Minestrone of History

Detecting FindsThis is something of potential interest that I have been considering for some time now, and I’m sure it’s not the only case in existence. Yes, it is only a theory, but I can find no other plausible reason for such things.

One of my sites is a tiny field, in which once stood a Georgian manor house and its outbuildings. I have determined the manor house site by high status finds and pottery shards, as well as pieces of fine bone china cups and old wine bottles. The sites of the stables have been established by further finds of copper alloy loops and harness fittings.

I have also come across more than 200 worn Georgian coins within the site, along with many Georgian spoons and candlestick sections. Yet despite this Georgian treasure trove hiding in the earth, it is in fact the other finds that have completely captivated me.

This humble little field is also home to numerous Celt, Roman, Saxon, Viking and Mediaeval artifacts, in a concentration too high to be natural losses from all these periods.

Over in one corner is an ancient building that I initially believed to be Roman because of Quern stones and tile, as well as the discovery of several large Roman coins. However, after working the site methodically over the years, the Mediaeval hammered coinage has far exceeded Roman finds on this particular section of the site. I have therefore concluded that it is far more likely to be a 13 – 14th Century building that was made largely using materials from the large Roman site nearby.

And so my theory is thus… As the mediaeval builders gathered potential materials from the aforementioned site, they came across the odd coin that they brought home. The reuse of much older building materials, along with the Roman coins, had thrown me off what I was actually dealing with here.

I believe that this habit of collecting carried on well into the early 19th Century; that the level of finds here can only mean one thing: that Georgian farm workers out in the fields came across metallic items from all ages, and out of curiosity, brought them home, just as their ancestors had done.Detecting Finds

The result today is a field littered with finds from all ages in a density that is just far too great. The highest concentration of finds that span the ages, interestingly occur in the outbuilding and stable areas.

So when you stumble on a site that has a higher-than-usual yield of diverse history, perhaps a scenario such as the one I propose can explain it. Of course it may just be possible that everyone from the Celts onwards liked living on this particular patch of field because it is a good habitation site; though I find it somewhat hard to believe.

About Julian Evan-Hart
Julian is from Hertfordshire, England and has always been interested in fossils and antiquities. Julian has written a number of books on metal detecting, and is an avid user of Minelab products.

One Response to Minestrone of History

  1. Simon Cox says:

    Great finds … and interesting theory .. is there a good source of fresh water nearby ?

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