Tag Archives: Ashmolean

Deus Romanorum

1 Apr

Despite a pressing deadline, I managed to get out with the Deus for a short hunt today. I wanted to try a different configuration, so this time I popped the headset control out of the backphones and into the XP ‘wristwatch’. This connects via a jack to a set of flimsy wired backphones (I ran the wire from the wristwatch up my sleeve to the phones).

Although initially skeptical, I loved this setup, as the phones weighed next to nothing (unlike the backphones with the headset control installed), and I soon forgot I was wearing them. The wristwatch allowed me easily to confirm what the audio feedback was telling me regarding the diggability of signals, so I didn’t need the remote control. The Deus was even lighter without it — really like swinging a broomstick over the field.

I went back to the spot on Sir Thomas that produced the five Romans on the 18th of March. I’d gone over the central section reasonably well with the AT Pro, and I wanted to see whether the Deus could hoover up any remaining Roman coins. It wasn’t long before I had the first one.

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Another, smaller coin (a denarius?) followed just two steps later.

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I found a third Roman after a further half hour,

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and finished with two minims as well, matching the best day of the AT Pro. Best of all, the minims came at a reasonable depth, greater than four or five inches, and the larger coins were even deeper. I also found some coin fragments, possibly Roman, including this one:

At times I found myself swinging the coil ‘low and slow’, like you need to do to allow the AT Pro (or most detectors) its best snapshot of the ground. But the Deus is lightning fast. It has five reactivity settings, and its level 1 setting is as fast as most other competitive detectors on the market. It is a delight to hunt with: I’m confident that if the coil passes over a target (operator error aside), the machine will find the goods. It’s like the Deus is continually channeling George Clooney from The Perfect Storm: ‘I always find the fish!’ (Continually that is, except the part where he fails to find the fish and drowns).

In addition to the Romans, I found several lead weights, including this stamped one which turned up as I traversed Peter Quince,

Stamped lead weight?

Stamped lead weight?

a pin from a Roman brooch (as ID’ed by the Ashmolean ID team this afternoon),

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an Elizabeth II penny (1967),

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and some buttons, including an almost complete pewter one with a lovely floral design. I couldn’t be better pleased with the Deus. I look forward to trying it out in other configurations and with the WS5 headphones, which arrived yesterday. The WS5s are going to be part of the Deus I am building for my dad’s upcoming visit, so that together we’ll have a full Deus and a Deus Lite.

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Bronze Ring and Horseshoe Updates

16 Apr

While browsing the Pitt Rivers collection, my mom found this ring that is the spit of the cast-bronze ring I unearthed on my first dig (in Stagsden). If the dating here is correct, the one in my possession may be even older than we imagined. Another reason I’m grateful to live in Oxford: ready access to world-class museums!

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My ring, by way of comparison:

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And then my parents found this horseshoe in the Ashmolean:

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Their discovery caused me to dig the horseshoe we’d found in Stagsden out of the rubbish. My dad said it is extra lucky, because it has been found twice!

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Here is the twice-found Stagsden shoe:

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