Welcome to my thoughts on Treasure Hunting;

With my main weapon of choice being a metal detector, & just like any form of Treasure Hunting you will eventually come across some muddy heritage, an artefact or coin covered in mud;

This website is dedicated to Treasure Hunting as i see it; with or without a Metal Detector, i see Treasure in all forms, Treasure is a such a huge umbrella for many collectible items, interests & artefacts…
A funny antidote for me was when i was called “a Treasure Hunter with a Metal Detector & an aspiring Writer”

No serious, i have been called an inspirational writer, & an aspiring writer or the actual words were  “to greater writings & musings” serious, if i was not there honest i would not have believed it myself, the shame of it is, no one was recording it… and all of that because of Treasure Hunting…

So let me explain exactly what is Muddy Heritage, well to me it is anything that is found either in a field, old refuse dump, stream, river or dug up, written here and in the blog as we progress is my account of the sites and sounds of the countryside, as i see it, with something or anything that takes my fancy…

As a metal Detectorist i would say I am very much the solitary Detectorist, as i really don’t enjoy the herd mentality, occasionally maybe but not all the time,… cropped-MUDDYHERITAGE1-3

If as you read this & you come across any highlighted words please click on the words as they are links & you might find them interesting, whether out Treasure Hunting or using a metal detector to hunt for treasure, i have had some degree of success out in the field, but like so many detectorists out there, nothing to set the world of metal detecting alight, i might have found one gold ring and a gold stater, but as far as the rest goes, we can put a full stop there… as with the gold stater, i thought i had a friend ? who i told where the stater came from, within days a massive hole appeared overnight, never could prove it, and he took that secret to his grave… was there more, i will never know… funny thing is, IMG_9714he did purchase the gold coin i found and went on to find himself five others a few months later ?

I will leave it up to you to make your own decision, i know mine, and i have no one but myself to blame, but from that day forward i stopped sharing my sites & find spots, now nobody knows anything about my fields, my finds maybe but the actual location, no, now that’s private, and privy to me only…

People and metal detectors, now here’s a strange thing, like cars, fishing or life itself i suppose, there are people out there who has to have the latest of everything & metal detectors is no exception, they go out & spend a small fortune on metal detectors, expecting the sales blurb to be true, before selling the detectors on and moving on to something else, normally the next metal detector is an all singing and dancing machine that someone has had a mediocre amount of success with, whilst they are others who has kept every single metal detector,  me i have very few of the detectors i have bought over the years, as when i need or want a new detector the old one is part exchanged to partially fund the new one, the main ones i have kept are the B1, Eldoradio and the C.Scope 330, IMG_7646” there is a reason these are the few i have kept, the Eldoradio is worth more to me than any sales, & unfortunately Tesoro the metal detecting company no longer exist and this Detector is one of the last Eldorado’s in the Micro Max  range to be made with the smaller Chocolate Box Design, as you can see i have added the aftermarket Sef 13″ x 10″ DD coil, this is such a good detector, if its there, you will find it, most people would say that Tesoro’s are not that deep, but they are plenty deep enough for Field & Park use, another detector i still have is the B1, this is one of the original’s before they started to mess about with them, & in my opinion the very best one to buy, she can can pull a 100_3582tiny A3 Roman coin out of the ground with a handful of nails in the same hole,  if you trust and learn your detector this is what you can expect, this is where we come back to people buying the latest detectors and expect them to find the most amazing things straight out of the box, anyone who purchases a metal detector  must learn first how to set up and use the detector, before spending hours & hours practicing out in the fields, parks & anywhere else you might detect, muddyheritage21listening, digging iron, rubbish of all sorts, just teaching your ear to learn the sounds…

People watching, now there is a hobby all of it’s own, but an interesting pastime none the less, for example, when i have attended a metal detecting rally, i have walked behind many  detectorists out in these fields at a rally, finding there missed items, this is where people watching comes into it’s own, as there are metal detectorists who walk so fast that to them the only thing in the field is scrap and decide to go home early,  then there are the talkers, they detect in groups of two or three maybe four, and stop when ever one of them get a signal, after the item is dug, a discussion is held about what ever the topic might or could be, then there is the Metal Detectorist himself, a quite  unassuming person, who goes about his craft, while others around him are being busy, he has his head down, listening for that sound, whether its something he wants or not, he carefully fills in his hole after rechecking to make sure there is nothing remaining, then off he plods again, with a slow methodical pace, swinging the detector in a gentle but positive & slightly overlapping arc, that’s just right for his pace, stopping eveblackdog2 (3)ry now and then to recheck a signal, deciding whether to dig or not, getting slightly cross at the unfilled holes, and filling them back in when he comes across them with a sideswipe of his boot…

What an amusing bunch of misguided humans we have out there in the detecting world, before giving you an example let me give you a little background about a metal detector my blackdog (2)friend called Dave bought, 100_3620 (2)he uses a Tesoro Tejon, with the coil and other bits that Dave from Pentechnics had lovingly put together for him as a package costing about £ 700.00p, what a setup, lighting fast target separation with good iron discrimination, & because the detector is in the right hands, this works better than a detector costing twice as much, Dave uses the Tejon to great effect, with plenty of enviable coins & relics [- as shown, left & right -] regularly falling to his coil… 

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Dave & the silver unit… here is an example of the Muppet’s and the idiots that are out there at these rally’s, we decided to attend this rally through  an invite, & as mentioned Dave had found a silver unit, the pair of us was finding roman coins & other bits & pieces, before the herd descended on us after an hour or so, when some idiot with a Minelab E.Track said you found the unit with that detector, that’s got to be the cheapest metal detector at this rally; my detector has never found anything that good… mmmm now to me & my way thinking this is a typical problem, it is this certain category of people who can only turn their metal detectors on & detect, but then they either don’t know how the detector needs to be set up correctly, or they are not listening to the tones of there detector, or failing that, & like this chump, after a curt word or two from us both he carried on metal detecting, swinging his detector about five or six inches off the ground which was flat-as-a-witches-tit, with a wide arc which lifted up at both ends of his galloping gait and wild swinging… now i wonder why his all singing ad dancing machine never found muchIMG_5916 (2)

I watch with amusement at people professing over air-tests, or laying items out on a piece of wood during a plank or board test, all in the hope of one detector beating another, it is interesting that these tests produce some startling results whilst in the air, while some metal detectors will perform better than others, but out in the field that’s where the results matter, are all of these relevant to supplying joe public with information that might at best be flawed, go on places like You Tube, the whole channel relating to metal detecting is crammed full of people explaining the pros and cons of this detector or the next one, an air test is good for the detector you use, by trying different set ups at home in a controlled environment, you are then  better equipped with the prior knowledge of what might be best for trying these bench tests out in the fields, but remember at the end of the day, any detector is only as good as the person using it …

Talking of you-Tube now there is something, a product of modern times, are these manufacturers and retailers to blame, for ruining what was once a good media outlet for metal detecting, i think so as now it is mainly aimed at self-promotion, with everyone wanting to become a star influenced on selling detectors, product & things you really don’t need, most of what were once good metal detecting channels have either gone, or self-deluded ‘fame’ has gone to their heads. In addition, You Tube will detract from the ‘nitty gritty’ involved in metal detecting. It may not show you a detectorist soaked wet through, covered in mud, freezing cold or having issues with their detector for fear of retribution from whoever supplied their free detector and baseball cap. It may not show you the pile of foil, pull-100_0557 (2)tabs and iron rings, but will concentrate mainly on silver, gold and even worse, hordes of people on a rally, swarming like ants across a field, each & everyone of them spending hard earned money on metal detectors the glib salesmen and the well known you tube face’s have told them to buy…

Social Detecting; – Now here is a strange one, metal detecting is a solatery hobby, stick your headphones on and everyone else dissapears, yet their are people who does this hobby to socalise, there are various options to go metal detecting sociably, with Rallies being the preferred choice, club digs tend to be smaller affairs and suitable if you get on well with other members, that is if your lucky enough to belong or can gain access to a metal detecting club, as most if not all are fully booked up, as another option if your lucky enough, and you have a permission of your own, and being out with a mate can be a good social option,  as long it does not turn into a constant competition… Detecting alone is my own preferred method, I can do my own thing, obtain my own permissions and come and go as I please, with rally’s being something I personally, very rarely go on, some rally’s interest me more than others, like a charity rally or one for a local cause, but it is something that i would pick and choose to go on…

cropped-white-man-detecting.pngFacebook; now there is a strange phenomenon, a typical social media full of faceless people, i suppose it  can be quite good,  although i use mainly for keeping in touch with people who read and follow my blog, i don’t think i remember my facebook pass word, I keep ‘friends’ to a minimum, for me there are far too many trolls and ‘experts’ on most metal detecting pages, they are little demi-gods in their own little worlds, or are out to sell you things you really don’t need …

I like taking photographs when out in the field, it is a good reminder of what you see or find, and an excellent way to break up long monologues like this one, by adding a picture of interest to brighten up the page…img_8014-2 

Before going out into the field, i think you need to prepare yourself for a good hassle free day out there whether its detecting or other forms of treasure hunting, going prepared helps with the enjoyment, i think, so i make sure i have everything from the correct clothing to equipment, but even now i sometimes forget something, so i mentally make a checklist as though i am standing in the field, to make sure i have everything…

People tell you to get to know your detector, i believe that to be true, learn what it is telling you, all those times out in the fields digging up pull-tabs, silver foil, and even those bits of iron that sneak past your discrimination are frustrating but every piece you remove its less for you to dig next time…

Although research is a good key to understanding the area you are detecting,  the finds all add up to another piece of the jigsaw, yes research should be a part of your knowledge of any area, but metal detecting an area prior to research will also help;

IMG_6235 (1)Looking around me when i am out makes me appreciate & makes me aware of my surroundings, looking out for the  wildlife, seeing them going about their daily routine its all part of the privilege you have, by gaining the permission and of the generosity of the landowner, you have your own private glimpse of England’s nature, that not everyone gets to see…

Sometimes the night before going out i refresh my memory of the area i am going too, as i do like to stop and survey my playground before starting, if its metal detecting & especially if its a new field i would normally use an interesting map reference site, where you can use a modern map side-by-side with an old mapIMG_9358 (3)this covers the UK, and local areas are well covered and most areas benefit from a map detailing ancient sites and artefacts that have been recovered, but the best things to look for are old field boundary,footpaths as old footpaths might have moved over a period of time, old houses & farm houses or farms, have a look to see if there is a direct route to the village, church or a main road, don’t forget “then as now” people may not have stuck to the main footpath, look for any dips, depressions and undulations in the topography of the land, a good indicator is a high piece of ground, or near an old water course, another thing to try is putting into Google search the area you want to investigate but always put “history on the end… although there are many things to consider, i always think the best way to find something is to get out and play… i like to have a quick walk around any new field prior to detecting, i might find i prefer to start detecting somewhere different then at a particular gate entrance… 

Finds Pouch;  mine is an old ammo pouch on a thick sturdy ex-military belt which i adapted with a modern plastic clip,

Does it matter what people wear when out detecting ? no not really, i have seen people online detecting in trainers and tracksuit bottoms, or even shorts,  whats the difference to what they are wearing, an old surplus store combat jacket, and camouflaged trousers, is ok here in the uk, but by wearing this combination in America you would be locked up for stolen valor, so when it is cool, or maybe waxed jacket when the weather is going to be wet. Within the zipped pockets will be my mobile phone and car keys. I always have some form of headgear, be it my baseball cap and business cards with all my details on it in with my mobile phone, this has proved fruitful on occasion. Three areas to concentrate on in very cold weather are feet, hands and head. – decent wellies or boots, gloves and hat. If one, or all are wet and cold it makes for a less than pleasant outing.

Gloves: i wear latex gloves as a minimum, then slip a thin pair on top, if the going is to muddy, 

You must remember, if you are in the countryside, there is stuff ‘out to get you’ – nettles, boggy areas of a field, cattle that find you interesting, dogs off the leash, ticks and bugs galore and bees and wasps. If you are in a damp area of a field there may be swarms of small flies who are intent on making your life a misery. All these things and more you should be aware of.

Spade’s: there are many types available, you can spend a fortune on a dedicated detecting site, i know i have, well nearly, my daughter bought me the blue one, whilst i tried the wider footplate spade which i did not like and was sold on, whilst i have kept the other stainless spade… 

 

Research Finds: There are many online resources to identify finds you are unsure of. Facebook groups have many specialist areas, including lead, buttons, buckles, coins and artefacts. Purchase a Spink’s book for coin identification and values. If you are in a metal detecting club, take them along and have them looked at for an idea of age etc. Most clubs have some people with much knowledge of items of various timelines.

Take photographs of all items of interest

 

For the beginner, I would recommend setting up the machine and understanding all the tones initially. Lay the detector on a non-metallic table, the lawn, or similar, put the controls as: Disc 5, Disc Volume 5, Sensitivity around 8, Iron Volume 5, and Ground in Auto. To understand the three tones, use a coin for the high sharper tone, some foil for the mid-range tone and small piece of iron for the low buzzing tone which you will become familiar with in the field. One thing to remember, there are no hard and fast rules when detecting with this machine, sometimes it is better to ground balance, sometimes leave it in auto mode, sometimes it is better to drop the sensitivity to 8, sometimes take it to the maximum of 10. It all depends where you are detecting and what is being fed back to you.

Trial and error is the order of the day. As you have no screen or numbers to look at you will come to rely on the audio which plays the part in recovery of ‘good’ targets as opposed to ‘not so good’. But this is all conjecture, small silver and gold coins will be a different sound overall, either a very faint signal or just a more ‘mellow’ high tone.

A lot of detecting is luck, a lot depends on the ground and your settings, the angle of a target and ultimately actually ‘going over’ the target. You will not find it, if it is never beneath the coil.

My preference is the low and slow methodical approach, taking time and listening to the tones. You must also take a chance on what you hear, a good copper penny will ring out with no issue about digging, but so will a ring-pull. A coin may be lay on the side in the ground and may give a good signal one way and a slightly different signal when sweeping the coil in the opposite direction. Your ears are always the best method of discrimination, this will become instinctive over time. Bear in mind also, that a small silver sixpence may actually lay under, over, or right next to a small piece of iron,  Although wired, the length of the wire is enough to keep the headphones in place, place the detector to one side and check the contents of the hole. 

 

Faustina II Denarius, RIC 677…

Faustina II Denarius. FAVSTINA AVGVSTA, draped bust right,

FECVNDITAS, Fecunditas standing right, holding sceptre and infant. RIC 677…

Faustina II Denarius, RIC 677…