Category Archives: Metal Detecting

Metal Detector Field Tests and Book Reviews

Metal Detector Field Tests and Metal Detecting Related Book Reviews

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Metal detecting ‘helping to preserve Britain’s history’

A nice video about metal detecting from the BBC:

The Guardian’s coverage of the PAS annual report launch:

This will be my last blog post for the foreseeable future.

An ancient Greek metal detecting find – revisited

An ancient Greek metal detecting find – revisited

I posted this picture a few days back, probably my favourite metal detecting find of all time, an ancient greek coin minted in Italy. I found this coin almost 20 years ago and didn’t notice until just now – there seems to be writing just above the bull’s back:

An ancient Greek metal detecting find - Thurium bull ancient greek coin
An ancient Greek metal detecting find – Thurium bull ancient greek coin

Can’t believe it took me this long to notice! The writing isn’t ‘eye visible’ on the coin itself, but the camera certainly seems to have picked it up. Time to break out the flatbed scanner and photoshop, wonder if I can enhance it enough to make it readable?

Metal Detecting UK

Cartwheel penny found with a metal detector for comparison

Cartwheel penny found with a metal detector for comparison

Cartwheel penny found with a metal detector
Thought this coin would make for an interesting comparison with the Cartwheel two pence coins I posted a few days ago. Above and below: A cartwheel one penny coin found with a metal detector. The pitting and corrosion on this coin is a testament to the hostile soil conditions found in many places in the UK, and the high quality copper used by the Soho Mint in its manufacture. On a long enough time line, copper coins and artefacts exposed to hostile soils conditions, not to mention the chemicals used in modern intensive farming, dissolve away to nothing.
Cartwheel penny found with a metal detector

These photographs are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Which means you can take them for use on your own web site etc. as long as they are properly attributed.

Metal Detecting UK

Interesting British Museum document on the analysis of the Coenwulf Mancus

The analysis of the Coenwulf Mancus

Analysis of a gold mancus of Coenwulf of Mercia and other comparable coins by Gareth Williams and Michael Cowell [PDF]

This very interesting document describes not only the Coenwulf Mancus and the various processes the British Museum used to examine and authenticate it, but also shows the other six ‘later’ Anglo-Saxon gold coins in the British Museum’s collection. There are only eight known ‘later’ Anglo-Saxon gold coins in existence, seven held at the BM and number eight is in a museum in France, or Belgium or somewhere, can’t remember.

Also, there was a great photo of a Coenwulf silver penny on page 37 of the November issue of The Searcher.

Metal Detecting UK

Early 17th century book fittings as the book binder intended

Metal fittings from old books are relatively common metal detecting finds!

Early 17th century book fittingsSome early 17th century book fittings as the book binder intended! This book was bound, probably in Oxford, in around 1618-1620. The book has undoubtedly seen better days and the repair to the spine is really quite unfortunate.
Early 17th century book fittings

Early 17th century book fittings

Early 17th century book fittingsOne of the most touching things about books like this are the personal notes about births, deaths and notable incidents made by the owners. This one also contains the recipes for folk remedies to various ailments.

Early 17th century book fittings

Metal Detecting UK

Frome Hoard Fundraising – The 1st of February 2011 deadline draws closer

Somerset Museum in Taunton has until February 1, 2011 to raise the £320,250 purchase price of the Frome Hoard. On top of the purchase price, money also needs to be raised to cover the ongoing costs of conserving the 52,503 third century Roman coins, discovered by metal detectorist Dave Crisp. You can donate to the Frome Hoard campaign fund online via the Art Fund web site. Not only has the Art Fund already donated £40,250 to the Frome Hoard campaign fund, but they will match, pound for pound, donations by members of the public up to a total value of £10,000.

Another way of supporting the campaign to keep the Frome Hoard in Somerset is to buy the Frome Hoard book: The Frome Hoard by Sam Moorhead, Anna Booth and Roger Bland on, a snip at £4.49 delivered. 50p from every sale of the Frome Hoard book goes towards the campaign fund and the cost of conserving the coins. Worth every penny of the cover price for the stunning photographs of the coins of Carausius alone!

Chris Rudd releases Celtic coin book (at long last!)

Chris Rudd releases Celtic coin book

At long last – Chris Rudd, one of the worlds foremost experts on British Celtic coins, has released a book, Ancient British Coins, here’s the blurb:

“Never before have so many ancient British coins been so easy to identify, so easy to study, so easy to enjoy. ABC catalogues 999 iron age coins, including 418 new types not shown by Van Arsdell in 1989. ABC describes and dates them, gives up to six references for each, estimates their rarity and shows every coin twice actual size, so that its distinctive differences can be seen at a glance. ABC took ten years to produce, has 256 fact-packed pages and contains 4000 superb coin photos, plus 500 other illustrations, diagrams, tables and maps.

ABC is a picture book, not a lecture book. “ABC is a remarkable achievement” says Prof. Miranda Aldhouse-Green. “It manages to combine scholarship and accessible information in a volume whose every page is interesting and whose writing style makes it fun to use.” ABC is a large hardback book (30 x 20 cm), light in style, heavy in weight (1.5 kgs) – “an indispensable aid to anyone wanting to identify British iron age coins” says Prof. Colin Haselgrove – worth every penny of its £75 plus postage. Buy ABC direct from Chris Rudd.

At £75 plus £10 postage and packing, it isn’t the cheapest book in the world, but when you consider that the next best guide is R. D. Van Arsdell’s book, which is out of print, (and will cost you at least £150 if you are lucky enough to find someone foolish enough to sell their copy) this book is going to be a fantastic investment for metal detectorists, coin collectors and archaeologists a like! And with Chris Rudd at the helm, you know the production values of this book will be fantastic! I haven’t been this excited about a book release in years!

Order Ancient British Coins by Chris Rudd on

Metal Detecting UK

Bronze Age hoard found below plough soil in Essex field (the Burnham hoard)

Bronze Age hoard found below plough soil in Essex field (the Burnham hoard)

A rare Bronze Age founders hoard, buried in a pot in an Essex field, has been excavated by archaeologists after being discovered by metal detectorists. The excavation was recorded by 360Production who uploaded the following video to YouTube:

Laura McLean, Finds Liaison Officer (FLO) for the Portable Antiquities Scheme, told the BBC that “This is a really exciting find and a good example of metal detectorists and archaeologists working together to uncover and record our history, making sure it is not lost forever”

Founders hoards are usually found scattered in the soil of ploughed fields, the vessel or bag they were originally buried in having perished in antiquity, to find one not only intact and in its original context, but also still in the pot, is highly unusual!

Well done to Mr J. Humphreys, the finder, and everybody else involved! Check out the story on the BBC website and the excavation video for further details.

Metal Detecting UK