Tag Archives: Peter Quince

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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Toy Cannon

17 Mar

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Thought I’d undertake a short hunt today on Peter Quince; swing until I found the first museum-worthy artefact. Unfortunately that didn’t happen. I ended up spending four hours, and although I made several interesting finds, none was of the drop-dead variety. The most unusual was this toy cannon with the burst barrel. At first I thought it had been plough nicked, but once I got it home and cleaned it, it became obvious that this had once been a working toy (health and safety regulations were different back then)! There was a functional bore and vent, and swabbing with a Q-tip revealed black powder residue in the bottom of the bore. Some long-ago kid must have overcharged the thing, or it had its barrel partially obstructed and burst — hopefully the onlookers stood well back! Other interesting finds included part of what might be a simple fibula brooch:IMG_0872

a beech leaf worked in copper:

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what seems to be a pot handle; various buttons, including a possible medieval one; a knackered Vickie penny (1863) and a Georgian ha’penny (unclear which George). Finally, as I was leaving the field at midday I found a jeton, probably Nuremberger as it appears to have the imperial orb within a tressure of three arches and three angles on the reverse:

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The tally, buttons to the R

History Box and a Long Circuit Hunt

10 Mar

Yesterday I gave my farmer friend a box I’d prepared to hold the objects we find on his farm. I thought having it might present a nice way to interpret local history for family and guests, and practically it was a way for me to say thank you for his generosity in allowing me to metal detect on his land. It looks like this (with the name of the farm redacted for obvious reasons):

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Today (9 March) I made a long circuit at a fairly brisk pace, totalling about two miles. I started off on Reedy, and quickly found an eyes-only surface George V penny (1930).

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The field gave up another coin, much older, but too beat up to read. Then I crossed into Falstaff. Heading up the eastern margin of the field I found a penny-size coin with a bust I couldn’t make out, possibly Georgian. IMG_0691

About halfway up the east side I made the strangest find of the day. A tiny aluminium tag which reads: ‘BRIT. MUSEUM / LONDON S.W. 7 / VX12335’. I confess I did a bit of a circle with the detector to see if the tag had serendipitously fallen from an antiquity stolen from the British Museum and buried nearby. Alas, I found nothing else, but I will follow up with the museum to see if they can identify the purpose of the tag or its number.

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I found a (1983) pound coin soon thereafter, and at the top of Falstaff I found a buckle whose shape looks to be early modern or even medieval, but whose finish belies this. It will be an interesting one to ID.

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From there I crossed onto Sir Thomas, a field I hadn’t yet searched. It had been freshly ploughed and looked promising. In fact away far off I could see the tractor finishing the next field, with a flock of gulls in its wake descending no doubt on the newly harrowed fat worms. I hadn’t been on Sir Thomas long when I turned up a coin — possibly a Roman nummus but too abraded to be certain.FullSizeRender_2

About halfway down the field I found a large lead object, which I think is a spindle whorl.FullSizeRender

I walked across (but found nothing in) a field I call Peter Quince, and then I finished off the day on Ulmo. As I crossed back to the car, Ulmo gave up a fairly worn Georgian coin, possibly a penny.

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A nice hunt and a nice walk, even if the finds didn’t feature a knockout object like I’ve had the last couple of days.

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