Tuesday, September 15, 2015

9/15/15 Report - Seven Foot Surf Predicted For Next Week. Screws As Clues. Religious Medallion. Uprooted Skeleton.

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

Sixth Century Christian Medallion.
Source: See link below.

Here is a sixth century religious medallion that was recently found.

It can be difficult to identify items.  We all know that.  But that is part of the fun of it.

Context can help a lot.  As do any markings.  But when you have neither, that is a real challenge.

Beach found items have no real context that you can rely upon.  Even well known shipwreck sites can be mingled with other shipwrecks and items from other times and centuries.

One problem with beach found items is that the corrosion and heavy wear can remove markings and other important features.  Encrustation can also disguise things.  An encrusted religious medallion can look just like a coin until it is cleaned off.  I've made that mistake before.  One old religious medallion was in a bucket of old encrusted coins that were going to be tumbled.  After tumbling, I could see that it was a religious medallion.  An old one at that.  I was sorry I tumbled it.

Make a good effort to identify items before starting with a cleaning method that might do damage.

I personally often have trouble identifying items from the 19th Century.    We don't have big collections of artifacts from the 19th Century sites locally for comparison.  There are definitely some - mostly from old home sites, but we also have some 19th century wrecks along the coast.

Sometimes it is the little things such as the fasteners that can provide an important clue.  For a long time I thought that screws were a modern invention and didn't pay much attention to them.  It turns out that screws have been used longer than I knew.

...screws were widely used in putting firearms together in the early 16th century.  The threads provided a snugger fit that could survive the vibrations from the firing gun.  Screws were also widely used in assembly armor.  When screws are inserted into metal their threads must be fairly accurate in order to fit properly into the receiving threads.  These screws were created by first hammering out a head and shank and then cutting the thread using a die called a screw plate...
Although screws were in use as fasteners by the mid-fifteenth century, factory production of screws didn’t start until the mid-1700’s. 

Here is a link for more about that.


You can learn to tell the difference between the older screws and modern screws.  The old screws can be a bit irregular, even to the eye.  Although you might not be interested in things like old screws, they can provide a good clue to the possible presence of other older items.

Concerning the medallion at the top of this post.  You don't see any hole or provision for hanging. There are traces of wood on the other side that suggests that  it was attached to something rather than hung. 

“One of the mosaics in the Basilica of San Vitale shows a church altar in a time of service. The altar table’s cover features round medalliions in which the central images are equal-arm crosses just like that of the medallion from Cape Foros."  

Here is the link that that will tell you more about that.  The link also provides the source of the photo and above quote.



An uprooted tree brought up more than roots.  In the roots was the top half of a medieval skeleton.  The bottom half of the skeleton was still in the ground.

Here is the link for that story.


I normally check uprooted trees to see if anything was exposed.


Things have been popping up and then disappearing in the Atlantic.  There are two disturbances out there now, both with a 60% chance of becoming a hurricane in the next forty eight hours.

We'll have a bump up in the surf to around three feet on Thursday then it will decrease again.  If the predictions are correct, we'll have a six or seven foot surf next week.

You know how that goes.  Sometimes it doesn't pan out.  If it happens it will be the first surf of that size we've had for a long time.

Happy hunting,