Thursday, September 14, 2017

Thomas Edison Home Site, Archaeological Dig and Public Tours

Join the (ASNJ, Middlesex County Office of Culture and Heritage, and the Thomas Edison Center at Menlo Park) as we search for Edison's home near the corner of Christie Street and Monmouth Avenue in Menlo Park, Edison Township on September 23 and 24 from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. Archaeologists will be searching for the house foundation and artifacts associated with Thomas Edison and his family. This is a public archaeology open house event. The public is welcome to join us on guided tours of the archaeological site, look at artifacts while they are being uncovered, learn the history of Thomas Edison's Menlo Park lab, and visit the Thomas Edison Memorial Tower and the Thomas Edison Center at Menlo Park. Society member volunteers will be needed for this event. Room permitting, members of the public may have the chance to help archaeologists look through sifting screenings for artifacts. For more information visit our sign up sheet and Society Member Volunteer's Needed page. For additional information on this event, please visit the Menlo Park Museum events page. In addition to working on the excavation, ASNJ will also be selling t-shirts (as supplies last) and society memberships.  

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Empire State Metal Detector Assn.

September 09, 2017
Berne Town Park
1883 Helderberg Trail (Rt. 443)
Berne, NY 12023

More Info Empire State Hunt Site

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Myrtle Beach treasure hunters still want city permission to dig in the sand; state approves permits

Treasure hunters turned down by Myrtle Beach City Council after asking for permission to dig in the sand for gold and silver haven't given up on their quest.
Council rejected the proposal under an ordinance that allows recreational beach digging if the holes are filled back-in — but not the sort of excavation the men want to do.
Robert Thomason of Spruce Pine, N.C., and Wayne Gaither of North Myrtle Beach hope the council will make an exception for them the second time around.
"There ought to be a way to get a variance," Thomason said.
He hopes the public will support their project, which has state approval. 
A portion of any emeralds, gold or silver found in the dig would go to the Horry County Museum, he said.
Thomason said the location is thought to contain valuables from the shipwreck of a Spanish galleon.
He said the dig would take about two days and happen in the winter.
"It would be a wonderful thing to promote tourism," he said. "Key West would not be the only place on earth known for its wonderful treasure."
Thomason said he is confident that his intuition and a technique called dowsing have led him to the right place for the treasure.

Dowsing is a type of divination employed in attempts to locate ground water, buried metals or ores, gemstones, oil, gravesites,[1]and many other objects and materials without the use of scientific apparatus. Dowsing is considered a pseudoscience, and there is no scientific evidence that it is any more effective than random chance.[2][3]
Dowsing is also known as divining (especially in reference to interpretation of results),[4] doodlebugging[5](particularly in the United States, in searching for petroleum[6]) or (when searching specifically for water) water finding, water witching (in the United States) or water dowsing.
A Y- or L-shaped twig or rod, called a dowsing rod, divining rod (Latin: virgula divina or baculus divinatorius), a "vining rod" or witching rod is sometimes used during dowsing, although some dowsers use other equipment or no equipment at all.
Dowsing appears to have arisen in the context of Renaissance magic in Germany, and it remains popular among believers in Forteana or radiesthesia.[7]
The motion of dowsing rods is nowadays generally attributed to the ideomotor effect

Practitioners of dowsing use rudimentary tools — usually copper sticks or wooden "divining rods" that resemble large wishbones — and what they describe as a natural energy to find water or minerals hidden deep underground, according to The Associated Press.
The council was concerned about disturbing the beach and who would own treasure found on public land, Councilman Randall Wallace said.
But he was intrigued by the idea.
"I'd be open to listening to them again," he said.
The state Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management issued a permit to Thomason to dig at least seven exploration pits in a designated area of the beach that is beyond the mean high waterline. Digging would be done by hand and backhoe.
But the treasure hunters still need city approval.
The state OK'd the beachfront dig from 3rd Avenue South to near 1st Avenue North and from 6th Avenue North to 12th Avenue North. The exploration pits would be up to 4 feet wide and 12 feet long and up to 10 feet deep, according to a copy of the state permit.
It stipulates that the work must happen outside of turtle nesting season, uncovered holes could not be left on the beach at night, and the beach must be returned to pre-project conditions immediately upon completion of the work.
The State Historic Preservation Office and the S.C. Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology must be notified of historic, cultural or archaeological finds, the permit says.
Archaeological finds consist of items 50 years or older that were made or used by man, including arrowheads, ceramic shards, bricks, worked wood, bone and stone, metal and glass objects and human skeletal remains. 
In addition, Thomason and Gaither must comply with local and federal ordinances.
Dr. Michael Trinkley of the Chicora Foundation said dowsing is not considered a scientific method because it is not replicable.
"You can’t have three people get the same results," he said.
The foundation, based in Columbia, is a nonprofit heritage preservation organization that does archaeological and historical research in the Southeast.
Hundreds of people in South Carolina go treasure hunting using metal detectors but they must have a landowner's permission, Trinkley said.
Otherwise, trespassers may face a fine and jail time, said state archaeologist Jonathan Leader.
A three-time violator can be charged with a felony, he said.
He suggested metal detector enthusiasts work with archaeologists to avoid disturbing the historical record.
"Excited is good. Trained is better," he said.
Archaeologists use field notes, records, photos and other things to develop a story around an artifact. That sort of thing is lost when people just in it for the money dig for relics, Trinkley said.
"It's a minority but unfortunately a few people can do a tremendous amount of damage," he said.

Winner July 2017 Find of the Month - an 1832 Nova Scotia Half Cent found by Matt Kroeper.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Dig in The Wrong Place in RUSSIA And It Could Cost You 1 Million Rubels ( Approximately $18,000)

There are many people in Russia who have made a hobby of searching for old objects, but in 2013 the Russian authorities introduced a new law, which basically puts them at risk of being fined or imprisoned.
While the law has prompted large public debate it is still not totally clear as to whether all those who search for various objects in fields using metal detectors will face punishment.
According to the law, you need to obtain special permission from the Russian Ministry of Culture to carry out digging activities. This, however, is quite complicated and requires gathering many documents and a submitting a detailed explanation about your future expedition. The permission will only last for up to three months and even professional archaeologists might have problems obtaining it.
If you find anything on a treasure hunt you will need to share it equally with the owner of the land where it was buried. If an object has cultural value, it should be handed over to the state bodies.
Legally, even if you find something valuable by mistake you must inform the authorities and hand over the objects.

What is certain is that it is definitely a bad idea to deliberately search for old historical artifacts in a place marked as a cultural heritage site (a former settlement, barrow or a place of ancient religious rite). For this, you will surely end up in jail or risk paying a fine – up to 1 million rubles ( Approximately $18,000).
To avoid any risk, Russian treasure hunters recommend choosing the place of your potential search very carefully by checking with online databases of historical and cultural heritage sites (available on the Russian Ministry of Culture’s).

How big is the risk?

According to Vyacheslav Suskov, a modern-day treasure hunter from St. Petersburg, there have been a few arrests since the law was introduced. If you are spotted on a cultural heritage site with artifacts in your pocket and there are eyewitnesses around, then you risk being fined and all the objects will be confiscated.
“Over the last four years there were around 5-7 cases that I heard of,” Suskov told RBTH. “These are usually serious cases when a significant layer of the land was harmed or ancient burial sites in the Krasnodar Territory or historical settlements in Novgorod were affected.”
Small-scale searches by enthusiasts might also invite the ire of the authorities. Back in April 2017 Russian authorities carried out their first raid on such treasure-hunters near Troitsk, which was the venue of fierce military clashes between Russia and Napoleon’s Army in the 1812 war.
The Moscow City Heritage Committee along with local authorities aims to stop those who might carry out illegal searches, according to Leonid Kondrashev, the chief archaeologist of Moscow. 

What can you search for?

The law forbids looking for objects that are more than a hundred years old, but a search using metal detectors is not banned.
“What you can look for are fragments of meteorites, lost jewelry, keys, phones, coins and scrap metal,” Suskov told RBTH. As for legendary treasures, it will take too much time and resources
“The information about their whereabouts is often too contradictory and sometimes it encompasses very large territories that cannot be properly explored,” Vladimir Poryvaev, another Russian treasure hunter and owner of his own treasure hunting bureau, told RBTH. “Such riches are more likely to be found by mistake.”