Wednesday, August 20, 2014

8/20/14 Report - Illustration Of The Development Of A Coin Hole. Five Metal Detector Annoyances. Okeechobee Battlefield. Indian Scout. Two Tropical Disturbances.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Diagram Of Coin Hole Found Yesterday

My camera batteries were dead yesterday when I wanted to take a picture of the coin hole that I was detecting.  I made this simple sketch to try to show the situation.

The coin hole was evidently relatively fresh.  You could tell that it had not be disturbed by man or nature since it was created.   I can also tell that the conditions that created it were short-lived. 

First I noticed the dune cliff and where it had been undercut.  Good sign!

When a dune face is undercut, the material above the undercut will fall down to the bottom of the cliff where it will be washed down the slope of the beach.  The sand will be washed farther and faster, leaving a spread of coins behind.

Around the Treasure Coast 18th Century items are usually a foot or two deep in the dunes.

That means those older things will wash out when the cliff face is down around two feet.

Cliffs that are less than a foot high, will often, but not always, produce only modern items.  There is not any guarantee that larger cliffs will yield older items.  It depends on what remains in the area from different time periods.

I'm talking here about a situation where the items are being washed out of the dunes, not when items are being washed up from the water.

Always look at a dune cliff face to see if you can see evidence of different labels and see if there are any signs of the different time periods.

In this case there was a very clear pattern showing how the coins washed out of the dunes.

This is the type of detecting that I really like.  You can quickly identify the promising area, and you can quickly identify the source and boundaries of the coin hole.

Sometimes a coin hole will be near the foot of the cliff and other times farther away.

Items will get sorted out by the moving water to some extent, but when the items wash out is another factor that will determine where they end up.

There was a deep drop-off and strong current running in front of this beach.  Objects that made it into the water will disappear into deeper water as the strong currents continue to take sand away.

Not too far along the beach in the direction of the current, the sand was being dropped off.  Light objects were on top of the accumulating sand pile in the water in that direction.   Some were undoubtedly come from the dunes and washed down.

If you find a pile like that you can sometimes back track it to the source where you might find the better objects.

That is one reason I don't like discrimination.  The junk often tells you something important.

This is the kind of area that you have to go over a few times to make sure you get everything.

You'll hear more subtle signals after you've removed the bigger louder targets.

Finds from various time periods will be found together because when the cliff is undercut, objects from all time periods above the undercut will fall to the foot of the dune before being washed down the slope.

Five things about metal detectors that annoy me.

1.  Parts that break with nothing other than normal usage.
2.  Parts that freeze up unless you constantly maintain them.
3.  Difficult routine maintenance such as changing batteries.
4.  Knobs, switches and adjustments that can not easily manipulated while detecting.
5.  Settings that do not provide clear feedback concerning the position or setting selected.

Yesterday I showed how I reinforced my detector rod stem.

Somebody reported seeing detectorists detecting  a battlefield in Okeechobee.  I don't know if that was a permitted hunt with archaeologists or on private property or what.   In any case, here is what I said in a previous post.

Just a little west of the Treasure Coast is the field where the Battle of Okeechobee took place in 1837. 

The troops of Zachary Taylor took a beating there as the Seminoles out-witted Taylor and the Missouri Volunteers.

The battlefield is threatened by development and a State Park has been created to preserve the area.

Here is a link to learn more about the battle of Okeechobee.

That reminds me of Lewis Wetzel, Indian scout from the 18th Century that scouted around Wheeling, Virginia and the brother of one of my ancestors.   It didn't become West Virginia until the the Civil War.

He was known by whites and Indians alike for the fact that he could load his musket while running.

That cost the lives of numerous Indians who thought that after firing one shot, he wouldn't be shooting again. 

He would shoot one, then reload while running, and then fire again, repeating until the pursuers were either killed or thought better of following.

His notched rifle is said to be in a museum in Charleston WV.

There are some interesting books about his life and adventures.

We still have two disturbances in the Atlantic.  They seem to be staying south.  The one near South America has a thirty percent chance of becoming a cyclone in the next 48 hours.


On the Treasure Coast the same one-foot surf prevails.   They are harder to find, but there are still some interesting places to hunt despite the poor beach conditions that we've had for so long.

Happy hunting,