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Metal detecting and private archaeology

Metal detector search coil and some finds

Finds include a 500 year old horse shoe, a 2000 year old Roman iron bell, a fired World War 2 calibre 50 cartridge and a .50 bullet. Below a digging tool.

Metal detectors in archaeology

This page describes the philosophy of this site, why it was created and what sort of content it provides.

Today, by using a metal detector and by doing careful book research everyone with enough drive and determination can find historical relics within easy car drive distance around his home. A modern metal detector can find a coin in some 20 cm depth and larger items deeper. That might seem little at first but it allows good discoveries in practice. Such machines are available since the mid to late 1980s and they have been enhanced since then. At presence we are still the first generation to have such machines available at affordable prices. This offers excellent discovery prospects. This web site was set up to share my private results with other people interested in private archaeology world wide.

Author and two box detector.

Special detector designed to reach large metal objects in great depths. Ignores small pieces of metal.

Metal detecting and private archaeology

There are various types of detector searches. Some people like hunting the beach for jewelry, others like to find coins for their collection. This website advocates private archaeology using a metal detector. It shows how historical places can be found and how written historical records - which can be true or not - can be verified. Similar to a crime scene investigator who collects evidence to find out what happened at a place the hobby archaeologist can use walks, detector searches and the resulting find distribution maps to reconstruct past events. An example for such a map is given below. It shows the distribution of finds made on a hill held by a SS division in last days of World War 2. *
Over the years I visited many places and found countless items from all historical periods.

Skull Hill All Finds.

Unlike other sites on metal detecting this is not just a presentation of finds. Of course, finds are presented but my main goal is to give background information, to draw conclusions concerning past events and, last but not least, to describe the joy of discovery. This is why this web site was named that way.

Though the presented material has some scientific elements the target audience are not merely archaeologists but all people who care enough for history to go out in the field and search for its traces. If accounts concentrate too much on facts and avoid any emotion – as many archaeological accounts do - they tend to become dry fact lists. I tried to avoid this by adding find stories, describing the joy of discovery as well as finds. After all, the origin of all science is curiosity – which is an emotion.

If that sounds interesting to you I hope you will enjoy the following pages.

Thorsten Straub, Munich, in Summer 2006

* Find map taken from part 2 of the search report 'Metal detecting the retreat route of the 17. SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Division "Götz von Berlichingen"'

(C) Thorsten Straub 2006-2019.