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I started metal detecting in the late 1970’s with a C-Scope BFO 50 on the mud flats off of Canvey Island, Essex. My passion at that time was sea fishing so I used to search for lead weights that had been snapped off the fishing line when people cast out. I found so many that I used to sell them to the local fishing tackle shop and make a bit of pocket money.
In my opinion the most important thing you can do with your finds is to record them. Whether its in a diary, on your own database or using the P.A.S., you really need to record what you have found and where you have found it. Without this all you have is half the story.
The greatest thing I have done in the hobby is spend a week metal detecting in Croatia for the Croatian Department of Culture and Vinkovci museum. It was an outreach project in an area that is plagued with illegal detecting. The outreach project was to show the Department of Culture that, when used in conjunction with G.P.S. and working in conjunction with the archaeologists, metal detecting can be a very useful tool in identifying sites of habitation and recovering coins and artefacts that might otherwise be lost or destroyed by modern farming methods. The week was very successful, we found two coin hoards from the mediaeval period and one from the Celtic period and identified three further sites that have since been given protected status by the Croatian Government – similar to our scheduled ancient monuments.
Although I have used and own(ed) most high-end machines, nowadays my favoured machine is the Rutus Alter 71. It doesn’t mess about, the three-way discrimination methods are almost flawless, it gives better depth than most machines available, and is sensitive enough to find the smallest targets without wasting your time by sounding off on single shotgun pellets. It’s simplicity makes it a great first high end machine yet it has the capability to out perform much more expensive machines once you get used to what the settings do.
Richard will be at Rodney Cook Memorial and Detectival
Rutus used: Alter 71
1 - Hoard of Celtic bronze & silver coins, 100 B.C.
2 - Appolanian silver coins - 1st century B.C.
3 - Singe day finds, 31 Medieval silvers, 3 silver rings and 1 Celtic bronze
4 - Thurrock Potin, 120-100 B.C.