FLO night at the club

Along I went to collect the items handed in in September and to hand over the latest batch.

Finds from Thame area dig – blog entry dated 1 September 2016

The flint was recorded as a Mesolithic or Neolithic rejuvenation flake dating to 8,300 – 2,100 BCE. The  Lizzy Halfgroat is London mint dating to 1591 – 1594 AD. The Roman coin was confirmed as a commemorative copper alloy nummus of Theodora dating to 337 – 341 AD.

Finds from Witney area dig – blog entry dated 5 September 2016

The book clasp was confirmed as being of a copper alloy and dating to anywhere between 1500 and 1700. The curtain ring is a very ordinary copper alloy ring of mediaeval or post-mediaeval date so from anywhere between the 14th and 18th centuries. The rounded button was judged to be of 18th century date and not recorded.

Find from XP rally near Burford

The Roman coin was identified as a radiate of an unknown emperor but dated to somewhere between 260 AD and 296 AD.

The FLO took from me:

1 musket ball
1 possible musket ball
1 copper alloy ring which may be of Roman date
4 Roman coins
1 small piece of grey pottery (possibly Roman)
1 small iron nail or tack – probably a Roman boot or sandal hobnail
1 piece of reddish-orangey stone which shows possible signs of having been worked to some extent.

Sadly, all the lumps of curved orangey-pink rough ceramic are just modern drainage pipe. Bang goes my Roman building. Eheu!

Aurelia and the Beanstalk

I attended another club dig yesterday, this time in the Bedford area, on 4 fields of bean stubble. The soil was heavy clay and it had been raining heavily overnight and continued to rain almost all day. I lasted 2 hours before giving up, looking like something risen from a primaeval swamp to terrify small children. I shivered all the way home and had a stiff drink and a hot shower when I got there.

The mud was Biblical. My pin pointer was covered to half a inch thick. Eventually I couldn’t find the on/off switch and the little speaker vents were covered with mud so I couldn’t actually hear it bleep. My finds pouch was filled with mud, the pin pointer holster was filled with mud, my knee pads stuck to the ground every time I knelt down, and both the spade handle and the detector stuck to my hand. It wasn’t just the mud, but all the loose bits of vegetation that stuck to the mud. If I wasn’t a primeval swamp monster I was at least a walking compost heap. So I gave up.

The fields were generally quiet as regards actual signals. The odd iron grunt, the occasional good signal and an awful lot of chirps and chatter. The latter was because the coil reacted every time it struck a bean stalk. Unlike wheat or barley stubble, which the coil just pushes out of the way, bean stubble is much thicker and stronger which added to the problems of the mud.

In two hours I dug 4 pieces of God-knows-what. It was impossible to work out in the field what they were because of – did I mention the mud? The more I tried to rub it off on the spot the more I seemed to rub on. Eventually I put the nondescript pieces of metal in my finds pouch, hoping they would not stick to the trowel and be lost again.

It took me several hours this morning to clean the mud off most of my equipment and to have a look at my finds. Three pieces of scrap lead and 1 copper alloy book clasp or strap end which will be going to see the FLO in December.

Those who stuck it out were rewarded for their persistence. Other finds included a dozen or more hammered coins, a Bronze Age gold ring and a medieval bronze figure of Christ some 4″ to 5″ tall, presumably from a large crucifix. There are going to be some very happy FLOs I suspect.

Finds: 1 strap end (probably).

131013 clasp