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*Archaeology News*
*Metal Detecting News*
*Treasure Hunting News*

This website is brought to you by a team of very passionate historians and metal detectorists. We are not part of the grab it and run brigade.
History is extremely important to us and recording finds and working alongside archaeologists is of utmost importance.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Fincham: Knife find could rewrite history

A BRONZE age find has caused a stir among seasoned archeologists as a knife found near Fincham threatens to rewrite the history books.
Stephen Sproule, 38, from Shouldham, was metal-detecting with his father in a field near Fincham when he came across the blade which had not been held for nearly 3,000 years.
He said: “My father and I had searched the field many times before and we had previously unearthed some Bronze Age weapons including spears and swords which are now in Norwich Castle Museum.
“After a few hours, we had found only old scrap metal when I had a positive signal.
“I knew straight away that it dated to the late Bronze Age and I was thrilled to realize I was the first person to see and hold the blade for about three thousand years.”

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Moles on Historic Dig

Daily Mirror 23/4/2012

Helpful moles beneath a Roman fort have been digging up ancient treasures.

Volunteers sifted through molehills to find a piece of rare samian tableware, bits of serving bowls and pots and a jet black bead from a necklace.

Whitley Castle, near Hadrian's Wall is a protected monument and digging is banned.

Landowner Elaine Edgar said: 'The moles are able to do what humans are forbidden by law to do'.

Elaine who has a £49,200 grant to promote he fort, aims to display the finds.

17th Century Tradesmens Tokens of Durham and Northumberland

West Norfolk: Talks set out case for digs

West Norfolk: Talks set out case for digs

LYNN and its surrounding areas have long been a rich and enduring hunting ground for archaeologists — and there could be a great deal more to come.
Modern archaeological techniques could yield more fascinating facts, according to former Norfolk county archaeologist and current honorary senior lecturer at UEA, Brian Ayers, who raised the possibility of further exciting discoveries at Lynn Town Hall recently.
Mr Ayers, the guest speaker at this year’s Lynn Town Guides’ annual Diana Bullock Memorial Lecture, took as his subject, King’s Lynn, East Coast Towns and the Norman Conquest: An archaeological Approach.
He engaged a virtual full house with a comprehensive illustrated presentation.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Did you know that today in 1968?

the U.K. began using decimal coins. (The U.K.'s conversion to decimal currency was completed in 1971.)

19th century Bhopal ruler’s gold coin fetches Rs8 lakh

Her reign is known as the Golden Reign of Bhopal and the gold coins she minted in the mid-1800s outshine some others even today. At the SM Shukla Memorial Coin Day, popularly known as the Bombay Coin Fair, a golden coin minted by Sikander Begum, who ruled Bhopal between 1847 to 1868, fetched the highest price in the auction held on Saturday at the World Trade Centre.
The coin that is presumed to be only the second known piece in existence was bought at Rs8 lakh by a person who did not wish to be identified. It was made between 1844 to 1865 and is said to be uncirculated then. Over 100 avid coin collectors, who were unwilling to get identified, bid for numerous coins.

GLENYS ROBERTS: Should we abolish the penny?

As a unit of currency it may not be worth much, but do we really want to bid it farewell? We’ve long since seen the demise of the farthing and the much-loved 12-sided threepenny bit, but now there’s a campaign to consign the penny to history, too.
No matter that there are more than  11 billion in circulation, a growing number of Britons think we can do without one of the oldest coins in our history.
Canada has already ditched its cent (known as a penny) — following similar moves in Australia and New Zealand to abolish their low-denomination coins. The Canadian finance minister said: ‘The penny is a currency without any currency. Financial institutions face increasing costs for handling, storing and transporting pennies. Over time, the penny’s burden to the economy has grown relative to its value as a means of payment.’

Read more: http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/article-2133789/GLENYS-ROBERTS-Should-abolish-penny-Campaign-consign-coin-history-gaining-currency.html#ixzz1sqgTjclX

Treasure hunter in the chamber of secrets

The Scot’s worldwide hit TV series Legend Quest hits British screens for the first time tonight at 8pm on the satellite channel SyFy.
But, now you can follow the historical thrill-seeker as he uncovers the biggest Scottish mysteries of all time.
In part one of an exclusive series, Ashley investigates the secrets of the ancient Isle of Iona...

Read more: http://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/scotsol/homepage/scotlandfeatures/4273003/Treasure-hunter-in-the-chamber-of-secrets.html#ixzz1sqfvPyGd

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Gold rush: California's weekend warriors discover prospecting

With the precious metal still selling for more than $1,600 an ounce even after a mild correction, amateurs and even a few pros are hiking mountain trails and panning streams in the Golden State, enjoying nature and, with any luck, turning a profit in the process.

“People are looking for fun that doesn’t cost a whole lot of money,” said Nancy Roberts, president of Central Valley Prospectors. “But maybe you can make some money.”

Roberts has been a gold hunter for more than a quarter of a century, and she’s found plenty of the yellow stuff. She carries a 1 ounce nugget in her purse and, in a pinch, she’s sold gold she found to make ends meet.

“I’ve paid bills, I’ve paid rent. I’ve bought tires for my truck, I’ve fixed my vehicle,” Roberts said. “I didn’t find gold in order to pay for stuff or to sell it. I really found gold because I really had a great interest in it and I still do.”

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/04/18/gold-rush-california-weekend-warriors-discover-prospecting/#ixzz1sldv4oZq

Antique coins found in Dumka

A total of 23 antique coins were today found when labourers were digging earth to lay the foundation for a school building at Bodiya village in Dumka district, a a senior district official said. "Work at the site has since been stopped after the discovery of the antique coins. We will write about the findings to the Archaeological Survey of India," Dumka Deputy Commissioner Prashant Kumar said here. Some coins were slim and big while other ones were thick and small in size. The site from where the coins were found is half-a-km away from Marpa village, which is also an interesting place for archeologists, another government officer said.


North East providing rich pickings for metal detector treasure hunters

TREASURE hunter Terry Vickers this month struck gold when he unearthed an 1,800-year-old Roman ring from a muddy field.
At an inquest, the County Durham coroner declared the find to be “Treasure”, after hearing how it had been authenticated by experts at the British Museum.
In a similar case, a hoard of silver coins which date back to the 13th Century was unearthed by a group of treasure hunters.
The 22 King Edward I pennies were discovered by members of the Durham-based metal detector enthusiast group, Amber’s Digs, on Good Friday.
The valuable finds, all discovered within metres of each other on farmland at Sutton Bank, Thirsk, North Yorkshire, are believed to be part of a lost or stolen purse.
Now these nuggets of history, worth thousands of pounds, look set to be officially classed as treasure and put on public display.
NHS receptionist Susan Jewitt, 57 of Willington, County Durham, who runs Amber’s Digs with partner Graham Duff, said excitement spread like wildfire after the first coin was uncovered.
And she says the North is a prime hunting ground for metal detectors because of its rich history.
“We have more castles than anywhere else which I think gives us a good chance of finding interesting things,” she said.

The Wickham Market hoard talk

The Wickham Market hoard is one of the largest hoards of ancient gold coins discovered in Britain. With 840 gold coins, the hoard represents a vast accumulation of wealth. In this fascinating talk by guest curator Ian Leins from the British Museum, he will share his research on the coin hoard and the insights it provides about the economy and political events in Iron Age East Anglia.

Take a close look at the coins before the talk. Includes Q&A.


£7 per person, drink included. These events are very popular so booking is essential.
Book in advance by calling 01473 433691.

Now THAT'S a pretty penny! Rare coin fetches $1.15million at auction

It is interesting to note that the story we reported a few days back about an old coin, selling at Auction, which was expected to beat all price records, has been picked up by the Daily Mail.

A centuries old coin, one of the first ever produced in the United States' Mint, was sold for a whopping $1.15million at an Illinois auction on Thursday.The famous 1792 silver-center cent was purchased by Kevin Lipton of Beverly Hills, California, on behalf of a group of unnamed investors.On one side, the reddish-brown coin features Lady Liberty facing right with her hair flowing behind, and on the other, a wreath tied with a ribbon at the bottom encloses around the words 'ONE CENT.'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2132690/Now-THATS-pretty-penny-Rare-coin-fetches-1-15million-auction.html#ixzz1slOcaR7O

Identifying a Short Cross Penny

Henry III Short Cross Penny

I was looking through some old ID records I had, and came across a Henry III Penny, which needed identifying. I thought those who follow this blog, may be interested in my thought process.

So where do we start? Well as always I take a quick glimpse of both sides, the Obverse and the Reverse. It is the Reverse which in this instance gives us most of the information required. Not only does  it show us a Short Cross, but it also tells us that the Moneyers name begins with LED.

As there was only one Moneyer in this coinage beginning with LED and he came from London and was called Ledvlf, it is plain sailing from there on in.

The classes he minted were in the reign of Henry III, and were 7b and 7c.

At this time I check over the Obverse more closely. It has the normal Henricvs Rex inscription but the most important part in relation to Class is relating to the monarch himself. The curls do not have any pellets in them, and this class is renowned for eyes being incomplete from the use of broken punches. As can be seen on the coin, this couldn’t be more true.

The coin is one of the latest of Henry III coins, before he scrapped the Short Cross coins in favour of the Voided Long Cross variety.

Copyright Steve Rice

A96 dig for early Forres settlement

WORKS to construct the River Findhorn and Pilmuir Flood Alleviation Scheme due to start in September, are unlikely to be held up by excavation works currently being carried out on a site adjacent to the A96, to chart evidence of a historical settlement.
A dig on the A96 could unearth an early Forres settlement
Motorists driving past the Greshop Industrial Estate cannot have failed to notice the heavy machinery including diggers, hard at work in a field of Oilseed Rape, opposite.
However, there is more to the excavation works than it seems, as under the diggers could lie evidence of early Forresians.
The work is being carried out in partnership with Moray Council, Transport Scotland and Historic Scotland and co-ordinated by county archaeologist, Bruce Mann who has contracted AOC Archaeology Services who have been on site for about two weeks.

Time Team discovers 3,000 years of history at Cardiff site

Archaeologists from Channel 4 show Time Team have discovered 3,000-year-old homes and artefacts on the site of an Iron Age hillfort in Cardiff.
The show’s experts descended on the ancient site at Caerau Hill, off Church Road in Caerau, to film an episode of the hit series.
The team spent three days working at the site with presenter Tony Robinson saying they had found a “whole spaghetti bolognese” of ditches, circles, roundhouses and enclosures at the site.
He said investigators had found a 3,000-year-old saddlequern tool and pieces of an Iron Age pot which they were able to put back together and almost reconstitute.

Read More http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2012/04/21/time-team-discovers-3-000-years-of-history-at-cardiff-site-91466-30804706/#ixzz1slKEmtHv

Experts Brought In To Identify River Foyle Wreck

Experts are to be called in to help identify a wreck discovered in the River Foyle believed to be a World War II submarine. 

Northern Ireland's Environment Minister Alex Attwood has said diving at the discovery site near the Foyle Bridge will be banned until the wreck is positively identified.

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It is understood that the wreck is in quite low water and is easily accessible so the Minister wants to ensure that the wreck is not disturbed.

It is believed that there may be munitions on board and possibly bodies of servicemen.

The official dive investigation is due to begin shortly.

Experts to examine River Foyle, Derry, wreck

The environment minister is to call in experts to identify a wreck found in the River Foyle, which could be a World War II submarine.
Alex Attwood has banned diving at the site of the discovery near the Foyle Bridge.
He said it was important that the wreck was not disturbed until it was positively identified
"The wreck is in quite low water, it is quite accessible," Mr Attwood said.

Ring belonging to lord executed for treason unearthed near Winchester

IT belonged to an English lord who was executed for treason.
But now a silver ring found in a Hampshire field has officially been declared treasure after being discovered during a metal detectors’ event.
The 300-year-old hawk ring, known as a vervel, was discovered at the Stratton Park estate near Micheldever by Paul Reynolds from Andover in March 2011.
Mr Reynolds was among 200 people at the metal detectors’ rally with the ring one of around 100 finds reported to Winchester Museums Service.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Identifying rare coin values: Which of these coins is worth over $1000?

The notion of coin collecting appeals to people of all ages; but for novice collectors, it can be difficult to go about identifying rare coin values. Take the coins pictured in this article, for instance: can you tell which coin is worth over $1,000.00? The answer: they all are — except for the oldest coin, which is a 1,800-year-old Roman coin.  Even though this is the oldest coin pictured by far it only sells for $80.00. Surprised? Most people are.

Full Story

Archaeologists uncover graves of national significance near Meigle

A series of burial mounds have been excavated — thought to represent an ancient barrow cemetery — at Bankhead of Kinloch near Meigle.
Both the village and the surrounding area of Strathearn have proved a treasure trove of Pictish sites and artefacts over the years.
Despite the increase in the identification of these sites through aerial photography surveys since the 1970s, they are still generally rare and so are of immense significance.
Experts say the Meigle project represents the first complete excavation of a barrow cemetery to date, providing a unique opportunity to comprehensively analyse the monument.
The site was discovered almost by chance, with the AOC Archaeology Group commissioned to undertake an archaeological evaluation in preparation for an agricultural development.

Two 16th century silver pins discovered just miles apart

TWO silver pins – probably made in the same workshop about 500 years ago – were discovered seven miles apart in South Gloucestershire by metal detector enthusiasts.
The finds, which date back to Tudor times, were made on farmland in Tytherington and Aust by metal detectorists within four months of each other.
At an inquest where the pins were officially declared treasure yesterday, Avon's assistant deputy coroner Terry Moore said it was a "tremendous coincidence" the items had been found within such a short time of each other.

Titanic shipwreck explorer buys piece of history from East Grinstead

A DEEP sea explorer who discovered the remains of the Titanic visited East Grinstead to purchase a piece of its history.
Tom Dettweiler arrived in town last week, after learning a pocket watch found on a body recovered from the sea shortly after the disaster was on sale.
The 60-year-old bought the timepiece belonging to steward Thomas Mullins from the East Grinstead Watch Company, in the High Street, after admitting an "unusual feeling" came over him when he held a similar watch that had been on the Titanic.
"These were the items that documented the disaster," he said. "You can only imagine the owners looking at them repeatedly, first to note when the collision with the iceberg happened, then to look hopelessly at how much time had passed with still no rescue in site, then to note the time of the final plunge.

Romans Rule Towcester History Society Talk

The Romans were extremely good at inventing things, and many things we do today evolve from the Roman period. This involves extracting gold.

When the Towcester & District Local History Society holds its next meeting on Wednesday May 9 Dr. Peter Lewis will tell members where the Romans found gold and how they developed methods to extract it.

Dr. Lewis is a Senior Research Fellow in Technology at the Open University and he has been an authority on Roman gold mining for many years. He will describe Roman mines and mining methods, including their use of water and the way in which they revolutionised metal extraction.

The meeting will be held at the Riverside Centre in Islington Road, Towcester at 7.30pm.  Everyone is welcome and the charge for non-members is £2.

Chinese artefacts stolen from Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

The items were taken during a break-in last Friday (13 April) and come from the museum’s permanent collections. Among the stolen objects there are six artefacts from the Ming dynasty, eight from the Qing dynasty, and a table screen from the Qianlong era, as well as an 18th century cup and vase.
Cambridgeshire Police said they have collected forensic evidence from the museum and that CCTV footage is being examined.
‘We have a team of detectives working hard to achieve these ends and we are working closely with the Fitzwilliam Museum, which is doing all it can to help our enquiries,’ said Detective Chief Superintendent Karen Daber, who is leading the investigation. ‘We are following up a number of enquiries but we also need the help of the public and would urge anyone with information that could help to call us.’

Coin change 'could cause more skin problems'

Fears are being raised that 5p and 10p coins being introduced into circulation could cause skin problems.
The coins are made from steel but plated in nickel, replacing the current cupro-nickel version which contains 75% copper and 25% nickel.
Dermatologists told the British Medical Journal the move could cause problems for people who have nickel allergies, including some people with eczema.
But the Royal Mint said the change would not have an adverse impact.
The new coins, which come into circulation in the next few months, are being introduced because of the rising cost of copper.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Archaeologists find possible 16th century chapel

HISTORICAL detectives may have uncovered evidence of a 16th century chapel at a public park in Marlow.
Members of the Marlow Archaeological Society, excavating Rookery Park, have found a chalk block wall at the site which may date back to the 1500s.
The group set out primarily to find out more about a 'significant' 18th century farm – which may actually date back much further – and a house built in 1850 and demolished in the 1960s.
But the time sleuths appear to be on the trail of a much older discovery.
Initially, the team found brickwork, apparently from the 1850s house, but then uncovered a flint work wall.
MAS spokesman Doug Courtney said: “This is thought to be from the earlier 1750's farmhouse as close inspection of early photographs show small areas of flint work and the record indicates that the farmhouse was only part demolished and altered into the house.

500 years of Leith history revealed as archaeologists unearth port defences

Archaeologists have unearthed part of the 500-year-old defences that helped to protect the port of Leith.
Experts hope to learn more about the history of one of Scotland’s most important harbour towns from the excavation taking place throughout April and in to May.
The 16th century town ditch which can now be seen by the public via a viewing window at the site between Bernard Street, Constitution Street and Great Junction Street and a small section of the west bank near Sandport Place.
It used to be the location of an indoor market until it was destroyed by a fire in September 2000.
This glimpse at these early fortifications has provided an opportunity to view the defences built for Leith as the former seat of government by Mary of Guise.
They were built in 1548 to protect Edinburgh and Leith from a siege from the English and were put to the test 11 years later in an attack from Protestant forces.

Wrexham butcher discovers Bronze Age axe in Flintshire

Bronze Age treasure, including a 3,000-year-old axe, has been discovered by a metal-detecting butcher in Flintshire.
The hoard, found in the Treuddyn area, includes a socketed "Type Gillespie" axe and a hook-shaped tin object.
The items, thought to have been buried between 1050 BC and 800 BC, were declared treasure by the North East Wales Coroner at Wrexham on Thursday.
The items, found in a boggy field by Colin Lewis from Wrexham, will be analysed by experts before valuation.
The National Museum Wales wants to acquire the hoard following its independent valuation.
The items were found less than 20cm (eight inches) apart while Mr Lewis was metal-detecting in a boggy field under pasture.

Rare Penny to Sell for More Than $1 Million in Auction

An early American coin dating 1792 will be auctioned Thursday evening

A 1792 U.S. experimental penny is expected to sell for more than $1.2 million in a public auction on Thursday in Schaumburg. Online bidding has begun, and the penny has received the highest bid in a $20 million auction of rare coins on the Heritage Auctions website.

Source: http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/1-Million-Rare-Penny-Auction-Schaumburg-147917785.html#ixzz1sV34KwCS

Abbey bid decision is expected any day

Jane Austen went to school there and Oscar Wilde languished in jail.
Now the council is waiting with bated breath to see if it has been successful in its bid for £285,500 to create an Abbey Quarter around Reading’s historic heart.
The Heritage Lottery Fund is expected to rule on the bid by the end of the month.
Plans to breathe new life into the area around the Abbey Ruins were drawn up under the coalition of Tories and Lib Dems and pursued by the current Labour administration.

Medieval Abbot's grave discovered at Furness Abbey

The full uninterrupted grave of a Cistercian abbot has been discovered by archaeologists at the ruins of Furness Abbey, one of Britain's most influential medieval monasteries.

The skeleton was found by Oxford Archaeology North who were carrying out excavations during emergency repairs at the Cumbrian site.
The rare find could date as far back as the 12th century. The abbot's body was buried with a very rare medieval gilded crosier and jewelled ring.
English Heritage curator Susan Harrison told Channel 4 News: "This is really significant because it's the first time under modern conditions that an abbatial or abbot burial has been discovered intact with so much detail and information - from the skeleton to the mark of his office, his crosier, his ring, but also fragments of textile in there."

Valuable treasure uncovered in Chester

A TREASURE hunter spoke of his excitement at finding a valuable medieval gold ring, 28 years after he found a stash of antique coins in the same place.
George McKean was using a sensitive metal detector on the Duke of Westminster’s estate in Huntington when he found the 15th century ring, along with an antique silver groat coin.
The find came 28 years after Mr McKean, 59, uncovered 42 coins and a ring, which has been stored at Chester’s Grosvenor Museum ever since.
During a treasure inquest at Chester Magistrates Court, a report by Dr Barry Cooke, curator of medieval and early modern coinage, confirmed the ring qualified as treasure under the Treasure Act 1996 due to its age and because it contains more than 10% precious metal.

Silver pendant found in Monmouthshire is declared treasure trove

A SILVER pendant found in Monmouthshire was declared treasure at an inquest on Thursday.
The pendant, which could date back to the late 15th century, was found in Portskewett, Gwent Coroner's Court, sitting in Newport, heard.
The pendant, which was in the form of a hanging flower head, was discovered in October 2010 by a man who was metal detecting. An analysis showed it was 97 per cent silver.
Gwent Coroner David Bowen said similar types of pendants found in England dated back to the 16th century. It is thought they were sewn into the sleeves of clothes.

Dales metal detector celebrates 'key' find

A METAL detector enthusiast has spoken of his joy at unearthing an unusually-shaped 700-year-old key in a field in the Yorkshire Dales.
The ‘incredibly rare’ find, discovered by John Brassey at Austwick, has been recorded by the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS), a voluntary group set up to catalogue archaeological objects found by members of the public.