Sunday, May 12, 2013

5/13/13 Report - Calusa Pot Shards, AT Pro First Find & Backyard Detecting

Written by the Treasureguide for the exlusive use of

Check Stamped Pot Shard.
Two days ago I mentioned a book, Culture and Environment in the Domain of the Calusa, edited by William Marquardt, University of Florida, 1992.   Totally available free online.  I gave the link too.

When I mentioned that book two days ago I referred to the chapter on   shell artifacts.  I also wanted to mention the chapter on Calusa pottery.

To the right is one example of a pot shard shown in the book.

I saw one very much like it laying on the surface in plain sight right beside the road when they were doing construction on Indian River Drive.  When I first saw it I wasn't sure what it was.  It didn't look like a shard at first glance, more like a piece of bark or something.  It did catch my attention though, and on closer inspection I could tell what it was.

My point is that you will from time to time see such things laying in plain sight.  If you read through books like the above, you'll be prepared to recognize them when you do see them. 

William M., who has made a lot of really nice old detecting finds from the 17 or 1800s and who has one great Native American pot shard collection, got a new detector the other day.   He said,  I just got my Garrett (AT Pro) yesterday and walked across the street domain my house along the C-24 canal this morning to start practicing with it.

The area is full of iron first decent signal was a penny which I got some practice pinpointing on.. beautifully simple on that machine.... the very next non-iron target was silver! LOL.

Thanks for sharing William.

William didn't get real excited about this find, but I wanted pass along the story simply because it is instructive.

William's Second Good Signal
With His New Detector.
What I want to point out first is that phrase "across the street."  Sometimes we overlook places right under our nose.  Sometimes we think there won't be anything there and never look.  It is always worth taking a look at those places in our own back yard.  You never know what you might find but will some times be surprised.

Even if there isn't anything really nice there, it is worth finding out for sure.  And when you don't find anything any good, at least you increased your experience level and it didn't take a lot of time.

I often detect my own yard.  Even today and even though I've done it many times before.

I don't really expect to find anything worth while.  I've been over it many times with different detectors and think I've found most everything, yet occasionally I get the urge to take out my detector and check.  I always find something.  Not anything good.  And never have I found anything gold or even old there, but I always manage to find something.  Poking a little further under this or that, or working through some trash.  It can be a good way to push your technique and your detector to the next level. 

Hunt those overhunted areas occasionally just to see what you have to do to get the remaining whatever it is that is still there.

Hunt those real junky areas too, especially when they are in your own back yard.  It only takes a few minutes to walk out the door with your detector.  Learn to work through junk.  That is one thing most people don't really know how to do too well because they always try to avoid it.  It will teach you about masking and how to sift through junk most effectively.

There are places out there that have a lot of good targets remaining simply because most people won't try to work through all the junk.  Learn how to do it and then do it and you'll be surprised what you can find.

Burnt down cabins, sheds or whatever will be covered with iron junk.  Learn how to work through it and you'll have some good hunting that most people will simply pass up.  You might not find anything much good, or you might.  In any case, you'll KNOW what is or is not there, and most likely you'll learn something else in the process. 

I know one place in the Keys where I always stop and detect if I am in the area.  Lots of people pass right by there, but very very few people ever detect there.  It just doesn't look any good.  It is muddy - deep mud that you sink in up to your ankles every step.  It is weedy.  It is ugly.  There is very little reason to believe much of anything good will be found there, but every time I've stopped there to detect for a few minutes I've found a gold ring.

As surprising as it may seem, you can find very good hunting spots on old beaches that are overlooked by almost everybody even in big metropolitan areas that can become your own little honey hole.

A lot of good detecting sites will be overlooked by the vast majority of detectorists.  That's one reason they are still good. 

Trash and other obstacles can hide treasure.  Many treasures have a dragon of one sort or another that guards them.

I used to have a saying that I often repeated in regard to detecting.  Here it is.  If you don't want to do it, do it.   That is for those of you that are real hard core.  And I do have to state some exceptions.  Don't follow that advice when the reason you don't want to do it is because of morals, law or safety of self or others.  Otherwise you'll often find it good advice as it relates to metal detecting.

The surfing web sites say that we can expect a calm sea today with a surf of down around only one foot.  And just a tad more for the next few days.

If that is actually what happens, it might be a good time to get into the water of work the low tide area. 

Hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day.

Time flies. Make the most of it.

Happy hunting,