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*Archaeology News*
*Metal Detecting News*
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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, 24 April 2013

The Agden Roman Hoard

A super video on the Agden Hoard

Monday, 22 April 2013

Four-thousand year old gold-adorned skeleton found near Windsor

Archaeologists, excavating near the Royal Borough, have discovered the 4400 year old skeleton of an upper class woman

Windsor may have been popular with royalty rather earlier than generally thought.

Archaeologists, excavating near the Royal Borough, have discovered the 4400 year old gold-adorned skeleton of an upper class woman who was almost certainly a member of the local ruling elite.

She is the earliest known woman adorned with such treasures ever found in Britain.

The individual, aged around 40, was buried, wearing a necklace of folded sheet gold, amber and lignite beads, just a century or two after the construction of Stonehenge some 60 miles to the south-west. Even the buttons, thought to have been used to secure the upper part of her now long-vanished burial garment, were made of amber. She also appears to have worn a bracelet of lignite beads.

Full Story

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Burton Hoard (Part 2) Archived Material

The Burton Hoard

The Burton Hoard Parts 1, 2 and 3 produced with the kind permission of John Farfher, The Searcher, Peter Skelly, Joe Perry and Billy May.

The Battle of Fulford: War breaks out over 'forgotten' Yorkshire battlefield

Combatants are squaring up to do battle over the fate of a Yorkshire field more than 1,000 years after they say an earlier battle was fought there that helped to change the course of British history.

Rival groups have issued a call to arms over the future of what some historians claim is the true site of the "forgotten" Battle of Fulford in September 1066. Local historians are fighting a rearguard action over developers' plans to build 600 homes on a field near York which they say is the site of the historic battle.

Full Story

Monday, 15 April 2013

Middlewich's history under spotlight at 20th Archaeology Day

HERITAGE enthusiasts will be digging out old artefacts on April 20 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the popular Chesire Archaeology Day.

Archaeologist Ian Miller is among the guest speakers at the event, which will be held in Winsford Lifestyle Centre, and he will be discussing the latest Roman Middlewich excavations.

Middlewich Heritage will also be at hand to offer information about upcoming events, promote their new online ‘What’s On’ guide and answer any heritage-related questions.

Full Article

New Green Waste Petition launched in UK

Those of you who follow the news items on here will be aware that there has been a petition to ban contaminated green waste being dumped on the British countryside. This resulted in a debate in Parliament and over 1,500 signatures on the petition.

As it has now been running for 12 months and the petition has been drawn to an end it was decided to keep this fresh in peoples minds by launching another, as the problem is still there and seems to be getting worse.

So if you signed the last one you may also be interested in signing this one. All friends and family can sign too.


Metal detector enthusiasts flock to annual show

Treasure hunters from around the country gathered this weekend at Maude Cobb Convention and Activity Center for the annual Texas Treasure show.

Hundreds of people visited the event to see the latest finds from metal detecting clubs and to see the newest in metal detecting technology and accessories.

Sue Wilson, customer service representative for Garrett Metal Detectors, said the technology has enhanced tremendously, including adding discrimination features which can determine what kind of metal an object is made of before it is dug up.

“Before you couldn’t tell one metal from another. You just had to dig it up and see,” Wilson said.
Today’s technology also can tell the hunter if the item is a piece of jewelry.

Full Story

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Digging Starts On Moat Lane Development

The regeneration of Towcester's Moat Lane area has started with the first fences going up and the first holes are being dug to alllow further archaeological work to undertaken before the demolition work begins..

The original archaeological investigations last summer did not identify any significant finds and the latest digs, which have been agreed with the county archaeologist, will be carried out by Cotswold Archaeology and take around 10 weeks.

This will involve comprehensive excavation and recording to provide a lasting record of archaeological evidence before the building phase begins. This is normal procedure for developments of this kind.

Full Story

600-year-old skeleton sparks ancient murder mystery

A 600-year-old skeleton has been found by archaeologists excavating the crannog site in Co Fermanagh , Northern Ireland.

Experts found the bones of a teenage girl in an unmarked grave at the ancient site and say the "irregular" nature of her burial, in around the 15th or 16th centuries, suggests foul play.

Excavation director Dr Nora Bermingham said:"The skeleton of a young woman, probably around 18 or 19 with very bad teeth, was found in the upper layers of the crannog."

Full Story

The Medieval Coin Die

Careful observation of dies plays so important a part in the study of mediaeval coins, that a thorough understanding of the methods of the die-sinker is an important asset in the  mindset of the numismatist. Owing, perhaps, to the absence of any readily accessible information many erroneous ideas on the subject are very prevalent. It may therefore become useful for coin collectors and detectorists alike to understand what the process entailed.

A common error is the supposition that dies in mediaeval times  were cut directly upon a prepared piece of metal, in the same manner as a seal or intaglio. Although this method may have been employed on rare occasions, it was certainly not often resorted to. A die was usually made by the use of a number of irons or punches, each cut to the requisite shape to produce some portion of the design ; and these were punched by the die-sinker into the prepared piece of metal in such fashion as eventually to make up the complete die.

Above you can see a number of dies which were used back in the 13th and 14th century. The bottom part with the spike would have been hit into a large timber trunk for stability. In between the two parts would be a silver disc and the top part of the die would be hit hard against the bottom with a hammer. This is what gave the name to hammered coins. Occasionally the coin would become stuck to the die and this is what would be called a brockerage - brockage errors are caused when an already minted coin sticks to the coin die and impresses onto another coin.

The die it is proposed to utilise for purposes of demonstration is that of an early short-cross penny in which the design and manner of executing it are both of a most simple character. Although the king's head is frankly barbarous, and the lettering is of the most primitive description, it may safely be asserted that the methods employed in the manufacture of dies of this class were, in the main, used throughout the Saxon, Norman and Plantagenet periods. As art advanced the component parts became more numerous and elaborate. The king's crown, for instance, was no longer represented by a mere row of dots, but was gracefully and carefully shaped. That it was put in separately is often apparent from the rakish angle at which it is sometimes placed on the king's head. The hair on later coins instead of being composed of a couple of crescents is well and realistically formed, but that it also was made from separate irons is proved by certain coins of Edward I., from which the hair has been entirely omitted.

Below you may find useful what was entailed in producing a short cross die and trust that a reference to the above illustration may help to make my meaning clear. It shows an enlarged photographic reproduction of an 
early short-cross penny (A), together with a drawing of the same coin showing its component parts (B). Below are also reproduced individual drawings of each of these showing the various tools used 
by the die-sinker in his work. 

For purposes of demonstration it is proposed to credit the diesinker with the possession of not more than twelve different irons. It is probable that he had actually rather more variety in the matter of crescents and pellets of varied size and shape, but it will be seen that even if he were reduced to a dozen simple tools, it is possible to turn out a die having all the characteristics of a short-cross coin. The twelve irons which it is proposed to allow the workman are as follows : 

1. A large and straight upright, slightly tapered at either end. 
2. A similar upright, but smaller. 
3. A large crescent for backs of e, ct, etc. 
4. A smaller crescent for hair, eyebrows, loop of R, portions of 
S, etc. . 
5. A large pellet. 
6. A smaller pellet. 
7. A still smaller pellet of irregular shape for the king's beard. 
8. A thin crescent for sleeve and neck. 
9. An annulet for eyes. 
10. A piece for the mouth. 
11. A piece for the hand. 
12. A large and slightly curved iron for making the inner circle. 

We will now imagine the die-sinker with such a set of irons and endeavour to follow him in his task. He would probably begin by tracing with a compass upon the face of the future clie two circles, one to represent the inner, the other the outer circle. These circles would then be definitely indicated, the former by several strokes of the large curved iron (No. 12), the latter by a series of clots, punched in close together with one of his pellet irons (No. 6). The inner circle being now ready to receive the royal effigy, the crown would be quickly produced with a row of large-sized dots (No. 5), surmounted by a group of three (No. 5) united by small strokes (No. 2), to stand for the central ornament. Two shorter curves (No. 4) would do duty for the eyebrows and again for the hair. A single stroke of the larger straight iron (No. 1), with two pellets (No. 6), to form the nostrils, would suffice for the nose, and beneath this would be placed the mouth, punched in with its own special tool (No. 10). The neck would be indicated by a blow from thethinnest curve (No. 8) at either side, and this, with two annulets for eyes (No. 9), and a sprinkling of pellets (Nos. 6 and 7) to form the beard, would complete the royal portrait. The sceptre could then be put in with three strokes of the large-sized upright (No. 1), a single pearl (No. 5), to finish its base, and four united to make the jewelled head in the same manner as the central ornament of the crown. The hand (No. 11) being put in in its proper place, two thin curves (No. 8), to indicate the sleeve would now complete the general design. 

The inscription, which our artist would be careful to put in retrograde, would be produced in the following simple fashion :— 

This completes the obverse die, and that for the reverse could be produced with the same implements with equal facility. It will be realised that a die of this description could be made very quickly, and when the enormous output of coins which occurred at certain periods is considered, it is evident that some other method than that of laboriously engraving each die must have been in use. There is ample evidence that the cutting of irons was a jealously guarded privilege.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

'City’s Roman remains rival Pompeii’: Experts marvel at treasures found in excavations for new office block

An archaeological dig in the City has been hailed as “the Pompeii of the north” for the treasures that have revealed new details about life in London during Roman times.

More than 10,000 artefacts and an entire streetscape have been found at the site in Bank, where waterlogging by the long-lost Walbrook river created perfect conditions for their preservation for nearly 2,000 years.

The finds include 100 wax tablets, which are written records and which experts hope will reveal the names of Roman Londoners and the streets they lived on.

The discoveries have been all the more surprising because the site has already been heavily investigated. Archaeologists were brought in as part of the planning process for the new European headquarters of Bloomberg, the news organisation, because the site on Queen Victoria Street was already home to the most important excavation in London of the 20th century.

Full Story

13th century stillborn found at Huntingdon dig

A BABY’S skeleton from the medieval period is among artefacts found by archaeologists excavating the site of the Huntingdon link road.

Experts identified the child as a stillborn of about the 28 to 36-week stage of pregnancy and the tiny remains could have been there since the 13th century.

The infant skeleton was one of several pieces of new evidence of medieval settlement at a site near Ermine Street – other finds include a blacksmith’s hearth, a cobbled street and pottery dating back to the 11th Century.

Full Story

Fairstead’s distant past uncovered by archeological dig

Pottery has been discovered during a community archeological dig.

West Norfolk and King’s Lynn Archaeology Society kicked off its summer programme of digs with a session in King’s Reach, Fairstead.

Ten people helped to dig 10 shovel test pits.

Chairman Clive Bond said: “From an initial overview of finds we managed to recover an assortment of brick, tile, pottery, including some white porcelain which dates between the 18th and 19th century, along with coal and charcoal. These indicate a ploughed parcel of land, which could be part of the medieval or post-medieval field system.

“This system may relate to parts of the Gaywood/Mintlyn Commons.”

The society hopes to return to Fairstead later in the year.

The next field work weekend is at Gayton on Saturday and Sunday, April 27 and 28.

Gayton Hall, off Back Street, will be the base and with a test pit at the Crown Inn also to be excavated.


Northampton Castle dig reveals Saxon past

A "rare" Saxon brooch, a medieval harness, pottery and animal bones are among items found by archaeologists at Northampton's medieval castle site.

A survey of the land is taking place ahead of work to build a new £20m railway station in the town.

Tim Upson-Smith, from Northamptonshire Archaeology, said the team had discovered elements of the site's Victorian, medieval and Saxon past.

He said he hoped the finds could be displayed in the new station.

Archaeologists are expected to remain at the site on Black Lion Hill for eight weeks before West Northamptonshire Development Corporation (WNDC) can begin work on the first phase of the new station.

Full Story

Lost villages

For the residents of Skipsea, on the Holderness coast in the North East of England, coastal erosion is a fact of life. As the years pass the village has seen the sea claim more and more land and its future is far from certain.

Photographer Neil A White's Lost Villages project documents this constant battle between the North Sea and the land in this part of the British Isles, one that endures the highest rate of coastal erosion in Europe.

He was drawn to this coastal area as it is near where he grew up and one that brings back many fond memories of playing on the beach. "It is estimated that up to 32 villages dating back to Roman times have already been lost to the sea," said White.

"The historical events which took place on this coastline are fascinating," said White. "Since Roman times it is estimated that a strip of land three and a half miles wide has been washed into the North Sea.

Full Story

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

8,000 artefacts and rising: City dig pronounced the 'most important ever' in London

When archaeologists were called to a site in the City of London where an ugly office block and a bar once stood, they were sceptical that it held any secrets.

Yet six months into the dig on Bloomberg Place, a three-acre site close to Mansion House tube station, experts believed they have stumbled across the most important find of Roman London artefacts in recent memory and have dubbed it the “Pompeii of the north”.

Sophie Jackson, from the Museum of London Archaeology (Mola), is managing the site. She said: “We have a huge amount of stuff from the first four hundred years of London. It will tell us so much about the people of London. We will get names and addresses, things we’ve never had before. It’s really exciting.”

Full Story

Super new guide on early Edwardian farthings

Well Rod and UKDFD have excelled once again in creating another brilliant reference resource. This time it is on early Edwardian farthings and comes with examples and descriptions for all types. If you have a small farthing from this period please be sure to check it out.

Edwardian Farthings 1279-1344 by Rod Blunt

Digging is under way to uncover a Roman fort in Derby

A team of archaeologists is searching for evidence of a Roman fort in Derby.

The dig, at Chester Green, will establish where the fort lies before work starts on a £35m flood defence project.

The research is being funded by the Environment Agency and Derby City Council.

Video Link

Paul Barford to give a talk in Ipswich

Love him or despise him (and lets face it most dectorists haven't got a kind word to say about the man) Paul Barford is giving a talk this evening - Free of Charge.

Is East Anglia's buried and unexplored heritage being pilfered in an unsustainable way?

Date and Time: 10/4/2013 16:30 - 18:00

Location: W602, UCS Waterfront Building, Neptune Quay, Ipswich

Paul Barford is a British archaeologist living and working in Warsaw Poland. Since the early 1990s his primary interest has been research on artefact hunting and collecting and the market in portable antiquities in the international context.

Over the past decade, discussions in the UK of the amateur collecting of archaeological artefacts have concentrated on two facets of this complex problem: the use of the objects themselves for museum display or as a source of information about the past, and dealing with criminal activity among searchers. An equally valid topic, the effect of these activities on the preservation of the archaeological record, has tended to be ignored in the current debate. At what rate is the archaeological record being avoidably damaged by artefact hunting, and to what degree is this damage being effectively mitigated by current policies?

This event is open to all UCS staff, students and visitors

Bedford Metal Detecting Rally 27th and 28th April 2013

Just hearing of this rally in a couple of weeks time. Might interest some.


SAT 27th - SUN 28th APRIL 2013




MK43 7QR
(There will be signs to the fields from this postcode)

From Celtic, Roman through to Medieval.





07949 490175

Disclaimer ... This rally / dig is organised by a third party, www.treasurehunting.tv is in no way whatsoever involved with the organisation or running of this event therefore we are not responsible for anything whatsoever that may occur at the above mentioned event and as such you should direct all enquiries / complaints to the event organiser.

New skirmish over site of the 'lost' battle of 1066

The site of a battle that opened the way for Kind Harold's defeat at Hastings is at the centre of a new conflict over plans to build hundreds of new houses.

It is the forgotten battle of 1066 which shaped the course of English history.

At Fulford, outside York, an invading Norse army defeated Anglo-Saxon forces, killing 5,000 men and, historians say, opening the way for King Harold’s defeat at Hastings to William the Conqueror.

But almost 1,000 years later, what is believed to be the site of the battle is at the centre of a conflict over plans for hundreds of new houses.

The dispute over the site comes amid fears that more schemes will be given the go-ahead as a result of the Government’s relaxation of the planning laws.

Full Story

Rare Roman coin up for auction

A rare roman coin found by a metal detectorists near York is going to auction today and is expected to fetch £50-£70,000.

Proculus (Usurper c. 280-281), billon Radiate, uncertain Gallic mint, IMP C PROCVLVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right, rev. VICTORIA AVG, female figure standing left, holding wreath and sceptre, 2.97g/12h (Vagi, Coinage and History of the Roman Empire, 2470). Very fine, dark tone, edge a little ragged; only the second known coin of this usurper, extremely rare and the only example available to commerce £50,000-70,000

Full Story

'Entire streets' of Roman London uncovered in the City

An archaeological dig in the heart of the City "will transform our understanding" of Roman London, experts claim.

About 10,000 finds have been discovered, including writing tablets and good luck charms.

The area has been dubbed the "Pompeii of the north" due to the perfect preservation of organic artefacts such as leather and wood.

One expert said: "This is the site that we have been dreaming of for 20 years."

Archaeologists expect the finds, at the three-acre site, to provide the earliest foundation date for Roman London, currently AD 47.

The site will house media corporation Bloomberg's European headquarters.

Full Story

Sunday, 7 April 2013

The River Thames, A Not-So-Secret Treasure Trove

In the United Kingdom, British archaeologists have made a number of significant discoveries as of late, from the battered remains of King Richard III — found buried beneath a parking lot — to, more recently, a 14th-century burial ground for plague victims in London.

British soil is, in fact, full of traces of the past. And in London, one has to look no farther than the banks of the Thames, the river that runs through the heart of the British capital.

On a brisk, windy morning, Mike Woodham walks the water's edge in search of things humanity has left behind. His method? A metal-detector that emits a steady beep, beep, beep.

"That's a strong signal," Woodham says, bending down. "Let's give that a little dig and see what we got."

Full Story

University of Leicester staff and students take part in ground-breaking archaeology project with injured soldiers

Staff and students are taking part in a dig at Caerwent, Wales, as part of award-winning project Operation Nightingale

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 4 April 2013

University of Leicester archaeologists are taking part in an award-winning project which uses archaeology to aid the recovery of injured soldiers.

Operation Nightingale - which has been recognised by the British Archaeological Awards for its innovation - has seen soldiers excavating the remains of a Roman building at Caerwent Training Area, near Newport.

The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) and Defence Archaeology Group worked with a number of units including The Rifles to create the unique and hugely successful programme, which gives injured Military Personnel the opportunity to learn a series of excavation, land survey, drawing and mapping techniques.

Professor Simon James, of the University of Leicester’s School of Archaeology and Ancient History, and a group of seven students from the School are helping with the dig.

The soldiers, who join the programme voluntarily, also produce a report of their findings which helps enhance their publication and presentation skills.

The majority of soldiers taking part are serving personnel, however there are also a number of injured veterans on the programme, including from the Falklands conflict. The participants have suffered a broad spectrum of injuries including physical and psychological trauma.

The excavation work has been taking place under the supervision of archaeologists from the DIO, Defence Archaeology Group and the University of Leicester, which are supporting the project.

Other partners including Cadw - the Welsh Government’s historic environment service - and the Army’s survey unit,135 Geographical Squadron are also helping to deliver the programme.

The excavation at Caerwent started on March 24 and has involved a total of 18 soldiers working to uncover a stone building, thought to date back to the 3rd or 4th Century AD.

Caerwent Training Area covers an area of approximately 1,500 acres, which is largely covered by woodland and industrial building. Investigations which took place at the site last year uncovered Roman artefacts including coins and a hypocaust – Roman heating system.

The University first got involved with the project after MA student James Spry began supervising excavations in 2011.

Since then, the University has been offering a special fee-waiving scheme to allow injured soldiers to take distance-learning archaeology courses at the School of Archaeology and Ancient History.

Professor Simon James of the University of Leicester said: “We are pleased to be lending our continued support to Operation Nightingale which offers unique opportunities for both the soldiers and the students of the University of Leicester who are working together on the dig.

“Operation Nightingale projects like this give injured soldiers the chance to build on their military skills to explore a novel and rewarding activity, our students help teach them archaeological techniques, while learning from the soldiers how to look after themselves in the field.”

Richard Osgood, DIO’s Senior Historic Advisor, said: “DIO’s priority is to support our Armed Forces. There are long-standing connections between the profession of archaeology and the military. This work draws on a number of important skill-sets to give the soldiers an enduring interest in heritage and their environment.

“The project has proved of immense value thus far in assisting the recovery of soldiers in The Rifles and other units, while at the same time accomplishing some great archaeology”

Sgt Diarmaid Walshe, who is also a qualified archaeologist, said: “The feedback from Service personnel who have attended the programme so far is that every single one has enjoyed themselves and gained a positive experience that has helped their recovery.

“The key to the success of the project is that the soldiers undertake many different activities, from digging to surveying, photography and finds processing. The programme gives them something useful to do which can help rebuild their self-esteem, provide them with a sense of purpose and give them something positive to strive for.

“This programme is also about giving something back to the local communities around Chepstow and South Wales who have shown strong support to our injured personnel.”

'Remarkable' 4,000 year-old relics found on the banks of the Narmada could change understanding of human history

Archaeologists have found 4,000-year-old stone tools and earthenware in a remote village on the banks of river Narmada in Harda district of Bhopal.

The treasures that have emerged could change our whole understanding of how evolution of mankind began along the Narmada.

These priceless relics belonging to Chalcolithic Age are probably the most important archaeological discovery ever made in the region.

Full Story

Monday, 1 April 2013

Metal Detecting Medieval Sites

How much gold is there in the world?

Imagine if you were a super-villain who had taken control of all the world's gold, and had decided to melt it down to make a cube. How long would the sides be? Hundreds of metres, thousands even?

Actually, it's unlikely to be anything like that size.

Warren Buffett, one of the world's richest investors, says the total amount of gold in the world - the gold above ground, that is - could fit into a cube with sides of just 20m (67ft).

But is that all there is? And if so, how do we know?

A figure that is widely used by investors comes from Thomson Reuters GFMS, which produces an annual gold survey.

Their latest figure for all the gold in the world is 171,300 tonnes - which is almost exactly the same as the amount in our super-villain's imaginary cube.

A cube made of 171,300 tonnes would be about 20.7m (68ft) on each side. Or to put it another way, it would reach to 9.8m above ground level if exactly covering Wimbledon Centre Court.

Full Story

Henry II Cut Half Penny

                   I was asked to ID this great Henry II, Class Ib, Iohan of London

                                                    Here's a video of it being found