Tag Archives: metal

Crosby Garrett Roman Helmet Latest News

The BBC is reporting that an anonymous donor has not only pledged £50,000 to the Crosby Garrett Roman Helmet Appeal, but has promised to match every contribution to Tullie House Museum’s appeal fund pound for pound. No reports, as yet, on whether the appeal will receive money from those high-profile arts and archaeology funds mentioned in an earlier blog.

More on the donation from the Granuid.

The Crosby Garrett Roman Helmet now has an Wikipedia article.

You can donate online to the Crosby Garrett Helmet Appeal here: http://www.justgiving.com/Tullie-House-Crosby-Garrett-Roman-Helmet-Appeal

Reviews of Metal Detecting Related Books

Over the coming weeks I am going to start reviewing metal detecting and metal detecting related books. I’m not going to stick to newly released titles, I’m planning to write up some very old treasure hunting classics and other books that have been around a few years. The first books I’ll be reviewing are listed here:

  • The Vale of York Hoard by Gareth Williams and Barry Ager
  • Early Anglo-Saxon Coins by Gareth Williams
  • Treasure Hoards of East Anglia by Mark Mitchels
  • Romano-British Coin Hoards by Richard Abdy
  • Beginners Guide to Metal Detecting by Julian Evan-Hart and David Stuckey
  • The New Gold Panning is Easy by Roy Lagal
  • Various “golden oldies” by Ted Fletcher and others

I’m looking for reader suggestions for the new book reviews section. Which books do you want to see reviewed? Got strong opinions about a particular book? Whose books do you really like or whose books do you really hate? Leave some comments and let me know!

When the reviews are added to the main site, you can find the Metal Detecting Book Reviews here.

Interesting German Metal Detecting Site

I haven’t seen many English language sites from detectorists in Germany, but i found this one recently. He has certainly made some interesting finds, including a sub-machine gun from world war two!

It is a real shame that there aren’t more english language german metal detecting sites (or a great shame that I didn’t pay more attention in German class at school), as Germany has a very interesting history.

It would be amazing to find something that had belonged to a member of the Germanic Tribes who defeated the Varus Legions at the Battle of Teutoburg Forest, probably the most shocking defeat of a roman army in the entire history of the empire, or even a coin or piece of armor that had belonged to a fleeing roman soldier.

The site of the battle Teutoburg forest was actually rediscovered by a British metal detectorist, Major Tony Clunn, who was serving with the British Army in Germany.

Alan Turing’s Silver Bars – Story From an Old Issue of Treasure Hunting?

Alan Turing’s Silver Bars – Story From an Old Issue of Treasure Hunting?

Anybody remember this story?

Alan Turing, the genius who cracked the German Enigma coding machines, was said to have converted all of his money into silver bars and then concealed them somewhere in Bletchley Park. At the end of the war, Turing returned to dig up his hoard using the map he had drawn when he buried the silver bars several years earlier, try as he might, he was never able to relocate them.

It seems a pretty unlikely story, but nevertheless, I am trying to find out where and when the story was originally published. I am pretty sure it appeared in an old issue of Treasure Hunting Magazine, but does anybody know which one?

Metal Detecting UK

Photographing metal detecting finds with a cheap digital microscope, Part II

A couple more shots with the cheap, perhaps too cheap, digital microscope. Roman coin of Gallienus:Publius Licinius Egnatius Gallienus - 218 – 268Roman coins picturing mythical creatures are among my favourite finds, so I’m glad this one came out pretty well!Publius Licinius Egnatius Gallienus - 218 – 268Not bad!

Now for a hammered silver:

Hammered Silver photographed with a cheap digital microscopeHammered Silver photographed with a cheap digital microscopeNot bad going! I was searching around on the web last night and found that Lindner (the coin and stamp storage box people) make a digital microscope that is similar in design to the one I am using but looks a lot better made, not to mention being a lot more expensive. Might be worth trying out some time!

Update: I’ve just heard from The Searcher Magazine that they reviewed the Lindner digital microscope in the August 2008 issue, on page 20.

Photographing metal detecting finds with a cheap digital microscope

I’ve been messing around with a cheap digital microscope to see how useful it would be for photographing metal detecting finds:

PLON - London mint of ConstantineCoin of Crispus minted in London, pretty blurry.
Flavius Magnus Magnentius coin with very early roman christian iconographyCoin of Magnentius with very early roman christian iconography.

The picture of the coin of Magnentius isn’t too bad, I think I need to work on my focusing. One of the problems with the digital microscope I am using is that it is very difficult to focus the thing without moving it, which means you have to focus it again. Maybe practise makes perfect?

Although I made sure that the microscope would work with Windows 7 when I bought it, the microscope software is clearly not fully compatible with Microsoft’s latest operating system as the software window does not display properly, rendering some of the microscopes functions unusable.

Even with my poor job of focusing, it is clear that the image quality will never match that of a half decent digital camera. Maybe the more expensive digital microscopes can produce better quality images, I’ll have to see if I can borrow one from somewhere and find out.

Although I am going to continue messing around with this digital microscope, it doesn’t seem that it will be all that good for finds, it is a lot of fun to play with though!

Maybe I can get better images out of it once I am more familiar with it, or can find a software upgrade that will make the microscope fully compatible with windows 7!

More pictures tomorrow if I get time!

And all this messing around with digital microscopes reminds me that I need to get the guide to photographing coins and artifacts pages done for the main web site!

Viking silver ingot found on Isle of Man declared as treasure

http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/isleofman/hi/people_and_places/newsid_8995000/8995795.stm

A viking silver ingot weighing 20 grams has been declared treasure on the Isle of Man. The silver ingot was found by John Crowe in October 2009, in a field in Andreas.

(With thanks to  TheSearcherMag, who posted this story on twitter)

Tullie House launches urgent appeal to keep Crosby Garrett Roman Helmet in Cumbria

From: http://www.tulliehouse.co.uk/romanhelmetappeal [Link now dead]

“Please help us to keep this signifcant find in Cumbria. See the images below.

Pledge your support by phoning Tullie House on 01228 618743 or join our Tullie House facebook group

Tullie House launches urgent appeal to keep rare Roman Helmet in Cumbria

A Roman helmet of national significance, found locally in Crosby Garrett, North Cumbria, will be auctioned on 7th October. Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery is launching an urgent public and corporate appeal to help to secure this exceptionally rare Roman Cavalry Parade Helmet, dating from the end of the 1st to mid 3rd century AD, as a centrepiece for its new £1.5m Roman Frontier: stories beyond Hadrian’s Wall gallery, due to open summer 2011.

There are only two other comparable helmets known in the UK and neither of these is as complete or elaborate as the Cumbrian example that is a Roman copper-alloy two-piece face mask visor helmet. This type of mask is characterised by idealised (Greek) youthful male faces, mostly clean-shaven, with luxuriant curly and wavy hair.

According to an extract in the diary of Flavius Arranius, 136AD, ‘those of high rank or superior horsemanship wear gilded helmets to draw attention of the spectators. Unlike helmets made for active service, they are made to fit all round the faces of the riders with apertures for the eyes.’

Tullie House’s archaeology collections are extensive with a particularly important collection of Roman Cumbria material, especially from Carlisle and the Hadrian’s Wall area. In the development of its collections Tullie House prioritises artefacts that are judged to be of high importance to the local heritage and to ensure that items remain or are returned to Cumbria.

Tullie House needs to raise between £300-400,000to secure this major Roman artefact and is launching an urgent public and corporate appeal to encourage individuals and businesses to pledge their support now to keep the Cumbrian Roman Helmet in Cumbria.”

Please support this effort if you are able!

Metal Detecting Accessory Bargain of the Year – Mini Spade for Under £4

Metal Detecting Accessory Bargain of the Year – Mini Spade for Under £4

Silverline Mini Round Nose Shovel - mini spade
Silverline Mini Round Nose Shovel – mini spade

Take a look at this: Silverline Mini Round Nose Shovel. That has to be the metal detecting accessory bargain of the year, a mini spade delivered from Amazon.co.uk for under £4!

I can’t comment on the quality because I haven’t got mine yet, but for £3.17 you probably can’t go wrong.

The “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought” section on the product page suggests that a lot of detectorists have been buying this digger. Anybody received one of them already? What is the build quality like?

The Crosby Garrett Helmet – Best Detecting Find Ever (Maybe)

Take a look at the latest Christie’s catalogue, the Roman Cavalryman’s helmet pictured on the cover was found by a metal detectorist in Crosby Garrett, Cumbria in May 2010 and was recorded by the Finds Liaison Officer at Tullie House Museum.

The helmet dates from the late first to second centuries AD, is made from tinned bronze and is 16 inches high. Christies have placed an estimate of £200,000-£300,000 on the helmet, which seems, to me at least, to be a very conservative estimate on such a large and significant piece of Roman military equipment. I would be very surprised if the auctioneer’s hammer came down at anything less than half a million pounds.

My major concern about this incredible metal detecting find is who will buy it? Does the Tullie House Museum have the cash to buy this incredible piece of Roman military history? Is the British Museum waiting in the wings for auction day to rush in and save it for the nation? After all of the post credit crunch cut backs, does the British Museum even have the money in reserve to buy it? The sale takes place on Thursday 7 October 2010, so time is short, if there isn’t a rescue plan in place is there time to organise one?

My biggest fear is that the Crosby Garrett Helmet is destined to leave our shores forever. Could the helmet go to the US, Japan or who knows where else? Surely any attempt to export the helmet would be blocked?

I would love to see the Crosby Garrett Helmet go to the Tullie House Museum, but if not to Tullie House, then the British Museum would be the next best thing. I just hope the helmet stays in this country and that the helmet ends up somewhere the general public can go and see it.

Is the Crosby Garrett Helmet the best metal detecting find ever? It may well be. I have certainly added stunning Roman Cavalryman’s helmet to my “must find” list!

There are more pictures and information about the helmet in the online edition of the Christies catalogue on pages 118-123 (pages 116-121 of the print version)