Metal Detectoring

Ginando

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Having been a detectorist for quite a few years myself, I am so envious of this chap who stands to earn millions thanks to his actions. He has shown metal detecting in a good light as opposed to Tony Robinsons assertion that we are all vagabonds and no better than thieves. Come on then Tony lets here from you!

Huge Anglo-Saxon gold hoard found

The UK's largest haul of Anglo-Saxon treasure has been discovered buried beneath a field in Staffordshire.

Experts say the collection of 1,500 gold and silver pieces, which may date to the 7th Century, is unparalleled in size and worth "a seven figure sum".

It has been declared treasure by South Staffordshire coroner Andrew Haigh, meaning it belongs to the Crown.

Terry Herbert, who found it on farmland using a metal detector, said it "was what metal detectorists dream of".

It may take more than a year for it to be valued.


(It is) absolutely the equivalent of finding a new Lindisfarne Gospels or Book of Kells

Leslie Webster


Analysis: Hoard lights up Dark Ages
In pictures: Hoard uncovered
BBC History: The Anglo-Saxons
The Staffordshire hoard contains about 5kg of gold and 2.5kg of silver, making it far bigger than the Sutton Hoo discovery in 1939 when 1.5kg of Anglo-Saxon gold was found near Woodbridge in Suffolk.

Leslie Webster, former keeper at the British Museum's Department of Prehistory and Europe, said: "This is going to alter our perceptions of Anglo-Saxon England as radically, if not more so, as the Sutton Hoo discoveries.

"(It is) absolutely the equivalent of finding a new Lindisfarne Gospels or Book of Kells."

The Book of Kells and Lindisfarne Gospels are intricately illuminated manuscripts of the four New Testament Gospels dating from the 9th and 8th Centuries.

'Just unbelievable'

Mr Herbert, 55, of Burntwood in Staffordshire, who has been metal detecting for 18 years, came across the hoard as he searched land belonging to a farmer friend over five days in July. The exact location has not been disclosed.

"I have this phrase that I say sometimes; 'spirits of yesteryear take me where the coins appear', but on that day I changed coins to gold," he said.

"I don't know why I said it that day but I think somebody was listening and directed me to it

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/staf ... 272058.stm
 

escargot

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Great, isn't it? :D

We can't begrudge the bloke his reward. After all, he did the right thing with his find. ;)
 

Ginando

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escargot1 said:
Great, isn't it? :D

We can't begrudge the bloke his reward. After all, he did the right thing with his find. ;)

On the other hand I got £10 for a bronze pin which I found in a field near Inverness and at the time I was delighted.

But this bloke could be looking at nearer £10,000,000 according to some of my metal detecting buddies. That'd put a smile on my face which would never disappear.
 

Swifty

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I know nothing about the metal detector scene but I've always wanted a metal detector (a bit like I've always wanted to fly a hang glider) .. I imagine it's a bit like train spotting or fishing, a solitude 'sport' that occasionally pays off ... this video's good fun to watch and the bloke, Deep Digger Dan, clearly loves what he's doing :cool: ... are there any metal detector'ists (or whatever you should be called) amongst us? .. I'd be grateful for any tips ..

 

Mythopoeika

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I did a bit of that 'metal detectoring' myself back in the early 80s with my Dad, but we never found anything interesting.
You've really got to be very persistent to find anything (or be very lucky).
I think my Dad may still have that metal detector.
 

Frideswide

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The portable antiquities scheme has meant that /some/ of the information attached to /some/ of the finds comes into the common domain where we can all see and use it.

Scotland: http://www.treasuretrovescotland.co.uk/

rUK: http://finds.org.uk/treasure

I've used it on archaeological digs as part of non-invasive surveys, and also scanning spoil heaps as part of an exercise to understand what we miss when digging. But I've also had to try to rectify the damage done by the rogue detectorists digging small pits in sites where the data belong to all of us to be able to do it as a hobby! Tainted by association I suppose... :rolleyes:
 

Swifty

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Other than regarding the obvious risk of losing important historical finds, it's always frustrated me that metal detector people, having spent their own money buying the machine in the first place, used their own historical knowledge and spent their own time shivering in a muddy field to eventually find something valuable ....... and then turn it over to 'authoritys' (who didn't buy a machine, didn't put the leg work in in the first place and mostly probably couldn't care less ) .. someone dropped something valuable centuries ago, so no moral dilemma there .. and all of a sudden it becomes state treasure? ... bullshit ... I'm keeping my finds, sorry museums around the world. Finders keepers ..
 

Bigphoot2

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I used to do some detectoring but gave it up due to the petty politics and general troublesome attitude of a few individuals. One in particular who resented newcomers (but was happy to use them as a free taxi service) and went out of his way to cause problems - "helping" them set up their detectors, which meant adjusting the settings so you could walk across the Forth Bridge and not find any metal, giving them wrong advice, giving the wrong location and times for pick-ups (then telling the driver the new people weren't coming) and generally being as obstructive and annoying as he could be.
It seems like once a group of men get together to pursue a hobby there will be problems like that, I've seen it in photography and in other groups.
 

rynner2

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Other than regarding the obvious risk of losing important historical finds, it's always frustrated me that metal detector people, having spent their own money buying the machine in the first place, used their own historical knowledge and spent their own time shivering in a muddy field to eventually find something valuable ....... and then turn it over to 'authoritys' (who didn't buy a machine, didn't put the leg work in in the first place and mostly probably couldn't care less ) .. someone dropped something valuable centuries ago, so no moral dilemma there .. and all of a sudden it becomes state treasure? ... bullshit ... I'm keeping my finds, sorry museums around the world. Finders keepers ..
Your attitude seems rather selfish. Not only that, but you could be missing out on big money by not reporting finds.
(In the story I mentioned above, the finder is in line for a share of one million pounds! The payout is usually split between the finder and the land owner.)

The Telegraph URL I gave seems to have been corrupted somewhere along the line - let's try again:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ear...ure-hunters-1m-find-of-Anglo-Saxon-coins.html

That seems to work now. :)
 

Swifty

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Your attitude seems rather selfish. Not only that, but you could be missing out on big money by not reporting finds.
(In the story I mentioned above, the finder is in line for a share of one million pounds! The payout is usually split between the finder and the land owner.)[/QUOTE]

Fair point ..

 
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rynner2

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Cornwall mud finds are declared treasure

Items found in Cornish mud will be shown to the public after being declared treasure.
The items include a silver Tudor dress hook, a solid silver bodkin - a type of hairpin, made in 1657 - and an inscribed gold ring.

They were found by metal detectorists who are required by law to report valuable finds.
They will be on show in the Hands on History Hub exhibition from 12 March at the Royal Cornwall Museum.
The finds, called "declared treasure" at an inquest, were found at an unnamed spot in west Cornwall.
They also include one half of a pair of silver cufflinks with an image of a flaming heart stamped into it.

The finds could result in a reward for their finders or could be returned to them depending on legal proceedings which follow such discoveries.
Royal Cornwall Museum finds officer Anna Tyacke: "We go to the detectorist club meetings every month to take finds in.
"We are on call night and day to find treasure."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cornwall-31825003

(Pics on page)

They're being a bit coy about the site of the finds. Even if the precise location is kept secret, we normally get a general location, like "in a field near Exeville, Cornwall". And any field can be muddy after rain, especially if animals graze there! So "found in Cornish mud" suggests to me tidal mud flats or similar. There are not too many of those in West Cornwall. Hayle estuary is probably the largest.

On my website (URL on the left), I wrote:

"Hayle Harbour is a shallow natural harbour, formed where several streams join together and make their way to the sea through the sands of St Ives Bay. It was once more extensive, but reclamation and natural silting have reduced its size. St Erth in the south was once at the lowest crossing point of the River Hayle, but travellers between St Just or St Ives, and the east of the county, found this a long detour south. Some brave souls would attempt to cross the sands of the estuary at low tide, but that was a risky business, so in 1825 a causeway was built across the harbour to the north of St Erth. The part of the harbour to the north of the causeway is called Lelant Saltings after the village on its north shore..."

It's easy to imagine travellers, three or four hundred years ago, losing possessions (if not their lives) when caught by the tide while attempting to cross the harbour.

Another possibility might be Marazion Marshes. These are not tidal nowadays, but probably were before the sea wall from Marazion towards Penzance was built. Again, travellers were probably caught out there. Today the place is a bird sanctuary, run by the RSPB, and I suspect that they might not welcome detectorists!

I'll be looking out for more info on these finds, and will probably visit the RCM in due course to see them.
 
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G

GeorgeP

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Other than regarding the obvious risk of losing important historical finds, it's always frustrated me that metal detector people, having spent their own money buying the machine in the first place, used their own historical knowledge and spent their own time shivering in a muddy field to eventually find something valuable ....... and then turn it over to 'authoritys' (who didn't buy a machine, didn't put the leg work in in the first place and mostly probably couldn't care less ) .. someone dropped something valuable centuries ago, so no moral dilemma there .. and all of a sudden it becomes state treasure? ... bullshit ... I'm keeping my finds, sorry museums around the world. Finders keepers ..

I agree totally with what you've said here. IF they want your find, let them pay for it!
 

rynner2

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IF they want your find, let them pay for it!
But they do, if you declare it!

If you don't, you're left with a useless lump of metal - you can't eat it, and it has no other practical use.

Keep it to yourself and you're just a hoarder. Share it with the nation and you could earn a few quid, and get your name recorded as the discoverer. There's no benefit to not declaring finds.
 
G

GeorgeP

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Ok, that makes sense rynner2. Ive always thought about giving the metal detecting a go myself - especially with there being quite a few roman sites in my area.

What laws are in place regarding the land you pick to explore. Any links would be helpful.

Thanks
 

rynner2

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What laws are in place regarding the land you pick to explore. Any links would be helpful.

Thanks
I'm no expert in this field (or in this mud!), but one or two folks upthread seem to know more than me.
Or you could contact a local detectorist club.

Happy hunting!
 
G

GeorgeP

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cheers for that. Theres some caves Ive always wanted to sniff around :)
 

Swifty

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But they do, if you declare it!

If you don't, you're left with a useless lump of metal - you can't eat it, and it has no other practical use.

Keep it to yourself and you're just a hoarder. Share it with the nation and you could earn a few quid, and get your name recorded as the discoverer. There's no benefit to not declaring finds.

Keep it to myself and I can sell it on to private buyers. Share it with the nation and I could earn a lot few quid less than the more quid I'd earn being the right full finder and new owner of said previously unknown treasure fairly found and otherwise never would have been if I hadn't put the hard work in .. unless a find is truly culture changing amazing, no one could care less who put the leg work in to find it ..
 

rynner2

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Keep it to myself and I can sell it on to private buyers.
Ah! So you're part of a criminal network!

And if your find is 'culture changing amazing', who will know about it apart from your private buyers? And what value do they get from it? As before, they can't eat it, and they can't even publically display it. It's just selfish hoarding.

Down with this kind of thing!
 

Swifty

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I know my attitude makes you cross and I understand (I think) why, but consider this .. you're walking down the road tomorrow and that gold ring on you finger falls off ... lost forever ... in a few hundred years time, some enthusiast finds it through there own efforts .. why were you so important? ... were you doing something historic or were you just drunk? .. did that ring fall off your finger because you were fighting some historic campaign .. weary, you collapsed and all that's left is that ring? ... or had you lost weight through self neglect? ... or had you stolen that ring and then lost it .. who'll ever know how valiant the person was and why there belongings ended up where they did? ... maybe the person who lost the ring was a selfish hoarder and dropped it on the way to a meeting of other selfish hoarders? ... stuff gets dropped all the time for all kinds of reasons ... I'm aware that you can't eat metallic things that you find in the ground and how can anything be criminal if the person who lost the object is long dead?
 

Frideswide

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I need to stay away from this thread. Everything I loath about the MeMeMe attitude on display in the context of something I believe passionately belongs to, and contributes to, the common weal.

:(:(:(:(
 

rynner2

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... or had you stolen that ring and then lost it .. who'll ever know how valiant the person was and why there belongings ended up where they did? ... maybe the person who lost the ring was a selfish hoarder and dropped it on the way to a meeting of other selfish hoarders? ... stuff gets dropped all the time for all kinds of reasons ... I'm aware that you can't eat metallic things that you find in the ground and how can anything be criminal if the person who lost the object is long dead?

Whatever possible misdemeanors may occurred in the past, or who the past owners of these objects may have been, is not the point.

The point is that, as Friedswide says, stuff like this is part of the 'the common weal' - it should belong to all of us, now. Someone who displays a dog-in-the-manger attitude and keeps stuff to himself deprives everyone else of the pleasure of seeing it, or even knowing about it. It also deprives us of what science may discover about the finds, using high-tech methods of analysis which are probably beyond the abilities of someone who hoards his finds in a tin under the bed.

All in all, it's better to share. And if the state rewards the finder, he not only gets the kudos of making the find, he gets the dosh too - it's a win-win situation! :)
 
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rynner2

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Alternatively, think of it as Citizen Science. Which it is, if you share.
 

marion

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If you want to detect on private land you need permission from the owner. You can cold canvas farmers but a lot will either already have a detectorist working on their land or they don't want the bother for various reasons. You need to be personable and persuasive, it can apparently be very difficult to find a 'permission'. If you know someone with lands it is obviously much easier. There are also open events where you pay to detect on land as part of a larger group. Farmland is increasingly being polluted by contaminated green waste, this is supposed to be compost used a fertiliser but in reality is full of household waste. It makes land impossible to detect on. A good detectorist will also collect and record pottery, glass and flint finds as well as metal.

Edit, I learned all this here http://www.forumukdetectornet.co.uk/phpBB3/ it is a good resource.
 

Swifty

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Whatever possible misdemeanors may occurred in the past, or who the past owners of these objects may have been, is not the point.

The point is that, as Friedswide says, stuff like this is part of the 'the common weal' - it should belong to all of us, now. Someone who displays a dog-in-the-manger attitude and keeps stuff to himself deprives everyone else of the pleasure of seeing it, or even knowing about it. It also deprives us of what science may discover about the finds, using high-tech methods of analysis which are probably beyond the abilities of someone who hoards his finds in a tin under the bed.

All in all, it's better to share. And if the state rewards the finder, he not only gets the kudos of making the find, he gets the dosh too - it's a win-win situation! :)

.. without using google, name your top 3 most favourite kudos earning celebrity treasure finders (other than Indiana Jones) .. and who's to say that hoarders finds don't end up in museums eventually anyway? ... Einstien's brain sections turned up in a jar under someone's kitchen sink and are now available for study ..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Einstein's_brain
 

Analogue Boy

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.. without using google, name your top 3 most favourite kudos earning celebrity treasure finders (other than Indiana Jones) .. and who's to say that hoarders finds don't end up in museums eventually anyway? ... Einstien's brain sections turned up in a jar under someone's kitchen sink and are now available for study ..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Einstein's_brain

1. Sarah Brightman. Apart from using her cash to go into space actually owns one of the 'Three Pricks of Jesus'.
2. Barry Helafonte. Musical shaman who imbued a wooden mask with a magical calypso spell that turns immigrants into proper UK citizens.
3. Michael Caine. ActorAlchemist who transformed shit performances into gold and houses.
 
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