Global Positioning Systems - An essential tool for the modern detectorist

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Global Positioning Systems - An essential tool for the modern detectorist

Global Positioning Systems - An essential tool for the modern detectorist

Every detectorist should own one. With a global positioning system (GPS) you can accurately record find spots and then pass this information on to your local finds liaison officer.

GPS data is now available on a wide variety of gadgets, including mobile phones and PDA's, so you don't necessarily need to invest in a 'stand alone' hand held GPS unit like the Garmin eTrex picture above.

Buying a Global Positioning System can be a complicated business, there are dozens of different makes and models on the market. For the stand alone handheld models, prices start at around �70 and can run into many hundreds. Garmin seem to be the most popular manufacturer. Do a lot of research and read the reviews on sites like amazon before buying.

Using a Global Positioning System for metal Detecting

Log the position of each coin or artefact with the Global Positioning System, write down the the grid reference on a bit of paper or post-it note and place the piece of paper in a small polythene grip-seal bag with the coin or artefact. One coin/artefact and one piece of paper with the grid reference written on it per bag, once the object and the grid reference are safely inside, seal the bag shut and put it somewhere safe.

If the ground you are detecting on is damp, its is best to have grip-seal bags with ventilations holes in on hand. Just take your grip-seal bags and 'punch' them with an desk top hole punch, the kind used on A4 paper etc. This will allow the find to breathe. The holes should, obviously, not be big enough for the coin/artefact or bit of paper with the GPS grid reference written on it to fall out and get lost or mixed up.

Pass the sealed bags on to your finds liaison officer on your next visit to the local portable antiquities scheme reporting center.

Using a global positioning system for logging find spots of coins and artefacts is vital to preserving archaeological information for future generations.

Finds.org.uk - official portable antiquities scheme web site and database.

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