Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Focus on Metal Detecting: 30 000 Hours

UK metal detectorist "Stephen" (apparently from somewhere within driving distance of Nottinghamshire) boasts on a metal detecting forum that he has done "30 000 hours metal detecting" (Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:14 am):
I have been metal detecting for 37 years and found some fantastic coins and artifacts. [...] I have found over 1000 hammered, thousands of roman, 3 treasure trove finds .[...]
then discusses his "technique":
if i get a iffy signal and it does not get any better after say 6 inches i will leave it,however if i am on a good site say roman or celtic i would dig dig dig as there are some good artifacts to be had.i had a roman horse shoe or hippo sandal as it is known in roman terms.some roman bukets have iron rims over bronze sides so it is very hard what to dig and not to dig it comes with expereince. i can tell you that if reject iron and go over a circle of iron it will give you a possitive sgnal that is good can be a bucket.
He later says that one of his Treasure items can be found by Googling "Anglo-Saxon gold cross". It is presumably this one: 'Treasure hunter finds £25K Anglo Saxon gold cross', Mirror.co.uk 7/08/2008 ("Brett Hammond, of TimeLine Originals, a coins and antiquity supplier, was approached by the delighted finder").

What is interesting is that 1000 hammered coins in 37 years is 27 a year of them alone, so already coming close to the Heritage Action Artefact Erosion Counter annual recordable artefact figures before we even take into account his "thousands" of Roman coins and anything else he may have found.

Also if one can find as many as three high-cash Treasure items in 37 years (one every twelve years), then certainly you have a much higher chance of "hitting the jackpot" with a metal detector than doing the lottery.

Mind you, to get 30 000 hours of detecting in within 37 years, you'd actually need to do more than two hours a day (or 15.6 hours a week) consistently for 37 years. Another one on unemployment or disability benefit?

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