Tag 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: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-13637861

The Guardian’s coverage of the PAS annual report launch: http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2011/may/25/metal-detector-ancient-england-maps

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

Some Roman coins of the usurper Allectus

Some Roman coins of the usurper Allectus

Flatbed scanning and image manipulation technology have come a long way since 1997 when I first made Coins of the Romans Relating to Britain By John Y. Akerman, 1836, available for free on the internet! (See some of my earlier and more primitive scanning attempts here) So I have been revisiting this classic work to provide better quality images of the interesting woodcuts of roman coins contained in this book:

Roman coin - Allectus Adventus
Woodcut of a roman coin of Allectus (293-296AD)

Above: Obverse. IMP ALLECTVS P F AVG. Imperator Allectus Pius Felix Augustus.

Reverse. ADVENTVS AVG. Adventus Augusti. Allectus on horseback, his right hand raised, his left holding the hasta: before, a captive seated on the ground: in the exergue, S P C.

A very unusual coin, for Allectus at least, this particlar reverse is very similar to the now famous denarius of Carausius from the Frome Hoard, found by metal detectorist Dave Crisp. Roman Coins and Their Values, 4th revised edition, doesn’t list this particular coin, could it be a forgery inspired by the Carausius denarius, or just a very rare issue of Allectus?

Roman coin of Allectus, Galley type
Woodcut of a roman coin of Allectus (293-296AD)

Above: The classic coin of Allectus, the Galley reverse. RCV lists three different ‘Galley’ types.

See also: Coins of the Romans Relating to Britain, Plates I-VI

Celtic gold coins found whilst volunteering for an archaeological unit

Celtic gold staters of Tasciovanus, king of the Catuvellauni tribe

Celtic gold staters of Tasciovanus. Celtic gold coins.
Celtic gold staters of Tasciovanus. Celtic gold coins.

Celtic gold stater (right) and quarter stater (left) of Tasciovanus, king of the Catuvellauni tribe (from around 20BC until around 9AD) and father of Cunobelin, that I found whilst volunteering for an archaeological unit. Equipment used was a Compass Coin Pro II metal detector and a massive yellow JCB in place of my usual Black ADA. These photos turned out pretty well considering they were taken on the cover of one of my finds log books that was sitting on the boot of the presiding archaeologists car!

Celtic gold staters of Tasciovanus. Celtic gold coins.
Celtic gold staters of Tasciovanus. Celtic gold coins.

Payment received by me for these two rare gold coins? £0.00p. If they were acquired by a museum after the Treasure Act inquest (I was not told what happened to the coins after that point) at St Albans Coroners Court, they certainly got a bargain! The FLO who attended the inquest as expert witness certainly seemed impressed. They are certainly among my all time favourite metal detecting finds! Celtic gold coins found whilst volunteering for an archaeological unit forum thread.
Celtic gold stater of Tasciovanus

Celtic gold staters of Tasciovanus. Celtic gold coins.
Celtic gold staters of Tasciovanus. Celtic gold coins.
Celtic gold staters of Tasciovanus. Celtic gold coins.
Celtic gold staters of Tasciovanus. Celtic gold coins.

Celtic gold quarter stater of Tasciovanus

Celtic gold quarter stater of Tasciovanus

Metal Detecting UK

Mystery metal detecting finds – Roman dodecahedron

Mystery metal detecting finds – Roman dodecahedron

Roman dodecahedron - mystery metal detecting finds
Photograph of a Roman dodecahedron from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Schwarzenacker_Pentagondodekaeder1.jpg

Ever found one of these? Roman dodecahedra are believed to date from the second and third century AD, and range from 4 to 11cm in size. There are many theories about what they may have been used for, but I believe they were used as portable personal altars, possibly to a water god or spirit, others have said that they may have been used as candle holders as some of known examples were found with wax on them. They are certainly one of the more strange items that you might uncover whilst metal detecting.

Roman dodecahedra are objects that may not be immediately recognizable to a lot of metal detectorists, and I have often wondered how many more of them might be out there! If you have ever found one, leave a comment or drop me an email.

Roman dodecahedron - mystery metal detecting finds
Photograph of a Roman dodecahedron from wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Roman_dodecahedron.jpg

Other links:

Metal Detecting UK

Dallinghoo/Wickham Market Hoard – metal detecting find fund-raising

Metal detecting find fund-raising – The Dallinghoo/Wickham Market Hoard

Dallinghoo/Wickham Market Hoard, 840 Iron Age gold staters of the Iceni tribe, found by metal detectorists in 2008.
Dallinghoo/Wickham Market Hoard, 840 Iron Age gold staters of the Iceni tribe, found by metal detectorists in 2008. Photograph courtesy of the Portable Antiquities Scheme.

Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service have apparently begun a fund raising effort to secure the Dallinghoo/Wickham Market Hoard of 840 Iron Age gold staters found by two metal detectorists in 2008. The Dallinghoo/Wickham Market Hoard is one of the largest hoards of iron age gold staters ever discovered. The 840 gold staters date from around 40 BC–15 AD.

This metal detecting find received a fair bit of coverage in the news after a very public falling out between the two finders, Michael Darke (or Dark, depending on source) and Keith Lewis.

The BBC reports that Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service hope to display this fantastic metal detecting find at Ipswich Museum, but I have not been able to find any details or information about the fund-raising effort on their various web sites as yet, so if you want to support the campaign to keep this find in Essex, you could try getting in touch with Ipswich Museum directly:

Ipswich Museum
High Street
Ipswich IP1 3QH

Tel: 01473 433550
Fax: 01473 433558 [Wow, people still use faxes? wtf?]

I’ll update if an online fund-raising campaign is launched.

‘Treasure house’ of the North Thames tribes discovered – largest find of Iron Age gold in UK history

‘Treasure house’ of the North Thames tribes discovered – largest find of Iron Age gold in UK history

Metal detectorists in Hertfordshire discover the ‘Treasure house’ of the North Thames tribes – the single largest find of Iron Age gold in history. Found just outside St. Albans, the hoard of 52,504 gold staters and over 200 neck torcs is set to re-write the history books.

A group of archaeologists called in to excavate the find videoed the recovery of what has been called ‘the most stunning metal detecting find in history’ and are releasing the tapes on YouTube:

'Treasure house' of the North Thames tribes discovered

Expect to see plenty about this incredible discovery on the news all day today!

Metal Detecting UK

The Return of a Legend – Arado Metal Detectors Back in Business!

Arado Metal Detectors Back in Business! – The Return of a Legend

If it was April I would suspect an elaborate April Fool’s joke, but this seems to be for real – Arado are making a new metal detector!

Arado 320 Deep-seeking Analytical Detector
“The Arado 320 Deep-seeking Analytical Detector has been designed to achieve greatest possible depth on desired objects at the same time as giving highly accurate identification of unwanted iron.”

The Arado 120B is the stuff of legend, almost 30 years later, the original Arado metal detectors sometimes change hands for sums of money above and beyond their original recommended retail price.

Hard to believe the Arado 120B was originally released in 1978! As a kid I always wanted the Arado 130, but I never had the money and later ended up getting the C-Scope 1220B. And yes, I still have the C-Scope 1220B and it still works brilliantly!

Although Arado have returned to the hobby industry, I am no closer to achieving my dream of owning an Arado, the new Arado hobby model, the Arado 320, retails for around £1295. Still cheaper than an Minelab E-Trac, but still more money than I’ve got.

The Searcher Magazine reports that they will be publishing an independent field test report on the Arado 320 in the October issue. I for one can’t wait to see how the new Arado fairs against the Minelabs!

For some pointless but wonderful metal detecting nostalgia, be sure to check out this page on the Arado website, seeing all those old adverts brought the memories flooding back! [Sadly this link is now dead, I’ll update if Arado brings the page back – 13/05/2015]