Thursday, April 2, 2020

4/2/20 Report - Juana and Carlos Pillars and Waves Find. Tree of Life. Bottle Stopper. Assumptions and Uncertainty.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Cleaned Early Pillars and Waves Cob Found by Terry S.
Photo by Terry S.
You might remember this find.  We saw it before it was cleaned.

Found by Terry S., we wondered if it might be the earliest coin found on the Treasure Coast, and concluded that if not, it was certainly among the earliest.  These coins were not dated and even with the assayer mark it is difficult to put a specific date on them.

Terry had West Bay Trading Company clean it for him.  We can now see good detail.  To the left of the shield is the M for the Mexico mint, and to the right of the shield is the assayer mark, "G."

Here is the other side of the same coin.

Mexico Two-Real After Cleaning
Find and photo by Terry S.
Recently I showed illustrations of other coins from the reign of Juana and Carlos.

On this side of Terry's cob, you can see the two dots between the pillars, indicating that it is a two-reale.  This coin looks most similar to type 69 (p. 27) in the Calico, Calico, and Trigo book that I often cite.  That book presents 11 varieties (or types) of Juana and Carlos Mexico two-reales, including those marked with assayer's marks of R, G, F, P, A, S, L and O.

Experts agree with what I see in the Calico book and date it to around 1940 - 1948.

Great detail on a very early coin and a great find by Terry S.


Source:  See link below.

A towering ponderosa pine discovered in the center of Chaco Canyon in New Mexico, known as the "Plaza Tree," was once thought to symbolize life and the center of the world for an ancient pueblo town. But new research suggests it may have been just a giant log no one bothered to move for 800 years, and maybe didn't hold significant meaning...

For over a hundred years, people assumed the tree had meaning; it was regarded as a "tree of life" according to one researcher, or a "world tree." The solitary tree was once thought to represent the living "center of the world" for the people of Pueblo Bonito, the largest of Chaco Canyon's "great houses," which was occupied between A.D. 850 and 1150. Some speculations placed the tree at the center of a religious cult, and an illustration of a growing "Plaza Tree of Pueblo Bonito" appears in a brochure from the National Park Service...

Eventually fantasy gives way to good sense.

"I actually have no idea whether it did, does, or ever had religious significance," Guiterman told Live Science in an email. "I don't know what it was used for, or why it was located in the plaza where it was found."...

That is refreshing.
Here is the link for more about that story.

I've mentioned before that when they can't identify the use of an object, archaeologists seem to interpret the object as having some religious significance or being a toy.   Its fun to think about things like that, but when you don't know, just say so, or at least make it clear that you are just guessing.


I took a little walk the other day.  Didn't see a single person, so was suitably socially distanced and found this little object.  It looks like a bottle stopper, but has "57" on the top.

It is a about the diameter of a half dollar.  I think it might be for a Heinz 57 product.  I found a photo of one for sale listed as a Heinz 57 bottle stopper, but I don't know the age, product or type of bottle it goes with.


Yesterday I posted a list of beach closings.  William K. sent this addition.

Read your guide today. I live in Indian Harbour Beach and the beaches are not closed here. The access parking lots to the public beaches in Satelite Beach, Melbourne Beach etc. have been barricaded, but you can park nearby and walk to the beach. This past weekend "they" closed the beaches for the weekend only from 11:00-16:00.


The most entertaining and informative things I saw all week was when Fauci and Birx stumbled around trying to present and explain their graphs/models to the press. 

We are very much accustomed to watching the hurricane models every year and are very familiar 
with the cone of uncertainty.  We know how inexact (wrong) the models can be, and the meteorologists and public has learned the huge cost, psychological/social and otherwise, that can result.   

The equivalent of the cone of uncertainty on the epidemiological model that they presented ( I think it is referred to as the Imperial model) was huge.  Nobody pointed that out.  

They didn't bring those models and graphs back to the last briefing.  I'd be surprised if we see them again.  They raised more questions in the briefing than they answered.  It forced them to defend the unproven assumptions and arbitrariness of the model they selected.  Birx admitted to the public their model was skewed by the abundance of New York data, which is the most extreme and atypical case.  Admitting that the data is skewed wasn't the bad thing.  The bad thing was that they did not make clear why they chose what appears to be one of the most extreme models and they did not explain their assumptions and the degree of uncertainty involved.  Nonetheless, their stumbling attempt to present it all to the public was a good thing.  I'm sure they will learn from it, as we all have learned from the hurricane models we watch every year.


I very much enjoy epistemology and studying models and looking data, and the assumptions and levels of uncertainty.  It is very much the same in meteorology and epidemiology.  Investigating the underlying processes is the fun of it to me.  It is the same with treasure hunting.  It is about problem solving and creativity.   At the center of it all are the same philosophical and psychological questions.


The other day I mentioned something like, asking Dr. Fauci if he would need more data would be like asking a car salesman if you should buy a new car.   But there is one time a car salesman will not say you should buy a new car.  …   When he is selling used cars.


It looks like the surf predictions for Sunday will be a foot or so smaller than previously predicted.

Happy hunting (whether it is in the search for knowledge or objects - same thing),

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

4/1/20 Report - What Is Open Or Closed.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

The following is my understanding at the present time.

Governor DeSantis said he is not going to order all beaches closed (as of March 25).

DeSantis issued a "Safer at Home Order" beginning Saturday, which mandates staying at home 24/7, except for "essential businesses and individuals."  You may travel for essential activities and outdoor activities. No gatherings of more than ten people.

Dade, Broward and Palm beaches are closed.  Governor DeSantis closed all businesses in those hot spots. 

There was a suit against DeSantis to force him to close all beaches.  I don't know what happened with that, but most local areas closed their beaches anyhow. 

  •  St. Lucie County beaches closed effective March 23 based upon failure of crowds to honor social distancing, according to TCPalm.

  •  Indian River County beaches closed as of March 23.

  • Martin County beaches closed as of March 22.

  • Brevard County - some beaches closed. This one is a little more complicated.  Beaches in unincorporated areas are open (as of March 31).  Cocoa Beach, Satellite Beach, Indian Harbor Beach, Indialantic Beach, Melborne Beach are closed.

In most of those areas, beach accesses are closed, gated and patrolled by officers.

As of March 24, in Vero beach people can walk along JC Park boardwalk but they can't go to the shoreline.  They can use the park areas of public beach, such as the grassy areas.

People with private access, such as hotel guests, HOA and condominium residents and community association members can visit the beaches.


Question: if you kick ten gathered people off a beach, are they just going to gather elsewhere?  Or do you ask them to separate or just shut the beach for everyone?

I consider my readers to be intelligent people who can read and independently think for themselves.

The surf will be building up to 6 to 9 feet by Sunday.

Do well,

4/1/20 The Case For Opening Beaches, Parks and Outdoor Recreation Areas.

The Case for Opening Beaches, Parks, and Outdoor Recreation Areas.

The United States Declaration of Independence lists "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" as three "unalienable rights."  Unalienable means not to be given or taken away.

Sometimes people don't do what is good for themselves or others, but the assumption seems to be that those in government can make better decisions for the entire population than individual citizens can make for themselves.  Prove it.  Where are the double-blind studies that prove those decisions safe and effective?  Are the citizens too dumb or irresponsible to exercise safe behavior appropriate to their own situation?

Not only do officials presume to know better and care more than the citizenry, but they often exclude themselves from the restrictions they impose.  In their "essential" functions they exercise their own judgement and remain immune to the penalties or forced compliance exercised upon the general population.

In the case of Coronavirus, is it safer, or even possible, for a family to remain cramped together 24 hours a day in a single dwelling?  Would not total confinement in close quarters mean that any one of them having other contacts be in danger of infecting the entire household, therefore leading to multiple contacts with healthcare workers and others.

Would not an automobile or outdoor setting actually provide or allow more effective isolation and social distancing while reducing stress and possibly adding the psychological and health benefits of exercise and fresh air?

People are capable of self-distancing.  They are wearing masks and staying away from others.  It is easier in open spaces.

Can't we see that packing people in close proximity is the worst thing you can do?  Compare the disaster in New York with Wyoming, or even Los Angeles, which has a very large population, but one that is much more spread out.

There is always risk.  Nearly 70,000 people die from drug overdose every year.  Nearly 40,000 people die from car accidents, while over 4.4 million are injured by car accidents.  The flu just two years ago was killing 4,000 a week for a period of time.  Are people willing to accept risky behavior?  Do we for some reason more easily accept some causes of injury or death?  The obvious answer is yes. There is a balance to be reached.  Some risk is acceptable.   Some risk is beneficial.

The elderly might be more at risk, but they've lived through World Wars and epidemics without modern medicine and survived.  The elderly living do not need anyone to tell them how to survive.  They have done it.

From their towers, the vision of researchers is as skewed as their data and models.  Their advise is valuable but it should not be taken as the whole wisdom of mankind.  If we are to maintain our form of government, our citizens must be thought intelligent and responsible enough to make decisions for themselves.

I am not minimizing the dangers of coronavirus.  It is dangerous.  It may be unprecedented in many ways, and adequate precautions need to be taken.  However one thing that must be considered is the risk of depriving the citizenry of their self-dignity and their right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

The TreasureGuide

Feel free to share.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

3/31/20 Report - Some Very Old New World Spanish Reales. A What? Sunken Submarine Found. The Importance of Good Questions.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Early Mexico Four-Reale Displayed by McLarty Museum.
Submitted by JamminJack.

Not long ago I did a post on some of the oldest coins found on the Treasure Coast.  The one shown above is from the period of Juana and Carlos.  It is a Mexico minted four-reale.

Monedas Espanolas Desde Juana y Carlos a Isabel II: 1503 a 1868 by Calico, Calico and Trigo, 1985, shows a lot of early coins from both old world and new world mints.

See if you can tell the denomination of the one shown below..

Three Reale Shown in Calico et al Book.

Look between the two pillars above the banner and letters that run across the middle of the pillars.  Do you see three dots?  That is the denomination.  Yes, it is a three-reale!

Cobs, Pieces of Eight and Treasure Coins by Sewall Menzel shows an illustration of the designs on a a three-reale.  Here it is.

Three-reale as shown in Menzel book, Cobs, Pieces of Eight and Treasure Coins.

This next one isn't real clear, but I think you can see the two dots between the caps of the pillars.  It is a two-reale.
Two-Reale Shown in Calico et al Book.

Menzel also presents an illustration for that type of coin.

Carlos y Juana Three-Three Reale as Shown in Menzel Book.

Similarly, the one-reale has a single dot between the pillars.  I won't bother to show that one.

Both the one and two-reale, as well as the three reales shown above were minted in Mexico.

Unfortunately coinage of this period was not dated so it is nearly impossible to determine the date, or even the order of the coins.

The Calico book contains many examples and variations even a ten-reale from an old world mint.


The crew of the USS Stickleback didn’t expect things to end this way—rising from the depths on May 28, 1958, only to be broadsided by the hull of a friendly American destroyer, the USS Silverstein. The Stickleback sank to the bottom, an 11,000-foot journey to nowhere.

Now, 62 years since the sub disappeared from any radar screen—and became one of only four U.S. Navy submarines lost since the end of World War II—it’s been found again...

Thanks to Douglas, here is that link.


Unfortunately you can't separate Covid-19 from metal detecting since it has resulted in the beaches being closed.

Checking the statistics this morning I find that there have been 3,170 Covid-19 deaths in the United States so far.

After looking at a sea of additional statistics, one of the things that sticks out is this Fortune Magazine report from 2018 -

The Flu is Killing Up to 4,000 Americans a Week

So, if this headline is correct, and as far as I've been able to find, it is, then more people got killed by the flu in one week in 2018 than have been killed in the U. S. so far this year by the current Coronavirus.

Dr. Fauci, in the March 26 New England Journal of Medicine, gives a much less dramatic estimate of Covid-19 than he has been giving on TV lately, suggesting that it might not be much different than the normal flu.

CBS admitted the image they used to show an overcrowded U. S. hostpical was actually an Italian hospital.  I'm not saying that U. S. hospitals aren't crowded.  They usually are during flu season, but the media can be deceptive.

In another report I saw that the CDC said that up to 15 times more people die of the flu than is reported on death certificates.  Health statistics can be very unreliable.  You have to look at the details.

You always have to ask questions.  I once said that the question is more important than the answer, which seems like a stupid thing to say, but the question is important.  Asking the right questions is critically important, no matter whether you are talking about something like metal detecting or epidemiology.

I'm surprised by the high degree of compliance of the American people so far.  They've been conditioned by a deluge of threats ranging from the danger of riding a bicycle without a helmet and pads to the threat of monster plastic up to the apocalyptic threat of the climate killing us all.  Americans and citizens of the world have been drowned in a sea of experts and bad reporting and have surrendered their independence to those who are thought to know better.  An informed involved public is necessary.

I'm very suspicious of what is going on here.  It is time for a whole lot of good questions.  Not the type of questions that the media is asking, but penetrating questions that will put this whole thing in a meaningful context, resolve doubt and confusion and lead to good practical decisions.

Ask the hard questions.  Hold your officials accountable.  They aren't losing their jobs and businesses.  


The Treasure Coast surf will begin to build Saturday night.  We are supposed to have some good high surf on Sunday.

Monday, March 30, 2020

3/30/20 Report - Mule Error Coin Found. Top Florida History Stories. Predictive Models and Specializing.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Valuable Mule Error Coin Found in Piggy Bank.
Source: See link below.

Parents often employ piggy banks as a way to teach their children how to save money. That practice is paying off for one Melbourne mum. While helping her daughter count the coins in her piggy bank, the mum discovered a Mule dollar that is worth thousands.

“What’s a Mule dollar?” the mum wrote in her Facebook post chronicling the discovery. “It’s a small number of the year 2000 $1 dollar coins that had been minted using the incorrect obverse die (heads side) and released into circulation by mistake and only discovered a year or two later.” The Royal Australian Mint had mixed up the 10 cent die with that of the $1 die. It’s an easy mistake to make, as the two coins are off by just 1.4 millimetres, but it’s enough of a difference that you can clearly see a double rim circle going around the coin...

Here is the link for more of that story

Thanks to William K. for sending me that link.

And here is a link you can use to find more information on the Australian $1/10-cent mule error coins.

One of the most prominent U.S. mule errors is has the obverse of a Washington state quarter and the reverse of a Sacagawea dollar.

One alternative you have when you aren't able to metal detect is search for error coins.  Maybe go back through old finds or those you have saved.


DJ sent an interesting link.  It is the online Daytona Beach News Journal's article on the top 25 Florida stories of all time.

Florida History: Here are Florida’s top 25 stories of all time.  They include stories from the time of Juan Ponce de Leon up to some of our more recent hurricanes, and a lot of important stories from the various centuries.

Here is a link to a good article from the Daytona Beach News Journal online:

You can click on each that you want to learn more about.


We all use data to make predictions, manage risk and make decisions.  We have our own informal mental models of how things work.  Some people are more precise and statistical or probabilistic in their decision making than others.  In the past I did one or two posts on math for metal detecting that could help you with site selection.

As Florida residents we know a bit about the use of models.  Every hurricane season we consult models that attempt to predict the strength of hurricanes and where they will hit.  We therefore know that models are not always correct.

It wasn't long ago that we were all making preparations for a big hurricane that turned out for us to be not much of anything.   There was a huge cost to all the wasted preparations, and I talked about it back then.

Now everyday we are hearing about the coronavirus models, but I haven't heard or seen as much about those models as I saw and heard about the hurricane models.  In fact, on TV they are mostly giving us the predictions of the most extreme coronavirus model.  I'm not so sure that is wise.

The epidemiological models depend upon data and assumptions just like any other model.  We don't have much data on coronavirus specifically, and the models may or may not be very accurate.   I'd like to see how the various models compare and the range of predictions.

Every day I look at the surf report.  The surf predictions are the result of models.  A few years ago I noticed that they often predicted a big surf 10 days or so out, but very often the prediction of a large surf would disappear as the time got nearer.  Evidently there was a systematic error in the model, which it appears was fixed.

In a way, trying to determine when a beach will be productive for metal detecting is a bit like informal modeling.  Several factors go into it, and sometimes we are right and sometimes wrong.  We know some of the factors that seem to predict, and we try to improve our understanding of how it works.  I'm sure I will never be correct all the time, but part of the fun, for me, is studying things and improving my understanding.

Improving my understanding is a game to me that is almost as much fun as finding something.  I like to check myself.  Even if I don't think an area will be productive, I will often check it out anyhow just to see if I was right or wrong.  If I check and find that I was right, I gain confidence in my model.  But when I am wrong I try to figure out why so I can improve my model.

With the coronavirus models it isn't a matter of fun.  It is much more serious, but still the analysis and problem solving is very much the same.  And it is being done by people who spent much of their life on it.

There is a minor problem with being a specialist.  You have a focus and narrowness of thought and vision.  I believe that holds for treasure hunting or metal detecting too.  The more you do one thing, the more narrow you become in your understanding and approach.

In a recent post I said there is always a way.  I believe that, whether it applies to metal detecting or ways to maintain social distancing while getting businesses running again.  You adapt.

You can know more than anyone else about some narrow subject or type of endeavor, and partly because of that specialization lack the creativity and breadth of vision necessary for the most creative solutions.  There are trade-offs.  You can't be everything.   You have to make decisions.  It helps to know who you are and your strengths and weaknesses whatever you are doing.

Asking Tony Fauci if you need to collect more data and take more precautions is something like asking a car salesman if you should buy a new car.  I'm not minimizing Dr. Fauci's genius, only pointing to the fact that he is like everyone else in that he brings who he is to the decision making, but no matter who you are or what you do, there are times when you need to challenge yourself, your preconceptions and self-imposed limitations, be creative and change in new and productive ways.


Oh, oh.

We have are going to have a couple of days of one foot surf, but in about a week they are predicting a five to eight foot surf.

Be wise, be well,

Sunday, March 29, 2020

3/29/20 Report - Beach, Sand and Water Movemnts. Treasures in Books. Coronavirus Migrations.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

I've been thinking about presenting this topic for a long time, but it is difficult to present.  There are so many variables and it is so complex that it is hard to illustrate and explain.  Everything I am going to present is simplified, but that is the way it has to be.

It does NOT apply to steep areas or areas that the waves are breaking on.  It applies mostly to the mid and back beach areas that are only gently sloped.

If you talk about coins or things sinking at the beach, one way to visualize it is like objects sinking in water.  In other words, gravity would pull them down to a lower level without anything else happening.  That is not how it happens in sand.

You can set a coin or ring on the sand and it is not going anywhere unless the sand is agitated.  Try it for yourself.  It doesn't matter how long the object sits on the sand, it isn't going anywhere unless you stir things up.

Illustration A, which shows three objects on the beach.  They are going to sit there until the sand moves.  Assume the objects all have the same shape and size and density and the force of the water is enough to move the sand but not the objects.   If six inches of sand is removed from that area of the beach, the objects will then be down about six inches and on the new surface (NS), as shown in illustration B.

They will stay there on the new surface until more sand is moved from under them (again the assumption is that the water force is enough to move the sand but not the objects).

If more sand is moved while the force of the water is not enough to move the objects, the objects will drop down some more.  Remember, I'm oversimplifying here.  However if the sand returns (while the water force is still strong enough to move the sand but not the objects, the objects will get covered.  If six inches of sand moves, but this time in the opposite direction, the objects will be under about six inches of sand.

This coming and going of sand can happen many times.  If the amount of force is only great enough to move the sand, we will have some idea how deep the objects that started near the original surface will be.  If additional layers of sand are moved (without the objects being moved horizontally) the objects will find the lowest layer where the sand had vacated.  If, for example, three times six inches of sand was removed without any sand refilling, the objects will be down about 18 inches.  In actuality that would be unusual.   More commonly you would see sand eroding and then refilling to some extent in between erosion events.

My observations of local beaches seems to show that a foot or two is really about as much as you'll usually see, and that amount can put you into productive sand, and likewise cover it up when the flow of sand reverses.

More than a 100 times to 1 some amount of sand will be left covering the newly settled objects.  Only when a slight wash of water, most often during a descending tide, uncovers the items will the items be exposed and laying right on the surface.

I haven't even addressed when the water force is strong enough to move the objects too.  In that case, the objects, either a few or all of them will be moved some distance with the sand, but usually not as far as the sand.  And if the objects have different densities, sizes or shapes, they will also separate.

Another complicating factor is the fact that the water will be usually coming in and then reversing and going back out over the same area.  That means that in those cases the sand and any other objects can be moved in both directions.  The relative force of the incoming and outgoing water will determine which objects are moved how much, and the important thing - the net movement.  An easily moved object will can move a large distance in both directions, but one direction more than another.  Sometimes other factors come into play, such as the slope or other obstacles.

Objects that move less easily will remain closer to their original spot.  But there are also times such as when you have a good angle that the water comes in and washes out at more of an arc, which means a steady movement either south or north will be observed rather than only the back and forth of the up and down hill movement.

Back to the simple case in which we only consider a single sand moving wash of water.  The main point is that less easily moved objects fall into lowest layer and will tend to remain there, periodically being uncovered a little and then covered more deeply again.  They'll mostly stay at the same level until the sand gets moved and they reach a new lower level.  That might sound like sinking, but it is not sinking into a stable layer of sand.

When you can identify an old layer of sand that has been exposed, it likely has been relatively unmoved for a long time.  It will take an unusual event for it to be washed out - yet it does happened.  Usually when such a layer is near the surface it will get covered fairly quickly again and then most future movements of sand will be the coming and going of the one or two feet above that, but not much more.

If the objects are in deep layers that haven't been exposed for long periods of time, they will probably remain there for long periods of time.  It will take an unusual event to expose once again those deep layers.  And if items get down to bedrock and caught in crevices or whatever, they will stay there until some very dramatic event occurs or somebody removes them.  It will take a very unusual event, probably a sequence of events, to dislodge them naturally.

I started out trying to be specific, but couldn't cover much that way, so I got more general.  Like I said at the beginning, there are a lot of variables and it isn't simple.


Carpintero was working as an intern at the Z.D. Ramsdell Civil War Home Museum in Ceredo, West Virginia, when she discovered the letter tucked in a book. The letter, dated June 27, 1862, was written by then Lieutenant McKinley of the 23rd Ohio Infantry to Ramsdell. Carpintero found the letter Jan. 7 while researching another artifact in the museum and said her internship supervisor was just as surprised by her finding the letter as she was.

Here is the link.

I've written before about the surprises you can find in books.  I once wrote an article about that for a treasure magazine.

I have many old collectible books (over a hundred years old) that have never been read.   How can I tell?  The pages have never been separated.  They were never trimmed.

Old books are one of my favorite treasures, but unlike back forty or fifty years ago, the collectible book market is not good except for the most desired books.


Population migrations are interesting and often result in good places to detect.  Ghost towns are one good example.

Here is a link to an article about the coronavirus migration.

A few days ago I mentioned that people are escaping the high-risk New York area that has around fifty percent of the nations confirmed cases.  Instead of self-isolating that are spreading the risk.  There was some talk of stopping that, but it was those with means that were doing it, so it wasn't stopped.

Some local areas did take measures to stop it even if the governors didn't want to.

...From beaches and resort towns to mountain cabins to rural family homesteads, places far from densely packed cities are drawing people eager to escape from infection hotspots. But virus fugitives often are running into fierce opposition on their routes, including Florida’s effort to block New Yorkers from joining their relatives in the Sunshine State, a police checkpoint keeping outsiders from entering the Florida Keys, and several coastal islands closing bridges to try to keep the coronavirus at bay... 

...As the threat of the virus intensified last week, Danette Denlinger Brown, 54, hoped to relocate from Williamsburg, Va., to North Carolina's Outer Banks, where she and her husband own a second home. But as she prepared to leave, she learned that North Carolina police had blocked the Wright Brothers Memorial Bridge connecting the mainland to the barrier island. Only year-round residents could cross, a restriction county officials said was necessary to stop migrating families from overwhelming the area’s only hospital, a 20-bed facility...

They tell those who are moving to self-isolate for fourteen days, but who takes with them two weeks of supplies when they travel.  It's a farce.  Cuomo is happy to export his problem to another state, along the needs and statistics that go with them.

As per the TV news, there are so many private jets from New York now at the Palm Beach airport that there is no more parking space.

The blue state elites are now escaping to the culturally backward blue-collar red states for refuge.  Actually those who could always did.


The surf will increase to 3 - 5 feet in a few days.

Act responsibly not selfishly.  Think of others as much as yourself.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

3/28/20 Report - 18th Century Shipwreck Dated. Archaeology and Detectorists. Closed Beaches Ideas.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Source: See link below.

YORK, Maine — Findings from a study conducted on a shipwreck site on Short Sands beach indicate the vessel was built before the American Revolutionary War...

Claesson said he had records of the wreck’s unearthing in 1958, then 1978.

“Photos taken during that time indicate the mast was cut off,” he said.

Claesson asked for anyone with photos or artifacts to contact him.

“I’m not trying to be the archaeology police,” he joked. “But people have been interacting with the site for decades. I’d love to see photos or learn anything else about it to be able to tell the full story of the site.”...

Here is the link for the rest of the article.

In the past year or two it has seemed to me that archaeology has not been bashing treasure hunters or metal detecting hobbyists as once as they once did.

A few years ago it seemed that at least every other article involving detectorists included the word "looters" or something to that effect.  I haven't been seeing that very often since around the time I did a piece entitled "The Problem With Archaeology."  I can't imagine that it had such an effect, but at the same time, it could have.

I mentioned some compelling facts including the notion that archaeologists claim to be "saving the past for the public" while acting in a very contradictory manner.  I pointed out that "treasure hunters" in some ways serve that goal much more effectively than archaeologists.  That is evidenced by a number of facts, including the fact that many more of the readers of this blog have seen shipwreck items in the Mel Fisher museums than in the Florida Museum of Natural History.  That is just a part of my argument and recommendation for archaeology.

Here is the link to the post in which I talk about that.

One point I made in that post is how the public can assist archaeologists.  Claesson asks for that assistance, but because of the mistrust created by archaeologists has to let the public know that he is not going to "try to be the archaeology police."


With the beaches close you might be wondering where you can metal detect.  We've faced beach closings before, and there are always people who manage to get on the beaches one way or another.

I often say there is always away.  I am a person that enjoys finding alternative methods of doing things.  There are ways you can get on the beach even if it is closed without doing anything illegal.  You don't have to jump fences or do anything like that.  For example, you can go by boat or jet ski.  Maybe you have friends or acquaintances that have beachside residences or you might rent a room at a beachside residence or resort.  Some detectorists have passes through their jobs or do contracting that can get them on the beach.  There are things that I won't mention.  They are used by some detectorists every time the beaches get closed for hurricanes.  I'ts not that I'm trying to keep them secret, and I don't use them myself.  I just want you to know that there are ways to do it legally if you really want to do it.  .

Better yet, there are some good alternatives to the beach, which you should realize because the beach is not always the best place to hunt anyhow.  Let's think off-beach.

The first thing is to be alert to what you see as you go about your normal daily business.  You will see some decent sites.  I always have a long list of sites in mind that I plan to test someday when I get around to it.  When I think of beaches, I have my high and low priority beaches, but I also have a long list of off-beach detecting spots too.

You know how when you are driving along A1A and you see all of those spots where fishermen kayakers and others stop along the west side of the Indian River.  They've been doing it for many years, but those spots aren't detected much.  There is a reason that people don't detect those spots.  For one thing, there will be a lot of trash and sinkers and very little good treasure, but if you adjust your techniques, you might find a few interesting things.  I've done those spots before, and have found some nice things.  You might even find something old - maybe a nice old shell native American artifact.  There is more to be found in the river than you might think.  There are even spots where galleons or pieces of galleons washed over the island and into the river.  You'll have a better chance if you've done your research.

There is a lot of construction going on.  The railroad is adding tracks and roads are being widened and repaired.  In the process old ground is being churned up.  Don't try to detect an active construction site, but if you watch what is going on, you can identify some good metal detecting possibilities.  Work around the edges or after the work is done.  If you've been reading this blog very long, you've read numerous articles about archaeological sites being unearthed by construction projects.

The recent drought will open up some areas that were overgrown.  I know of one area that I've been watching for a while and the overgrowth is thinning out so I won't have to do so much work to make it detectable.  It was heavily covered by overgrowth, but you could see surface evidence of old glass and bricks.  You can open up new areas if you are willing to remove brush.  You might still need to adjust how you sweep your detector.  Maybe use non-motion mode.

You might ask for permission to detect private property.  Most beach hunters have never done much of that.  It never hurts to try something new.

You can hook up with other detectorists who might have access to good areas.

Remember the old silver coins that came out of the Peace River.  Waterways are good areas to metal detect and often have public access.  Search the banks or shallow water, or dive.

Watch for grass covered parking lots.  I know where there are a few of those.  They are often not closed off.

I always enjoyed working old carnival grounds especially just after the carnival picked up and left. I found mostly modern coins.  Sometimes there would be dollars of quarters laying on the surface and dollar bills blown up against the fences.

Generally, just keep your eyes open as you go about your normal daily business and notice any possibilities.

Try something new and different.  It might be outside your comfort zone, but you'll probably learn something new and improve your skills for when you get back to the beach.

Another possibility is do another kind of treasure hunting.  Maybe go look for some fossils.

There are a few ideas.  If you have others that you'd like to share, let me know.


I just thought of this last night and thought I should post it.  I don't know exactly why.  I just have a feeling.

You'll remember it from 1985 if you are old enough.


The surf will be around four feet today and then decreasing for the next few days.

Happy hunting,