with the new Ace 250.

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The Newest Detector in the Badger Sett

10 Mar

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K&K double down with the Garrett Ace 250.

Communicability: Kat and Kurt in Southend-on-Sea

10 Mar

I’ve been away from the hunt for several days, working on the thesis and delivering a paper in Northern Ireland. But that doesn’t mean the whole sett has been silent. K & K bought a Garrett Ace 250 detector, along with wellies and digging equipment. Today they took their new family member to the beach at Southend-on-Sea. Despite hail, snow, and difficult digging conditions, they managed to pull some interesting lead and steel (?) objects from the sand. These may include a lead musket ball, below. And is that a new gato, perhaps? Stay tuned to see whether el Gato Rojo is as powerful a good luck omen as the original Gato has been…

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Ten-Minute Hunt Near My House

5 Mar

Ten-Minute Hunt Near My House

I am writing a paper, but the call of the wild proved too strong in this sunshine. The CS3MX immediately found targets: a screw; a bicycle inner tube valve, a pull tab, and a rusted old pocket knife.

Happy Hunting!

Notes on the Stagsden Fossilized Tooth

4 Mar

In response to my enquiry, I received the following from Paul Jeffery, Assistant Curator of Geological Collections at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History:

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‘Your find appears from the photograph to be a partial premolar of a horse (Equus sp.).  It’s very difficult to give a likely age for a find such as this without either detailed contextual information, or radiocarbon dating, as they are present in many interglacial deposits from around 100,000kA right-up until the start of the Neolithic, and then are even more common in younger archaeological contexts.  The appearance of the tooth depends more on the kind of material it’s buried in than its antiquity, so is no guide to age. 

The balance of probability is that your find is 100s rather than 1000s of years old’.

This means, among other things, that Kat is holding the tooth upside down :).

FLO Notes on the Stagsden Finds

4 Mar

I communicated via email with the Portable Antiquities Scheme’s FLO (Finds Liaison Officer) for Bedfordshire, Mr Julian Watters. He looked at pictures of our finds yesterday, and he suggested the ring I found was early modern, rather than medieval, and that it wasn’t a brooch. From his email:

‘The ring things do turn up quite a lot and nobody’s really sure what they are. I don’t think it’s a brooch, as it doesn’t have a constriction for the pin to be attached; also it is probably not finished well enough. These rings have turned up in excavations in the early American settlements, so they go back a few hundred years’.

He was quite interested in Kurt’s ‘buckle’ on the other hand, and he wants to have a closer look. He wrote that ‘the decoration is similar to that which you see on Medieval harness pendants’.

The Portable Antiquities Scheme was established by the British government in 1997 as a way to involve detectorists, fieldwalkers, and others in preserving the UK’s archaeological heritage. Since the revision of the Treasure Trove laws in the ’90s, important/valuable finds end up in musuems, for the most part, and detectorists are both able and incentivized to funnel valuable archaeological data to researchers (http://finds.org.uk/). It is a global model for broadening public participation in the preservation of antiquities.