The site (JHF1) was the one we last visited on 20th Dec and recovered 46 Roman coins and several pieces of RB pottery.
Today's survey couldn't have ended the year any better. A total of twelve denarii (eleven being part of a hoard, with at least three of those Republican), four Roman fibula's (two are stunners!), another treasure item in the form of a beautiful silver C17th buckle, seven Roman bronzes and three hammered coins to complete the day. Thirty fragments of Roman and Medieval pottery were also recovered.
The plan was to fieldwalk the first (arable) field to a 45 degree line across to a gate to gain access to the adjacent field which is in pasture. This would then lead us to our target pasture field of which a Roman shrine may exist.
We entered the first field which was in winter wheat and the first two signals of the day were a Roman headstud fibula and a fabulous denarius of Septimius Severus dating to c. 193 - 211 AD.
We entered the first pasture field which has lots of ridge & furrow and earthworks. This field had also been excavated in the past by archaeologists. We recovered a fragment of a Roman headstud fibula and a few Roman bronze coins in super condition.
A hammered coin of Edward I was also recovered.
I recieved a text from the landowners daughter who was very keen to meet us. She said she'd be there in ten minutes! Wow! She was so interested in what we were doing and extremely knowledgable in ancient and Medieval archaeology due to her degree in Ancient and Medieval History. Our guest then suggested several areas that we should survey! Reluctantly, she left for a lunch appointment with a promise to return by the time we were ready to go home later that day.
A nice surprise was the fantastic sight of a barn owl gracefully floating over the field. A great spotted woodpecker was the next on the bill (no pun) as it started its territorial call from a prominent position.
We arrived at the Roman shrine field only to find no initial evidence of a shrine anywhere. We did however recover the lovely C17th silver buckle.
We then entered a field adjacent to the pasture which was rough ploughed and this had Roman and Medieval pottery on the surface. This may have potential when it's drilled in March. If a shrine does exist, it may be quite near to where we were as the the area is perfect location for one.
We decided to return to the first field where we'd earlier recovered the Roman headstud fibula and Septimius Severus denarius.
The first Roman item recovered was a tiny trumpet/knee type fibula with part of its pin still attached.
Shortly after the fibula, the first of eleven denarii was found. The same hole produced two more denarii one of which was a beautiful Republican example dating to 79 BC. In all, the eleven denarii were recovered from an area of about 300 sq ft.
For those with a head for figures, the Déus' ID meters read 89/91.
Shortly after, a superb Roman Trumpet fibula, complete with pin and suspension loop, was uncovered from a depth of four inches.
A cut-half voided long cross and another Edward I coin were also recovered in this field.
With the light fading we stopped the survey and stripped down for a visit to the farmhouse.
We met with the landowners wife and two daughters. All three were enthralled with what we'd recovered and were absorbed in the information that was being transferred.
We were so honoured and proud to be accepted with such grace, it was indeed a privilege to survey this permission!
A map was produced revealing the original field names, one in particular looks too good to be true!
We were asked with fervour when we would return as the landowners have so much land that requires intense attention as soon as we can return.
We suggested the 2nd/3rd January dependent on weather.
We are now certain that we have the biggest challenge on our hands as this permission has several acres of history packed into it.
As per usual, all three Déus machines were set up in GMP mode with "Tracking" GB selected. All signals were recovered from a maximum depth of three to four inches in both pasture and arable.
The machines had the 13" coils attached.
Images of all the days recoveries can be seen here.