Tuesday, March 20, 2012

DIV Blog Day 3: My first Civil War bottle!!

Today we started out detecting a new area near the hunt HQ.  After a great many nails and farm iron, I happened to find a mule shoes, which I took as an omen of good luck.  I placed it in my bag, making sure it would stay "open side" up to hold in my luck.  The very next signal turned out to be an artillery shell fragment!  I'm not sure exactly what shell it's from, and there may not be enough remaining to know.

The following signal was a horseshoe, which I casually tossed into my bag.  The entire rest of the morning did not go as well as I had hoped, without a single period target.  After the hunt-sponsored BBQ, I returned to the field I detected on day two, but not before stopping off to unload some of the iron from my pack.  I quickly discovered my problem - the horseshoe was in my bag upside down.  I righted the horseshoe and started detecting, and before long I had a decent signal.

What I found in the hole was a deep 58 caliber three ring bullet, but something caught my eye.  Black material stood out on the surface of the white bullet, and the bottom of the hole showed a small amount of charcoal.  I thought I might be on to something, and began expanding out the hole to find more charcoal.  As I removed another shovel of dirt, I watched a second three ring bullet roll out.  At this point I was sure I was in a fire pit or hut site.

I called my buddy Josh who was detecting on the next hill over, and he came to help out.  We continued to expand the hole, following the black charcoal material to excavate the pit.  There wasn't much in it, but plenty for our first pit dig, including some broken glass and animal bone.  Josh ended up pulling out three more bullets, while I had five (all 58's).  Josh was taking his turn expanding the side with a hand digger when he said "Hey, if we find a bottle, you're digging it."  No sooner had he said it then he started to see glass emerge from the side of the hole.

I hopped in to the hole and carefully worked around to free the bottle from the clay and rocks which surrounded it.  Josh took video, but I'll have to post that later.  It turned out to be a complete medicine bottle with no breaks.  It is a completely surreal experience digging out that pit, and I hope to be able to do more in the future.  But now it's time to rest up, because while the bottle was an excellent ending to DIV XX, the next hunt (XXI) starts on Thursday for three more days of digging!

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