Detectorist Suckers

More Money Than Sense

in 2011 I compiled a short blog post that received a lot of attention and deserves a reprise. In those days my original blog had nearly 2000 subscribers and comments left on posts usually reached the giddy 30’s. Not so today: I’m fortunate to get 4 of 5. This is how it started:

I believe that for many detectorists the act of buying a new machine far outweighs the thrill of actually participating in the hobby.

John Winter November 2011

And continued … that’s the impression I get from looking at the various detecting forums, (not so many about now), talking to people in the field and keeping my eyes and ears open. If you regularly visit online hobby (sport?) sites then you’ll be very familiar with the threads extolling the virtues of one make of detector over another. They usually run for several pages, becoming increasingly vitriolic and personal before an enlightened and increasingly frustrated moderator pulls the plug. Has it changed?

The machines being discussed (I use that word lightly) are rarely the reasonably priced models, but high-end machines costing well over a thousand pounds – and more!

For the guys with all the latest gear (but little idea?) it’s as though when they do venture into a muddy field they have to hold their head up high by sporting the latest and the most expensive equipment; when we all know that all you need to find treasure is enthusiasm, a reasonably priced proven detector and a spade.

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Skullduggery, Freemasonry and a Danake

A strange and unusual item this time – and I don’t mean the skull but its amalgamation with the coin shown below. For the purpose of this blog, the skull is a representation, a look-a-like. The coin is genuine.

Eight years ago I was contacted by a FLO who related an intriguing story about a coin that had been handed in for recording and identification.

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Roman Cosmetic Sets

A news report recently caught my attention. A number of items found and catalogued in the early 20th century have been reappraised. Metal detectorists have found similar artefacts–and many like them.

Stated simply, archaeology is the study of the past by looking for the remains and objects left by the people who lived long ago. These remains can include coins, tools, buildings, and inscriptions. Archaeologists use these remains to understand how people lived. But sometimes they get it wrong.

‘Pendants’ turn out to be Roman cosmetic artefacts

Roman ‘pendants’ excavated in the early 20th century have been revealed to be ancient cosmetic sets used for eye make-up.

The ‘cosmetic grinders’ will go on display at Wroxeter for the first time, the heritage charity said. The small pestle and mortar sets, which were developed in the first century AD, had loops to allow them to be carried on a cord which previously led people to think they were pendants.

Experts also said sets were exclusive to Britain, though they were a response to the import of cosmetics and personal beauty ideas coming from the Mediterranean and Roman provinces as far away as Egypt. They show how thriving, prosperous and metropolitan Wroxeter Roman City was 2,000 years ago, English Heritage said.

Cameron Moffett, English Heritage curator, said: “Being able to re-identify these pendants as cosmetic sets is hugely important to our understanding of the women who lived and worked at Wroxeter Roman City – these small objects literally changed the face of Britain.

“When we think of the Roman period, conversation is often dominated by the masculine realms of influence, from Emperors and politics to battle tactics, but of course women played a key role.

“It’s these functional, everyday items that really paint a picture of relatable women, to whom make-up was wholly accessible, following the trends of the time and using tools so similar to the ones we use today.” Yorkshire Post

Lunate Pendant

Seems incredible that these artefacts were originally considered pretty 2,000-year-old objects–lunate pendants’– with no use other than for decoration. English Heritage revealed that they had a fascinating purpose: as makeup applicators that the more well-heeled woman in Roman Britain would have used to put on eye makeup. The fashion was for heavy and dark, often using soot or charcoal. I particularly liked the quote from the EH curator, Cameron Moffat, who said that these small objects “literally changed the face of Britain.” Great pun and so apt!

The Romans used all sorts of beauty tools – combs and hairpins made of bone, heated curling tongs, tweezers for plucking out stray hairs, and tiny spoons to scoop wax from ears. Fashionable men wore perfume and make-up. Like today? They even had stick-on leather patches to hide any spots or scars. And why did Roman women look pale? Take my word, they did! I learnt that fact at school many years ago. Pale skin was a sure sign that a woman came from a rich, noble family. Poorer women had to work outside. Their faces burnt in the hot summer sun, and became rough and red in the cold winter winds.

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DETECTORISTS’ TRIVIA QUIZ

TRIVEA QUIZ NOW CLOSED

This time I have a quiz for you based mainly on the award winning Mackenzie Crook C4 series of DETECTORISTS. There are 20 questions. Copy the link and send your answers to me at johnwintersenior@gmail.com In the subject line put QUIZ. I hope you enjoy what I have ‘crooked’ up for you. Result in the future, but at this stage I don’t know when.

There is a small prize for the person who comes up with the most correct answers. If the quiz proves to be ‘easy’ and many qualify as winners, then those names will be drawn from a hat. Details of the prizes are at the end of the blog. Good luck.


QUESTION ( 1 and 1a )

The DIG Is a film based on the 2007 novel by John Preston, and is due to be released at the end of this month. The film depicts the discovery of a major burial site.

WHAT WAS THE NAME OF THE BURIAL SITE AND WHO WAS THE OWNER?

QUESTION ( 2 and 2a )

IN DETECTORISTS WHO DOES BECKY POUR THREE PINTS OF ‘STRONG EUROPEAN BEER’ OVER? and WHO IS ‘BECKY’S’ REAL LIFE MOTHER?

QUESTION ( 3 and 3a)

Lance drove a yellow Triumph TR7 car in Detectorists.

NAME THE YEAR IN WHICH THE CAR WAS REGISTERED?and WHAT IS LANCE’S SURNAME?

QUESTION ( 4 and 4a )

This adorable dog featured in my Blog last year.

DO YOU KNOW THE DOG’S NAME AND WHAT BREED HE IS?

QUESTION ( 5 and 5a )

Various locations appear in the Detectorists, including the church, and several of the town’s shops and streets.

WHAT IS THE NAME OF THE TOWN WHERE MOST OF THE SERIES WAS FILMED?and NAME THE COUNTY.

QUESTION ( 6 and 6a )

WHAT WAS THE NAME OF THE DETECTING CLUB FEATURED IN THE SHOW? and NAME THE PRESIDENT.

QUESTION ( 7 and 7a )

Simon and Garfunkel

GIVE ME THE FIRST NAME OF THEIR CLUB AND WHAT IT CHANGED TO LATER IN THE SERIES?

QUESTION ( 8 and 8a )

Mackenzie said he got the idea for his series about detecting enthusiasts while watching a Channel 4 programme.

GIVE THE NAME OF THE C4 SERIES and WHO FRONTED THAT SHOW.

QUESTION ( 9 and 9a )

THE SONG USED IN THE OPENING AND COSING CREDITS IS CALLED? and WHO IS THE PERFORMER?

QUESTION ( 10 – 10a )

WHAT IS THE NAME OF THE PRESIDENT’S WIFE? and WHAT WAS HIS PREVIOUS JOB?


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