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Google earth Pro is now FREE!!..... it's already a great bit of kit, especially when you're looking for an entrance way into a field lol!
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Well, it certainly doesn't feel like it was Christmas only a month ago!
This was yet another day that provided excellent weather for another outing with The PAST.
This survey was destined for a permission we call "Toy Soldier 3" or "TS3" for short.
We arrived at dawn with the temp at +2C and a very slight breeze.
As soon as we set foot onto the newly seeded field we knew that this could be trouble. The first signal after ten seconds on the field was a silvered Roman coin, just as the sun was rising.
A second Roman coin surfaced soon afterwards but, back to our initial concerns.... the field was very "claggy" so after ten minutes we decided to revert to Plan "B". This was the back-up plan to survey the permission next door which we have named "TS2".
The machines were set as last week, but this time with the small coils for a change.
On "TS2" we recovered some Roman and medieval pottery with Roman coins and lots of buttons and lead. A nice surprise was a Celtic button and loop fastener, although the loop was missing. A copper trade weight dating to the mid C16th with a wide range of other items were recovered.
We decided to give the initial survey area "TS3" another go. It was slightly better but still claggy. More Roman coins and some pottery was recovered. Again we decided it was still too soft to continue so it was back to "TS2"!!
A nice C1st Roman fibula complete with pin was recovered within minutes of returning to "TS2"
We decided that we'd had enough toing and froing and threw in the towel and wound down the machines for the day.
The finds for the two survey areas can be seen here for TS3 and here for finds recovered from TS2.
It was a frosty start to the days survey at WH with temps set at -2°C with no breeze. At least it was very sunny.
We decided to cover the entire 8 acres of stubble that encompass the findspot where we recovered the Celtic Triskele Fob last week.
This area was briefly surveyed a couple of seasons ago with no finds of note being recovered. The trisklele fob was a complete surprise last week!
We were aprehensive but fairly optomistic that we may recover more Roman or Celtic evidence.
The day did warm up however to 3°C but a slight breeze kept it on the cool side.
Apart from buttons and lead, only two more Roman coins were found!
A few modern items such as tokens and love tokens made an appearance.
The Déus' were set up in GMP, 18khz, GB Tracking, Full Tones, 13" coils.
We cut the survey slightly short and decided to check on a couple of other survey sites in the area. One had been seeded, so a quick email to the landowner resulted in a "Yes" to survey on our next visit there.
The second field was still in stubble so we'll have to wait for that one to be ploughed and rolled in the next month or so.
We have five permissions in this area that are still awaiting rolling and seeding.
The images for the finds can be seen here.
We headed towards permission WH with mixed feelings.
The field we had in mind is 40 acres in size but we have already split it up into areas we thought to be interesting or not.
The start point was in an area where two Viking items had been recovered in the past. A Celtic potin and a few Roman coins had also emerged from here.
A mix of pre-decimal coins and a few Roman coins came to light with a few other more modern artefacts too.
We decided to try an area of the field where we only had spent a few minutes there last year as we had to leave on time at that visit.
This time we had a little longer, about 45 minutes!!
The first signal was a Roman coin quickly followed by two more. A Commonwealth penny also made an appearance and it was the last 15 minutes that provided the find of the day with a complete and beautiful Celtic Triskele fob dangler.
Altogether, 7 Roman coins and 4 silver coins (two worn as love tokens) were recovered
The Déus machines were set up as in previous surveys.
The finds for the day can be seen here.
Todays survey involved a mixture of winter wheat and OSR as can be seen in the picture above.
The emphasis was on trying to locate a Roman villa but we ended up with more medieval evidence instead.
The Déus' and 13 inch coils were set up as follows; GMP, 18khz, Tracking and the other machine set up as Déus Fast, 18khz, Manual GB, Zero discrimination, Full Tones.
It was almost like a pantomime with buttons everywhere! Some really deep lead came up too which was very surprising as this field has had a lot of attention from several detectorists over the years!
The medieval finds consisted of a possible Saxon strapend, purse bar fragments, a spindle whorl, a casket key, an early buckle and a rare Edward IV half penny.
We cut the survey short as we'd arranged to meet the landowner and chat with him about the finds from the farm and the area in general.
He showed us a bag of Roman pottery and more interestingly.... tesserae from a villa floor!!! There were also coins and brooches too, which adds to the ever growing picture.
The landowner is almost certain that the main villa area is on a field next to his that belongs to another landowner. We expressed an interest in visiting this field to which he said that he'd put in a very good word for us and would give him a ring.
I'm ringing the landowner with the "tesserae" field on Friday so fingers crossed that he will be ok with The PAST checking his field for the elusive Roman villa!
The images of the days finds can be seen HERE.
Here it is...... the first survey of 2015!
And what a survey to kick off the New Year! The first signal of the day, on deep ploughed and "settled" land, was a first century Roman fibula.
This field is quite vast at eighty acres so the challenge was to assess as much of the area outside the Romano-British settlement as possible.
The second signal was a large fragment of a late Iron Age button and loop fastener.
I just happened to mention (begrudgingly) that I hadn't had a good signal at all! However, the third signal was my turn and the first of 2015 ..and another first century Roman fibula surfaced complete with pin!
The day ended up with seventeen Roman coins, Three Roman fibulae, two catch plates; one appears to be from a sawfish type brooch.
As previously, Romano-British pottery was also recovered.
Other artefacts consisted of the foot of a Roman cauldron leg that had been silvered at one point and a mix of items yet to be identified.
We called in at the landowners on the way home and had a quick chat with his son. His father was out shooting and when I asked where, it turned out that it was at a permission that is high on our list of desirable sites!
As we were in the festive mood we decided to call in at another permission that we'd not been to since last season.
We were welcomed in and had a great catch up on what we'd been up to over the last twelve months.
We were informed the the OSR fields they have would be harvested in July...... wow!.... these fields are the best medieval fields we've ever seen!
I know you shouldn't wish your time away but ....ROLL ON JULY!! LOL!
Anyway.... we're out the day after tomorrow (Sunday) on the brand new permission we visited last weekend.
The images of the finds recovered today can be seen HERE as usual.
It is on reflection that we celebrate a phenomenal year in The PAST with the acquisition of some truly remarkable permissions and meeting with some of the kindest landowners we have ever come across.
Without doubt, if it wasn't for their generosity and patience we wouldn't have achieved the year that we have just experienced.
The quantity and quality of finds recovered over the last twelve months is astounding and way beyond our wildest aspirations! Even now we still pinch ourselves at the success we've had recovering some of Britain's amazing history over the last twelve months!
This can be taken in many ways; the gift of the actual new permissions acquired, the gift of "lifetime first" finds we've recovered in 2014 or indeed the way we present ourselves to landowners, archaeologists and other metal detectorists.
One of our many aims; to alter the general perception of metal detecting and detectorists in the UK by promoting a more professional approach to the hobby.
With a meticulously laid out plan and absolute focus on the formulae used, we aim to achieve a complete portfolio of 'Benchmark' permissions by May 2016. It is hoped that by May 2016 we will have a complementary mix of permissions taking in the full range of British history.
The remainder of the 2014/2015 season should be an interesting journey as we are exactly half way through our three year strategy period.
January is going to be exciting with some interesting developments happening that may enhance our presence in the world of metal detecting!
In fact, the next four months are going to be a journey well worth being on.
Hopefully we will have many more PAS records over the next eighteen months.
A Happy New Year and best wishes for 2015!