Wednesday, June 6, 2012

6/6/12 Report - Clues to OMD Lead Seal Found & More

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Back in my 3/11/12 report, I posted a photo of what appeared to be a lead seal bearing the letters OMD, which was submitted by one of this blog's readers for help with identification.   It appears that a very similar looking item, identified as being from an early 17th century shipwreck, is shown in this picture which was sent to the detectorist.  Both the lead seal and the olive jar rim find, which I showed not long ago, appear to be from the same early 17th century shipwreck. 

[Above Referenced Picture Removed.  I just found out the photo was from a copyrighted source and even though it was not used here for any commerical purpose, removed it as quickly as possible.]

I really like the problem-solving process and how all the clues slowly come together to provide a picture of when and how an item was lost.  I appreciate that much more than the economic value of an item, which doesn't mean much to me.

One common misconception about detectorists is that they do it for the profit.  There are some that do, just like archaeologists want to be paid for their work, but many detectorists never sell a single thing that they find.  They are more interested in the history of the item and conduct a lot of research to get to know more about their finds.  I would say that is especially true of the guys that are really dedicated and have been in the hobby for a long time, as opposed to newer hobbyists who are always asking "what's it worth."  Of course, asking how much something is worth doesn't mean that they are going to sell the item, but  how much an item is worth is to them a crude measure of the item's interest-value (or how good of a find it is).  It provides an external reference for those who haven't through their personal experiences yet developed a well-defined internal value scale of their own.

My favorite story of all that has ever appeared in this blog, is the story of Ian's coaked sheave.  The thing I liked so much about that story is the excellent research that Ian did, and how the story slowly came together from various clues and resources. 

You can see a photo of Ian's coaked sheave by going back to my 1/21/2010 post. 

By the way, a quick way to find topics from old posts is to use this blog's search box.  People don't use the search box enough.  Try it out.

I found a listing of archaeology blogs the other day.  You might find it handy.

Here is the link.

After finding this list,  I took a look at the first post in the first blog on the list.  And wouldn't you know - that post was about what appears to me to be the primary preoccupation of modern archaeology - looters.  Well, not really.  It was about Ric Savage and the American Diggers TV show. 

Don't get me wrong.  I'm not for looting.  But I am against characterizing anybody who digs up any object anywhere anytime as a looter or just as bad as one.  If these archaeologists would get busy on real projects, they would have something to do besides watching TV programs by ex-wrestlers and bashing everybody who finds something in the dirt.

Before proceeding, let me also say that I am not a big fan of either American Diggers or Ric Savage.  But neither am I a fan of mischaracterization.  And I certainly don't believe that every object that has ever been dropped should instantly become the property of academic archaeology or the government.

The blog of which I speak, seemed to blurr the distinction between artifacts capable of providing new insights into ancient cultures with anything and everything that has ever been lost.  I don't know if the failure to make that distinction is the result of dishonesty or simply fuzzy thinking.  Since I have to believe that archaeologists are capable of making the distinction between archaeologically significant finds and the billions of tons of miscellaneous junk that litters the landscapes of the world, I tend to take it as dishonest attempt by archaeologists to claim the world and everything in it as "their" domain - everybody else being an ignorant intruder.

I could go on and on about this, but I'll stop there.

Did you know that there are tens of thousands of treasure coins in the Florida collection?  Mostly coming from the efforts of treasure hunters?   Do you think that it is the proper business of the state to maintain such collections?  At tax-payer expense?   Have you seen any of those coins?   What benefit have you derived from the collection?  Just a few questions.  Maybe I'll do a poll on that sometime.

By the way, I posted a new poll in this blog recently.  Your response will help provide meaningful information.

Tomorrow I'll have more on the Helldiver found in the ocean off of Jupiter.

There was a little rain this morning cooling things off.   The seas remain calm.   In the next few days the seas will be increasing a little, but only up to about two or three feet, so that won't change detecting conditions significantly.

Happy hunting,