All sorts of things have contributed to this, such as life, weather and our self-imposed rule of not surveying land that has been directly drilled.
The success of the 2018 harvest didn't help either as there wasn't as much spring planting going on upon our permissions resulting in far fewer early 2019 drilling operations. We have however now managed 18 outings resulting in some lovely finds.
Spring forward from March to today and we found ourselves fortunate to enjoy our latest outing thanks to a text from the landowner saying he'd ploughed and drilled a strip of land 10 metres wide and 800 metres long.
Between the 3 of us, we estimated that this should take about 5 hours to complete including a lunch break. This would mean an early finish compared to our usual 8 - 12 hour stints.
The ploughed and rolled strip runs alongside a field that we know has lots of Romano-British activity so it was with great anticipation that we looked forward to this challenge.
The conditions, both weather and field surface were perfect.
It wasn't long before the first of many Roman coins that were recovered, most being grots but some of them were in slightly better condition.
After the first bronze a denarius was unearthed a lovely denarius was found, as well as the beginnings of our Roman pottery collection for the day.
In all, we recovered 35 Roman bronze coins, 5 denarii, a Roman headstud brooch, 4 silver hammered coins, 2 artefacts, 53 pottery sherds, 3 oyster shells and 4 Devils Toenails!
The Lady of the Manor arrived with her two dogs and was surprised but pleased to see us and met us with a very warm greeting.
I'd texted her husband to say we were coming and that he said he'd be back from South Africa on Saturday. He'd obviously not mentioned it to her and I asked were he was, she said "in South Africa". He didn't specify which Saturday he meant in his text LOL!
We asked if there were any other "strips" of land that were accessible and she didn't know of any. She did however invite us to have a drive around the Estate and have a look to see if there were any "strips" to be seen.
We accepted the offer and after an hour we found three more areas that were rolled and drilled.
Back at the farmhouse, we gave her a demonstration of the drone we have, after handing back their drone which was given to us to see if we could get it to work again.
The demo was well received and she was amazed that it was so stable and that the picture quality was so good. A few images of the drone were then sent to South Africa.
Last year, we mentioned to her husband that we thought that there was a bottle tip on their land and would it be possible to check it out? He said yes we could. She was unaware that we'd asked about the tip and we asked if it was okay to explore it with a mechanical digger in a couple of weeks time?
She confirmed that it would be fine!
We had another quick look at the tip area and we could see broken Victorian crockery, some bottles and a piece of late C18th - early C19th pottery! She did mention that her father had found bottles with glass marbles in them.
Hopefully we'll have more on this in a fortnights' time.
We used 3 Déus machines, all using the 9" HF coil implementing the standard GMP mode.
Most finds were within 5 inches of the field surface with quite a few actually on the surface. One of them being the cut-half hammered coin just to iterate that finds can be at any depth.
There were no "iffy" signals, just pure earphone blasters!