A Most Unusual Bell

An Unusual Bell

My good friend Steve unearthed this rather unusual bell the other day. The field he found it in was full of flints and so, naturally, the artifact had suffered a little, along with being slightly crushed. When you’re metal detecting you tend to come across a wide variety of bells. From tiny Roman temple ones, open cut out late Roman ones, Rumblers, Crotals, Clappers and sometimes large fragments of local bell casting alloys – there’s a huge range of potential finds. Read more of this post

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A Rare Find Indeed

SundialRecently my detecting colleague and I acquired some new land. It was pasture land and I had to admit at the time that I’ve never been keen on metal detecting on pasture, despite the fact that finds are often in much better condition when pulled out of the earth here than when they’re discovered on arable land.  Read more of this post

Spurred on to Detect

SpurAfter all the rain, Steve and I decided to search a site that we hadn’t been to for a while. It was drier than most places and this influenced our decision. To be honest, I can’t say I was all that keen to go. The last time I was there, myself and a few others cleaned up what little we thought remained, which turned out to be nothing more than three bits of lead. However, after the recent weather it was good to get out, so I begrudgingly agreed to try again. Read more of this post

Guest Post: What Better Feeling

Ploughed FieldAny enthusiastic detectorist will be familiar with the feeling of deep joy that comes when their favourite sites are ploughed. It forecasts a new crop of exciting finds, waiting to be discovered in the weeks ahead. Read more of this post

Guest Post: Ripping Off A Thousand Flowers?

Roman Brooch

Year on year, all kinds of Roman brooches are unearthed by metal detectorists. The example shown here is of a variety known as the Umbonate type. It appears to have been machined or lathed to quite a precise finish, as opposed to being cast. It is very thin having lost its 2000 year or so battle against the plough, amongst other things. And yet it still has its pin – something that is always a bonus with Roman brooches. Read more of this post

Guest Post: Axe head found with the Minelab Safari

Axe HeadI just love metal detecting based mysteries and recently came across a fascinating one. My friend Steve recovered an axe-head from just over two feet down in a layer of hard pack gravel. He was using his Minelab Safari metal detector and, when I saw him recover this artifact, I was astounded at the depth from which it had come. All I can say is that the conditions that day must have been optimum, either that or there are some non-ferrous impurities in the axe head. Read more of this post

Guest Post: Helpful Animals…

Detecting Finds

Something that often gets overlooked by those who metal detect are the diggings of animals, such as rabbits, moles, foxes and badgers, and the contribution this can make to discoveries. Where these animals dig and ‘excavate’ near to known settlement sites, it is often worth checking the soil that they ‘kick out’ during the process of tunneling to see what they have turned up. I have seen oyster shells, tile and pottery excavated from great depths by badgers and even found Roman coins near an old fox den. Read more of this post

Guest Post: Metal Detecting Research

Metal Detecting ResearchWe all know that researching our finds is an important part of the metal detecting process. How many of us have felt we have no real interest in something – that is until we actually come across an example of it. A few years back, for example, I found a lovely medieval spoon and for ages afterwards I was looking up a whole range of information to get a better idea of what I had found – and it hasn’t stopped there of course, far from it!

There are a few events from the past, in particular, that stick in my mind, as they have been the result of similar research. Returning the dog tag to an American family from one of their close relatives was without doubt one of the most emotional moments – for all parties concerned. Another occurred after I located a small stainless steel penknife that had belonged to one of the crew of a German bomber I was excavating. It was manufactured by a company that guaranteed it ‘Rostfrei’ (Rust Free) and when I made contact with the company their director, with typical German efficiency, finally asked, “Is our product still rust free?” Read more of this post

Guest Post: Metal Detecting Birds

In relation to, and connected to, my recent blog about animals digging, there is something else worth considering, in terms of the opportunities for making detecting discoveries. This factor is migratory bird stopping spots – or, in fact, any large gathering of birds that you see time and time again at the same place in a field. Read more of this post

Guest Post: Roman Brooches – Pure Delight

One of the most awe-inspiring finds that I like to make on Roman sites are brooches. I don’t think a metal detectorist ever forgets their first Roman brooch. Most are just plain with slight decoration on them perhaps just an incised line or moulded bump. Some however are amazing with bright enamels and tinning as if made a few days ago.

Fibula Brooch Read more of this post