Monday, October 21, 2013

10/21/13 Report - Old Finds From Back in the Day and Unusual Shell Item

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Have you ever been walking down the beach and noticed something unusual - maybe a shell, or stone that was a bit different somehow?  If you keep your eyes open, especially around shell piles, you probably will occasionally see something you can't identify.

Rounded Shell Fragment
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It might be the result of natural processes, or it might be the result of human activity.

Here is a rounded piece of a shell that a lady found while collecting shells for crafts.  As you can see it is almost the size of a quarter, but unusually round.  That is just not a very natural shape for a piece of shell.

Below is what our expert and friend, Fred D., said about this piece.

Looks modified by human hands...obviously. It was probably on its way to becoming a gorget, ear gauge or a pendant of some kind. It is an artifact to be sure. The chalky substance is the shells decayed cortex.

Thanks Fred.  Your expertise is much appreciated.  I love having access to the expertise of the readers of this blog.

The above is non-metallic.  There are a lot of non-metallic items that you can't help but to see if you spend enough time on the beaches and develop an eye for what is natural and common and what might not be.

A couple of days ago I posted some information from local historian and long-time detectorist Kenneth H.   William M. has also investigated some of the sites around the same area of the Treasure Coast.

Here is what William said.

Your info today was is Kenneth.
I speak to him periodically.  I thought you were about to talk about when he detected with club members...One club member found a Spanish silver coin that day... black glass bottles and Native American pottery scattered everywhere.  I've hunted the same property he mentions the case Gins in.  Second Seminole war military artifacts were there as well as Native American.

I know of another detectorist, who I'm pretty sure participated at that same club hunt.  He is now  deceased.  He found a silver Seminole head dress ornament - again, that was back in the eighties.
I didn't post everything that Kenneth sent me the other day. Here is more from Kenneth.

Toward the south end-Ancona, about 2006, I found a site that produced wagon parts; a ships spike; an English flat button; an English hallmark silver spoon and such--dating to 1860's. Once I discovered it, the landowner became nervous and stopped me from continuing until he finished developing the property. This one hurt because much of the site was concealed by vegetation which since was removed during construction. Since then, an immaculate lawn was planted and shrubbed.

Ironically, this site and one of the 1840's bottle dumps I found years back were very close to Indian River Drive. The first site actually produced two bottle dumps. One was an 1845-1850's outhouse pit only 6-ft off the road. The second dump was an Oyster shell pit and it contained an 1850's S.E. dime and a few Cuban/Bahamian short rum bottles. It was another eight feet west of the outhouse pit; but, off to the side.

Remember, the closer one lives to the river, the more constant the breeze. The more constant the breeze reduces the horrid insects such as mosquitoes and sand fleas. Hence, most of these sites were up against the apex of the bluff and because of that, many exist under today's Indian River Drive. Notably, the outhouse pit contained a set of doorknobs made of copper. Also therein were bottles from US; England and France. Hence, evidence of supplies travelling through the Bahamas. I will be converting a few of my photos to jpegs and will share a few with you in the future.

Thanks again for sharing Kenneth.  Your information is appreciated by me and the readers of this blog.

Since I've been talking so much about personal history lately, here is a fantastic story of a man who created a museum out what he found under his home after archaeologists told him he wouldn't find anything there.  This is far from the Treasure Coast, but still a fascinating read.

There is one low pressure area in the Atlantic right now that has a 40 percent chance of becoming a cyclone in the next 48 hours.

To me it looks too far north to do much for us even if it does develop.

The predictions for a 4 - 6 foot surf on the Treasure Coast about a week from now is already being modified.  That frequently happens when you look at the predictions that far ahead.  It has been delayed one day and decreased by one foot.

Now we have a small surf - down around one foot.

Expect current conditions to continue at least a few days.  That means relatively high low tides too.

Happy hunting,