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Metal Detecting Hobby Talk
        March 2023        Metal Detecting Hobby Talk News Brief                                             Volume 12 Number 157
Metal Detecting Hobby Talk Support The Hobby
I would like to point out to the News Brief readers that there are a number of organizations taking on the challenge against various types of legislation dealing with metal detecting and gold prospecting. MDHTALK's recommendation is to visit their website and give strong consideration to joining the fight. In some cases your support may be to send emails and / or write a letter to specific legislators or to provide funds to help with the fight. Here are the organizations and a link to their website.
Go to the Join The Fight MDHTALK Webpage to read more about each of these organizations


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What is a News Brief?
The news brief provides a brief look into any news event. The intent of the news brief is to provide you, the reader, with news clips on what was taking place in the hobby last month. To read the whole story select the Article Link or go to There are more news stories placed on the MDHTALK website for February the news stories listed in the MDHTALK News Brief are just a portion of all the hobby related news reported the past month.  The news Brief is now available in Adobe PDF format, there is a link at the top of this webpage. The news brief is no longer emailed; it is only available on the MDHTALK website and can be downloaded.

The Website's featured article for this month is: Recreational Metal Detecting on the Endangered List?
Download this article to View and Read the Complete Article

Metal Detecting took form in the 1950-60s and the detectorists who were metal detecting at that time had very few restrictions and the finds were fabulous. Metal detecting during this period can be described similar to being in the old west with open ranges and anything goes. The finds stories from those in the hobby during that period are hard to believe against today’s detecting results.

So is Metal detecting on the Endangered List?
Let’s take a look at the barriers and variables that affect the hobby.

Barriers to Recreational Metal Detecting

The Law:
Today, the U.S. metal detecting environment is controlled by a hodgepodge of Federal, State, City, County laws. A major reason for this is that there is no regulation, law or statue at the Federal level that provides any support for recreational metal detecting.

Some of the Federal statues were written before metal detecting became a popular hobby and since these acts were drafted to protect America’s Heritage it may have been felt that users of a metal detector on federal lands would rob America of some of its heritage. There were four major federal acts drafted to protect America’s heritage and everyone (detectorist) should read each of them. They are:
  • 1906 American Antiquities Act act link
  • 1966 National Historic Preservation Act, As amended in 2000 act link
  • 1979 Archaeological Resources Protection Act act link
  • 1990 Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act act link
The four acts indeed do protect Americas Heritage but at the same time limit or in most situations make metal detecting an unlawful act. If someone is caught metal detecting in National Parks, National Historical Sites, National Monuments, National Recreational Areas, Native American Lands or on archaeological sites the penalties can be severe. There are a few exceptions where portions of Federal Forest Service and BLM lands allow metal detecting if no archaeology sites are present.
Hobby Related News

General U.S. and World Wide Hobby News
  • Sophisticated metal detectors, now capable of discovering gold, are changing the game. Article Link
  • Weird Things That Have Recently Washed Up on Florida Beaches. Article Link
  • A metal detectorist is suing the FBI, claiming he alerted them to 7 tons of Civil War-era gold and they took it away in a secret overnight dig. Article Link
  • Father and son find grenade buried in Midtown Mobile. Article Link
  • Metal detecting hobby an opportunity to delve into archeology. Article Link
  • Local man turns hobby for treasuring hunting into passion. Article Link
  • Explosive Ordnance Disposal team destroys mortar round found in Colwood. Article Link
  • Largest Gold Nugget Ever Found Weighed The Same As An Adult Man. Article Link
  • Over 100 holes left by metal detecting at Marlborough’s premier park. Article Link
  • Tiny radioactive capsule lost in Australia triggers search. Article Link
  • Chasing Treasure: The myth of Gasparilla and the real-life man Juan Gomez. Article Link
UU.K. News
  • PENNY’S DROPPED I found a lucky penny and then a haul called ‘Britain’s worst ever money’… but now it’s worth £200k. Article Link
  • Metal detectorists add depth to understanding history of Jersey. Article Link
  • 1,600-year-old fragment Of Enigmatic Roman Artifact Discovered In Belgium. Article Link
  • Prospector finds gold in 'secret' Birmingham stream. Article Link
  • 400-year-old 'Anne Boleyn' gold ring found on Sheppey by a metal detectorist is now on display at Hampton Court Palace. Article Link
  • Bangor museum hosts event for metal detectorists and treasure finders. Article Link
  • I tried out metal detecting on a local farm and found something more precious than buried treasure. Article Link
  • Thousands more treasures to be saved for the nation as rules about discoveries are changed. Article Link
  • Novice treasure hunter unearths 250-year-old ring. Article Link
  • Biggest Coin Hoard in a Decade Worth £150,00 Discovered During “Metal Detecting Rally” In British Countryside. Article Link
  • Buried treasures found by amateurs on show in Denmark's National Museum. Article Link
  • Millom metal detectorist's mind blown by axe head finds. Article Link
  • Powys treasure found by metal-detectorists. Article Link
  • Metal heads: the thriving detectorist scene digging up Britain’s past. Article Link
  • Spanish Man Finds Notes Worth Rs 46 Lakh Stashed In Walls, But Can't Keep All Of It. Article Link
  • Rare Edward III gold coins found in Hambleden hoard. Article Link
  • 3,500-year-old Bronze Age hoard including axes and jewellery found by detectorist in Bexhill. Article Link
  • First-time metal detectorist sparks panic when he finds unexploded World War One bomb as schools are closed and bomb squad called in. Article Link
  • 18-year-old metal detectorist from Newark discovers Anglo-Saxon gold treasure in Farndon field near to civil war site. Article Link
  • Mind-blowing' treasure discovery could indicate lost prehistoric settlement. Article Link
  • Amateur detectorists strike gold as hoard of 600 medieval coins worth £150,000 is declared treasure. Article Link
  • Win every episode of Detectorists on DVD. Article Link
  • ‘Unique’ Tudor pendant unearthed by UK metal detecting enthusiast. Article Link
  • Metal detecting trend boosts Treasure finds in the UK. Article Link
  • Bronze treasures found among sacrificial deposits. Article Link
  • Man who discovered Shropshire Roman coin hoard wants them to stay in county. Article Link
  • Treasure hauls found in county on way to museum. Article Link
  • Mysterious poo shaped object found in field is actually Viking treasure from more than 1,000 years ago. Article Link
Other News Sources
  • American Digger Relic Roundup. For diggers and collectors of history. An hour long program every Monday Night at 9:00 PM eastern standard time. Join your hosts Butch Holcombe, Jeff Lubbert and Heath Jones as they explore the past. Learn more about Metal Detecting, Treasure hunting in all it's forms, and the preservation of history. February Pod Cast Link
  • Coin World - Numismatic and Coin Collecting March News
  • Garrett Searcher September Searcher
  • Gold Prospectors Assn of America (GPAA) - News on legal issues for the gold prospecting community February News
  • Mel Fisher Salvage Update
  • Prospecting and Mining Journal (IMCJ) February News
  • 1715 Fleet Society March Newsletter
Jewelry Returns
  • Man’s beach proposal goes horribly wrong as he loses ring in sand. Article Link
W.W.W. Meteorite News
  • Meteorite fragment recovered in the Rio Grande Valley. Article Link
  • Asteroid hits Earth hours after being spotted, meteor turns into 'beautiful' fireball over Europe. Article Link
  • Can we stop an asteroid from hitting Earth? Article Link
  • How to Tell If the Rock You Found Is a Meteorite. Article Link
  • Professional meteorite hunter says he found pieces of meteor in Oklahoma. Article Link
North America Archaeology News
  • Finding forgotten Indigenous landscapes with electromagnetic technology. Article Link
  • Archaeologist discusses recent discovery of Native American Canal. Article Link
  • History emerges as Lake Mead recedes. Article Link
  • What makes archaeology useful as well as exciting? It offers lessons from the past. Article Link
  • The Museum Built on Native American Burial Mounds. Article Link
  • The Intersection of Archaeology and the Trail. Article Link

Event News
Metal Detecting & Gold Prospecting Events.
Now is the time to start planning and getting your club's 2023/24 hunt information on the web. The sooner it is out and available to the metal detecting community the greater the chance for people to see it and give your event some consideration.

Check out your event before going it may have been postponed or canceled.

Select here to View the Complete Event

Add Your Event Information Here
  • March 09, 2023 (Four Days)
    Location Not Available until Hunt, North Carolina
    2023 DIGstock
  • March 11, 2023 (One Day)
    Wabasso, Florida
    35th Annual TCAS Hunt
    TCAS - Treasure Coast Archaeological Society
  • March 11, 2023 (Two Days)
    Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
    24nd Annual North West Gold Prospectors Assn Gold Prospecting & Treasure Show
    Northwest Gold Prospectors Assn
  • March 17, 2023 (Two Days)
    Kerrville, Texas
    Gypsy Jewels Treasure Hunt
    Gypsy Jewels Metal Detectorist
  • March 18, 2023 (One Day)
    Longview, Texas
    11th Annual Piney Woods Relic Hunt
    East Texas Treasure Hunters Assn
  • March 19, 2023 (Six Days)
    Stanton, Arizona
    Gold Prospecting Boot Camp: Learn to Recover More GOLD!
    LDMA-Lost Dutchman Mining Assn
  • March 23, 2023 (Four Days)
    Oconee, South Carolina
    Metal Detector Training & Hunt
    LDMA-Lost Dutchman Mining Assn
  • March 24, 2023 (Three Days)
    Johannesburg, California
    Gold Mining Weekend Experience: Learn how to find real Gold!
    Lost Dutchman's Mining Assn
  • March 25, 2023 (One Day)
    Culpeper Co., Virginia
    Liberty Hall Plantation Hunt
  • March 29, 2023 (Five Days)
    Congress, Arizona
    Gold Prospecting Experience: 5-Day Gold Mining Dirt Party!
    Lost Dutchman's Mining Assn
By Peter Nelson and Sara Gonzalez
Web Link
Archaeologists study the physical objects, places, and landscapes that humans create, modify, or interact with. Their goal is to learn more about human histories and experiences. Archaeologists investigate the physical traces of human activities, which are sometimes called material culture. These materials can be very recent—such as the objects on someone’s bookshelf or trash from the 1969 Woodstock festival. Alternatively, they can be very old—like the first stone tools from 3.3 million years ago or 45,000-year-old cave paintings in Indonesia.

Sometimes, archaeologists study the smallest traces of human activities, such as the microscopic shapes of domesticated maize starch grains or remnants of meals preserved in the plaque that forms on teeth. They also examine some of the largest, such as the ancient city of Petra in Jordan or Maya pyramids in Mexico.

Above all, archaeologists are concerned with materiality—the actual, literal stuff that makes up our lives. From this stuff, they can gain insights into intangible things, including various cultures’ beliefs about personhood, ancient humans’ relationship to the night, and people’s resilience in the face of environmental changes.

Archaeologists are probably best known for excavating sites, whether they are sifting through the ashes of Notre Dame in the aftermath of the 2019 fire or digging through the 20,000-year-old remains of more than 200 mammoths. Excavation provides a systematic process for revealing and recovering material culture. But it is far from the only method archaeologists use.

They also delve into historical documents, translate ancient hieroglyphs, conduct interviews to learn about a culture’s oral history, and measure tree rings to find evidence of climatic shifts. They might use lidar scanning to uncover ancient sites in jungles or shine laser beams onto soil samples to determine their age.

In North America, archaeology is considered a field of anthropology. Anthropological archaeologists use a holistic approach to understanding human history, from early origins to the present. Archaeology can also be practiced as part of other fields such as classics, history, religious studies, or even architecture. In these fields, the study of material remains and historical texts provides additional insight into people’s lives. Archaeology outside of North America is often categorized as its own field, independent of anthropology or history.

When you ask an archaeologist what kind of archaeology they practice, they’re likely to respond by saying their work focuses on a specific time, place, or use of a particular method. Historical archaeologists study the making of the modern world—the rise of global capitalism and global networks associated with European expansion and colonialism. Paleoarchaeologists investigate ancient human histories. Zooarchaeologists study animal remains. Archaeobotanists examine plant remains. And bioarchaeologists investigate human remains.

Archaeologists might focus on even more specific methods and locations. For example, maritime archaeologists work at shores, ports, and underwater sites. Digital archaeologists use photography, 3D reconstruction, virtual reality, and other technologies in their research. Mayanists explore Maya heritage, while Andeanists work in the Andes.

In addition, Indigenous archaeology involves work conducted with, for, and by Indigenous Nations. This growing field acknowledges the sovereignty of Indigenous Nations to care for and protect their heritage and incorporates Indigenous perspectives into research. Indigenous archaeology projects are also driven by the needs of Indigenous communities and feature their direct participation.

Though many archaeologists bring their children to work, most people don’t get to experience archaeology until they enter college or university. Professional archaeologists often begin by earning a bachelor’s degree and working as field technicians in cultural resource management, or what is called “compliance archaeology.” Entry-level jobs in this industry are usually paid hourly and may be seasonal. Field technicians perform the field surveys, excavations, and lab analyses that many people associate with archaeology.

Senior cultural resource managers and technicians require experience and professional degrees such as a master’s degree or doctorate. They provide supervisory support on projects and take the lead role in writing reports and consulting with agencies, Tribes, developers, and others in the compliance process.

In addition to formal education, archaeologists require field and lab training. There are a range of volunteer and fee-based field schools and lab training programs that are open to adolescents and adults of all ages. While you can get an entry-level archaeology position after having completed one field season, to be a supervisor you’ll need at least one year of fieldwork experience.

Archaeologists, especially at the master’s or doctoral level, also cultivate one or more specialties. These can include skills in remote sensing, geographic information systems (GIS), and genetics. Alternatively, they might develop a focus on ceramics, stone tools, and other materials-based skills.

The first questions archaeologists in any region ask are: Whose heritage am I working with? And what responsibilities come with engaging with these peoples and their belongings and stories?

Obtaining government-issued permits, and often permissions from local affiliated communities, is a must before any archaeological research. To apply for permits, archaeologists must also typically create a plan that clearly outlines research questions and details all the planned procedures, including the potential impacts of the work. Local governments require these plans as a way to protect archaeological heritage for future generations.

Many archaeologists work with the public to spread information about shared national heritage and history. Increasingly, they work alongside local and descendant communities. In fact, in many cases, archaeologists from those communities are leading this work.

Despite Indiana Jones’ admonishment to looters in the film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade that artifacts “belong in a museum,” museums may not be the best final resting place for ancestors and other items of cultural patrimony. Indy’s exploits are a perfect example of how early archaeology operated as part of imperialism and colonialism at a time when Western nations exploited Indigenous peoples and non-Western nations. Part of this process was the collection of antiquities from around the world, without regard for the rights or perspectives of Indigenous peoples and non-Western nations.

Ask SAPIENS is a series that offers a glimpse into the magazine’s inner workings.
In the U.S., cultural resource laws such as the National Historic Preservation Act provide protection for the “archaeological record”—material traces of past human lifeways. Under these laws, archaeologists are charged with the authority, as the subject matter experts, to evaluate and carry out strategies to preserve cultural sites and heritage. Archaeologists usually excavate and recover information about sites that are in immediate danger of being damaged or removed from their original location.

Excavation, however, is also a destructive practice. Without explicit permission from Native American Tribes, excavation of Native American sites is an infringement on Tribal sovereignty—a Tribe’s right to self-government. As sovereign nations, Tribes have the right to determine for themselves how their cultural resources will be treated and where they will be placed.

The rights of Indigenous peoples to protect their cultural resources and ancestors, however, were not always self-evident and codified by law. In the late 1960s, during the height of the Civil Rights era, protection and repatriation of ancestral materials became a prominent issue for Native American activists. The American Indian Movement and other Native activists in the U.S. hosted sit-ins at archaeological sites. For example, Maria Pearson, a Yankton Sioux, tirelessly advocated for repatriation at development projects and museums in Iowa.

These and other efforts by Native American people and Tribes led to the passage of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) in 1990. This was the first law to finally address the protection and repatriation of cultural resources and ancestors from the perspective of human rights legislation specifically for Native American peoples in the U.S.

Despite fears from some archaeologists that repatriation would somehow end the discipline, repatriation has instead transformed archaeological research into a practice that is done in consultation and collaboration with Indigenous peoples. Still, there are some flaws in the U.S. legal system with regards to repatriation. For example, NAGPRA accounts only for the cultural heritage and ancestors of Native American peoples. There are many other communities that should also be allowed to protect and repatriate their heritage and ancestors, such as the African Burial Ground in New York City.

There is still much repatriation work for museums to do for Native American Tribes and other communities. Furthermore, repatriation efforts must increase in countries where NAGPRA does not apply. These initiatives are part of how archaeology continues to evolve and reflect on its role in helping to heal the harms of the past and present, and to care for heritage into the future.

Fewer than 10 percent of practicing archaeologists work as university or college professors or for a museum or archaeology lab. The vast majority of archaeologists work in cultural resource management, or compliance archaeology. Archaeologists in these roles are responsible for conducting archaeology on public lands or in the public’s interest. For example, they may survey and identify sites in the path of road or pipeline construction or seek to limit destruction of these places by documenting them. They may also consult with Indigenous Nations and various descendant groups to ensure their priorities are included in treatment plans to protect cultural heritage.

Cultural resource managers might be employed by a local, state, or federal government to review proposed projects and conduct archaeology on lands the agency supervises. Alternatively, they could work for or operate a contracting firm responsible for assessing and mitigating the impacts of development projects on archaeological heritage.

A growing number of archaeologists in the U.S. and Canada work for and with Tribal Nations and First Nations. Indigenous Nations also employ their own archaeologists and cultural stewards to care for and protect ancestral lands and heritage. In these positions, archaeologists may monitor development projects on ceded and unceded Indigenous lands, work directly for Indigenous Nations’ governments to combat climate-related threats to Indigenous heritage, or work to bring home the missing children who attended historic residential boarding schools. In addition, cultural resource management firms led by Indigenous archaeologists often work independently or in tandem with Tribal governments.

A day in the life of a professional archaeologist is often varied. It may include writing reports, conducting surveys in the field, cataloguing collections, or conducting specialized analyses of cultural belongings made of stone, bone, or other materials. As an archaeologist, you’ll appreciate how the small, forgotten things can tell rich stories about people and our histories. You’ll find yourself working in teams and collaborating with people who are connected to and care deeply about human histories, heritage, and the places we continue to call our homes.

Metal Detecting Hobby Talk