So it was destination Cumbria today and on arrival we were met with the beautiful sight of the snow capped mountains of The English Lake District.
The main survey area today was a 14 acre winter barley field with the crop being quite short at 3". The soil was quite sandy with a few pebbles and some stray boulders every now and again.
The machines were set up as follows:
Déus #1; 13" x 11" coil, "Fast", Full Tones, Disc 1, GB "Tracking", Sens 90, Iron Vol 0, Reactivity 3, Audio 4, Notch 00-00.
Déus #2; 13" x 11" coil, GMP standard, GB "Tracking".
Déus #3; 9" coil (for the first hour) then 13" x 11" coil, "Fast" standard, GB "Tracking".
As per usual, most finds were in the 0" to 5" depth zone with a few coming in at ridiculous depths!
The first find was a dupondius by Rob and the second find was the first denarius for Steve's brand new Déus. The denarius of Septimius Severus surley was a great coin to christen Steve's new machine.
More dupondius' and sestertius' were to follow.
It was at this point that the same team member who "moaned" last week about not finding any Roman coins and then found an Early BA arrowhead straight afterwards, did exactly the same thing this week. Only this time it was a gold nugget in its raw state, still trapped in the quartz from when it was formed.
The signal came in at 62 and sounded to be a "buzzy" mid-tone using the Full Tones setting. A five inch incision was all that was needed to unearth what may prove to be something that ranks as the second rarest find of my detecting life!
At first glance it looked to be a piece of lead of which I thought was slightly odd as the signal should have read higher; in the 70's plus.
As always, lead deserves a closer look as it can sometimes throw up a few surprises, as indeed this "lead" did! A quick brush-off revealed what I thought to be a gold colouring to parts of the "lead". In disbelief I called Steve over to double check so that he could either discount it or confirm that it was a find of a lifetime. Steves analysis was the latter. On reflection, I think Steve and Rob were more excited than I was! Even on the way home on the M6, I was still a little numbed by it all.
A remarkable fact was that Rob managed to recover most of the 10 dupondius/sestertius' found on the day. I think he must have had a large Roman coin magnet attached to his machine!
I managed to redress the balance (slightly) by finding a dupondius and a couple of small Roman to add to the days recoveries.
A small amount of Roman and medieval pottery was recovered too.
Four hammered coins dating from Edward Ist penny to a base penny of Edward VI were also recovered.
The images from todays survey can be seen here.