One technique to localise a good search spot is based on topography. The relief of the land did not change much since metal came in use some 4000 years ago. What was a hill, a valley or a plain back then still is. Reading the land helps to find historical traces.
Some day I found a promising spot on the map. It was easy to defend and controlled a river. It was a hill covered by forest. There was nothing on record in my archive concerning this place with two exceptions. A Celtic gold coin was found near a nearby village some 100 years ago. And there were local traditions concerning the creek in the immediate vicinity. According to this tradition, a young woman disappeared without a trace in front of two men during the attempt to jump over the creek.
While the concrete story has little credibility the sheer fact that there is such a tradition might mean something. The vast majority of creeks is not surrounded by such rumours. It is possible that such stories have a small true core and these now lonely places were once a center of human activity. The locals forgot what exactly happened there but in their common memory, rather subconscious, remained the notion of activity or importance associated with that spot. This is passed on to future generations in the form of traditions.
From the viewpoint of a history explorer these traditions alone are too weak a hint to visit that place. But combined with others they add to the attraction of this spot.
On my way to the area in question, being almost there, I saw this lovely 17. century stone cross. These crosses are wonderful remnants of history.
(C) Thorsten Straub www.metal-detecting.de 2006-2011.