We had a man missing today, along with his brand new Déus! However we promised that we'd do our utmost best to make up the defecit.
On arrival the skylarks, yellowhammers and chaffinches were singing for joy.
The machines were set as Déus #1: "Fast", Discrim at 1, "Tracking" and Déus #2: GMP, 18 khz, "Tracking". Both machines had the 13" x 11" coils to start with. Déus #2 swithched to the 9" coil after a slight power issue.
Again we trialled the live Twitter feed which our man "at home" enjoyed as he was kept up to date with pictures of the finds as they were recovered.
The ground was very firm with newly seeded winter wheat with a high level of ferrous contamination. The auto GB hovered around the 75 area with the occaisional move to 85 on more mineralised ground.
This section of the field was a lot quieter than the first section with regards to recovered items.
The first item to be recovered was a voided long cross cut-half. Lots of lead and buttons were soon added to the finds pouch punctuated mainly by medieval mounts and strapends. A few Roman items also surfaced with a C1st fibula and a few of Roman "grots".
Back to the medieval period with a three-pence of Elizabeth Ist dated to 1569 that was in quite good condition. A token dating to 1666 was recovered from the field surface that was also in very good condition considering.
By coincidence we mentioned that we'd not found any decorated spindle whorls for a while and that it was strange we hadn't found one on the particular field we were going to survey. Low and behold we recovered TWO!! One in rectangular section and the other was a bi-conical or "UFO" styled whorl.
In the distance I saw what I thought was a hedgehog, on closer inspection it was a rat!! As you can see from the picture it was quite old and not very well at all......
The first sections of the field must have been a tipping ground or settlement due to the amount of small ferrous items, medieval artefact fragments and coinage.
We decided to call it a day and go and have a chat with the landowner.
There was no sign of him at the farm but we chatted to his daughter-in-law about their recent holiday. With that, the landowner turned up with his wife and said that they'd gone looking for us to see how we were getting on!!
Previously he told me he'd been ratting on the farm and encountered 90 rats... we showed him our rat photo... :D
He also said that the "Celtic" field and the "Roman/medieval" fields we were interested in had now been rolled and seeded so were nice and flat.
After 15 minutes or so of very pleasant chat we left to go and see another landowner that I tried to contact in January 2014. We met his son who explained that he was out spraying the crop. He very kindly gave me his mobile number and I said I'd ring him soon.
On leaving the farm we had a fantastic view of a barn owl that was hunting along the hedgerow in brilliant sunshine. As most of you may know, seeing a barn owl in an afternoon is quite special. This sometimes happens later on in the breeding season when they have a large brood and the weather has been too bad for successful hunting.
The finds for todays survey can be seen here.