Tuesday, September 30, 2014

9/30/14 Report - Portable Antiquities Scheme And The PAS Web Site. Switching It Up.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.BlogSpot.com.

Treasure Coast Lion Head Gold Ring
Find Marked 10K.

I've talked about England's Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS), which as their web site says, was developed ... to encourage the voluntary recording of archaeological objects found by members of the public in England and Wales. Every year many thousands of objects are discovered, many of these by metal-detector users, but also by people whilst out walking, gardening or going about their daily work.

The PAS has been highly successful because it respects the public and encourages them to be involved and rewards those that make properly reported finds.  That is very much unlike what we have in the United States, which presents the public with a confusing mess of rules and regulations, topped by intimidating penalties.  I once wrote to Tallahassee asking what a person finding a Native American artifact on the beach should do and who they should contact or whatever.  I never received a reply.  A person in this country that finds something would not know what to do and might well be afraid of doing anything.

One of the big problems is that here almost anything and everything is considered historic and is protected.  PAS, on the other hand, defines treasure as being over 300 years old.  In Florida, anything 50 years old is considered historic and protected.  That would include my high school class ring and a lot of my other possessions. 

In Florida, at least the fossil collecting laws are reasonable.  You can obtain a permit to collect fossils on state land (which includes all waterways in the state) for $5.00 per year.  Reporting finds is required.  

But what I wanted to do today is simply point you to the PAS web site.  The web site is a useful tool.  It illustrates the public-friendly attitude of the program.

Here is the link.


The PAS web site makes it clear who to contact, explains the program, answers many questions, explains how to conserve items, how to collect and display items, provides a database of finds, and even gives people advice on selling items that do not qualify under the program if a person finds something that he eventually wants to sell.  In short, it is helpful, treats the public with respect and consideration instead of as a mistrusted enemy, invites participation, and most of all has been very effective.

Take a look.

Don't write and ask me what the metal detecting laws and regulations are in Florida.  As I just said, it is a confusing mess, and I'm not going to try to explain it even if I could.

I noticed a YouTube video testing the Minelab 5000.  It is a  detector costing over $5000 and is designed to be used in the gold fields.  But what struck me most is that it has a setting for fine gold and another setting for larger gold.  In the test that I saw on the video, the "fine gold" setting detected two small nuggets but not two larger nuggets.  Then the other setting was used and the other two nuggets were detected, but not the smaller ones.

To me that just emphasized to me something that I have been learning to appreciate more and more myself.  It takes more than one shot to cover an area well, and using more than one detector can be very helpful.   That is true in any area of size, but especially true in a junky area.  You'll find things with one detector that will be missed by another.  And you'll find things in one mode that will be missed in another mode while using the same detector.  An area that is worth detecting can be covered many times and good targets will still show up.   I challenge you to put that to the test.  If you don't find it true, I'll bet that you are hunting the area the same way every time instead of changing where you focus or how you use your detector or detectors.

I'll also bet that if five different detectorists visit the same site, four of them will hit the same spots.  The tendency is to go to the nice flat open areas.  Some areas simply appear more inviting.  While the types of areas that draw people will most likely be over-hunted, the probability is that there will also be areas that remain overlooked.

To give just one example.  The tag that I showed yesterday was in a yard that had been hunted several times with different detectors.  The tag was found in an area less than a foot wide between a concrete driveway and bushes.  A large coil could not be used there.  And many detectors would have been nearly useless there because of the rebar in the concrete drive way.   To top that off, there was also a iron item buried close to the tag.

Most people tend to see and approach a site the same way over and over again.  If you make an effort to switch things up, I think you'll find that there is more to be found even though you might have hunted the same site before. While most people will make a bee line to those nice inviting areas, the little nooks and crannies can contain a lot of goodies.

Now that September is nearly over I can report that the most read post of August 2014 was the 8/6/14 Report -  Young Boys Find Very Rare and Old Gold Hair Tress.   Fake or Real Escudo?  Error Dime.  Poor Beach Conditions.  It's All About ...  

It is interesting that the most read post was not the post that received the most g+1 clicks.

Coincidentally, the gold hair tress was an item covered by the PAS.

There are only a few hours left to respond to the blog poll.

One area of disturbed weather has been sitting off of North Carolina for a few days now, but it is not likely to form, and it is not likely to affect us.

On the Treasure Coast we are having a two-foot surf.   It will be just a touch less for the next few days.

Happy hunting,