We collected the landowners son from a farm nearby with his new machine, a Viking V5 detector. He was also brandishing a brand new finds bag and lots of excitement.
A short drive later we were pulling onto a cultivated field.
We found several Devil's Toenails whilst walking over to our start point.
Within minutes of our quest to locate a Roman site we were recovering several pieces of Roman pottery. So much so that we thought that we were in for a very good day indeed.
The machines were set up as previously using the 9 inch coils.
We thought it strange as it took an almost an hour to find our first non-ferrous item... a Roman coin. The next item was part of a silvered Roman brooch. In all, only 6 Roman coins were recovered!
Rob radioed me to say we had company. I looked around to see two other detectorists walking along the edge of the field then make their way over to us. They asked us if we had permission. After we had satisfied their anxiety they became more relaxed and started to describe what was in the area.
This information qualified our research as they confirmed what we already assumed for the area perfectly.
The crunch came when they told us that they'd battered the area for over 20 years and that someone before them used to search it too.
No wonder we didn't find many non-ferrous items!
They passionately showed us pictures on their 'phone of some magnificent finds they had recovered over the years. One was of a BA gold hoard recovered nearby.
After lunch we decided that we'd have a reccy looking at the landowners fields in a nearby village. One of the fields that we are keen to survey is still in a rough ploughed state so we carried on with our reccy. We ended up a couple of miles away on a mixture of pasture and crop. We split and did a random widespread survey whilst in radio contact.
Whilst the landowners son and I searched the pasture, Rob and Steve were busy checking out a small coppice. They'd come across a huge bottle dump with bottles dating from the mid C19th to the 1930's.
The best part of the day was still to come.... the landowners wife parked by the support vehicle to collect her son. She very kindly invited us back to the farm for tea and cake. We couldn't get changed fast enough!!!
We were greeted by the landowners dogs eagerly wagging their tails and probably hoping for a piece of cake. Their son was now busy cleaning the pottery and finds in the utility room sink whilst we were sat in a lovely warm kitchen with tea and fruit cake.... and two expectant dogs.
Even better was to come, the landowner himself arrived of whom we'd never met. He told us of the plans for the fields we were interested in, so, we have a busy few months ahead. We spent over an hour chatting about everything from archaeology, to holidays in Barbados and Italy!
Their son laid out all the pottery and Devil's Toenails neatly on the arger which helped them dry very quickly!
We left with such a great feeling and thinking how good can this get!?
We're certainly looking forward to returning and perhaps finding some land that hasn't had quite as much attention as the first field we were in.
The recoveries for the day can be seen here.