Gridding

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Daz2110
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So, on Saturday I'm detecting a possible Iron Age Enclosure on my sisters farm. I have checked with the local FLO to make sure it isn't scheduled and it's not.

We have a an old aerial photograph of the crop mark from the 80's. Unfortunately the crop mark is no longer visible. But I have marked the corners of a square search area (using what 3 words app) which more than covers the enclosure.....going by the photo. On the morning we will put plastic posts on the corners of the square and attach rope on them all making a roped off square. Then I'll search methodically back an forth whilst moving along on each new line.

Any tips on making sure I cover the area well? I'll be using Tect O Trak (a metal detecting tracking app) to record my progress so i have a visual record. As it's an iron age enclosure....... Digging iron signals (which is normally something I'd avoid) is a good idea 😂


What kind of things would you expect to find in an enclosure? Farming tools, horse shoes? I'm not expecting any coinage.

Any advice would be appreciated

Thanks 😊
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Easylife
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Been there and done that, anything is possible. The land will likely have finds of later usage but also plenty of later iron too. On mine I avoided the iron but the oldest find was a Roman strap slider though I had to battle the green waste also. It'll be interesting to see what you find there.
Take your time and enjoy doing it. :thumbsup:
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Oxgirl
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Is there a road or path in or out? Don’t miss that too. Good luck :thumbsup:
Yes I really don’t like Roman coins, I’m not joking
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Daz2110
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Oxgirl wrote: Thu Aug 06, 2020 11:28 pm Is there a road or path in or out? Don’t miss that too. Good luck :thumbsup:
The crop mark doesn't show a road in or out. But it's described as a defended enclosure on the aerial photos (taken by archaeologists) so I think the crop mark is the remains of a ditch
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HolzHammer
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If time is not of the essence i don’t believe it’s too important to scientifically and rigidly grid... unless it’s acres and acres and acres you are going to cover every bit of the area eventually - probably countless times - I use a rough gridding method but to me even that soon becomes interminably dull and takes away from my enjoyment of just being out and hopefully finding stuff! So I grid but not for too long at a time! Just saying!
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Daz2110
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HolzHammer wrote: Fri Aug 07, 2020 10:06 am If time is not of the essence i don’t believe it’s too important to scientifically and rigidly grid... unless it’s acres and acres and acres you are going to cover every bit of the area eventually - probably countless times - I use a rough gridding method but to me even that soon becomes interminably dull and takes away from my enjoyment of just being out and hopefully finding stuff! So I grid but not for too long at a time! Just saying!
The field it's in is only about 5 acres. But the marked off area which it covers will be approximately 2 acres so shouldn't be too bad
Pete E
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That's how I feel too, although I tend to work in lanes rather than grids...Usually start off working a lane but then get a bit of wonder lust... :P
Steve RC
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Gridding might be ok ,but try a pattern search in blocks and mark the areas you have covered or take GPS points on the corners of the blocks.

No one has asked yet ,but make sure that the area has no protection status which can make detecting illegal.

From experience such sites are best searched in the winter if you can.
Blackadder43
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Steve RC wrote: Fri Aug 07, 2020 10:28 am
No one has asked yet ,but make sure that the area has no protection status which can make detecting illegal.
i think it was said that this area is his sisters farm, so its been assumed that any status would be known to the family? :thumbsup:
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Littleboot
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I think anyone with any length of experience will have at one time looked at a map/aerial shot/ google earth, seen an anomaly and had preconceptions about what they will find. Got all keyed up about finding it and ultimately had a disappointing time...not because there was nothing to find, but because they went about it in a way which was led by the preconception rather than what was actually happening in the field.
Thing is, I have often heard people talk about areas where they believe there was Roman or Celtic or Saxon or whatever this and that....and what they seem to then forget is the literally thousands of years of occupation since. and the law of probability on what you find dictates that the stuff since is much more prevalent simply because metal is much more of an everyday item as you get into modern times.

IF I was doing this field I would put all thoughts of Iron Age enclosures to the back of my mind. Very nice but not to be chased. I would detect it exactly how I would approach any field. I would see what was under the coil, how deep, what condition, what vintage. Then take it from there. I wouldn't grid until I found a hotspot. I'd dothe Union Jack plus a few random waftings as my fancy took. If I saw any gullies, gateways, clear terracing I'd do those. But with a firmly open mind.
I would never go around digging iron simply because it was presumed it was an iron age enclosure. Anything I want from the Iron Age, especially after 2000 years in the soil, is going to be made of copper alloy or preferably electrum or gold. Because I know I would spend the next several hours digging bits of post medieval farm equipment, horse shoes, nails and modern trash.
Research is good fun. But if it leads to pre-conceptions about what is to be found it is going to lead to disappointment 99 times out of a hundred. And worse, it can lead you to discount some useful clues as to what is actually still to be found simply because it doesn't follow the narrative of what you expected.
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figgis
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The only advice I would give on gridding is:
Remember whereabouts on your swing the target was (left,righ,centre?) and remember which direction you were travelling in when you got the signal.

One day I might manage to follow that advice myself :oops:
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Steve_JT
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I think there is a lot sense in what Littleboot has posted, after a couple of thousand years and the last few centuries things would have been dispersed and scattered somewhat from agricultural practices also .

If the feelings right check the area first by all means, eyes on the ground to see the anomalies and possible foot traffic routes to and from the map point view showing the area of interest, especially where they would get water from, if nothing much is found at the map point don’t discount the whole field.

The landscape would have been very different back then too, what was the ground suited for, woodland, heathland or just scrub, things like food would have been foraged and hunted, things would be lost in pursuit of these, prized valuable possessions and tools they needed for survival

We have all wondered at some finds with how did that get there

Regards Steve
A foolish faith in authority, is the worst enemy of truth." Albert Einstein
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Daz2110
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Steve RC wrote: Fri Aug 07, 2020 10:28 am Gridding might be ok ,but try a pattern search in blocks and mark the areas you have covered or take GPS points on the corners of the blocks.

No one has asked yet ,but make sure that the area has no protection status which can make detecting illegal.

From experience such sites are best searched in the winter if you can.
I have contacted the local FLO to make sure it's not scheduled. She said no it's not so I'm good to go. However, she did say could I please contact her if anything significant comes up or if you notice any significant changes on the soil.

As it's my sisters farm I can pretty much go when ever I want so a winter search el be done 😊

They're due to plough it at the end of the year anyway I'll be on it after ploughing too
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Daz2110
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Blackadder43 wrote: Fri Aug 07, 2020 11:09 am i think it was said that this area is his sisters farm, so its been assumed that any status would be known to the family? :thumbsup:
The were completely unaware of the enclosure until I found the aerial photos
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Daz2110
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Littleboot wrote: Fri Aug 07, 2020 4:01 pm I think anyone with any length of experience will have at one time looked at a map/aerial shot/ google earth, seen an anomaly and had preconceptions about what they will find. Got all keyed up about finding it and ultimately had a disappointing time...not because there was nothing to find, but because they went about it in a way which was led by the preconception rather than what was actually happening in the field.
Thing is, I have often heard people talk about areas where they believe there was Roman or Celtic or Saxon or whatever this and that....and what they seem to then forget is the literally thousands of years of occupation since. and the law of probability on what you find dictates that the stuff since is much more prevalent simply because metal is much more of an everyday item as you get into modern times.

IF I was doing this field I would put all thoughts of Iron Age enclosures to the back of my mind. Very nice but not to be chased. I would detect it exactly how I would approach any field. I would see what was under the coil, how deep, what condition, what vintage. Then take it from there. I wouldn't grid until I found a hotspot. I'd dothe Union Jack plus a few random waftings as my fancy took. If I saw any gullies, gateways, clear terracing I'd do those. But with a firmly open mind.
I would never go around digging iron simply because it was presumed it was an iron age enclosure. Anything I want from the Iron Age, especially after 2000 years in the soil, is going to be made of copper alloy or preferably electrum or gold. Because I know I would spend the next several hours digging bits of post medieval farm equipment, horse shoes, nails and modern trash.
Research is good fun. But if it leads to pre-conceptions about what is to be found it is going to lead to disappointment 99 times out of a hundred. And worse, it can lead you to discount some useful clues as to what is actually still to be found simply because it doesn't follow the narrative of what you expected.
I agree with you, I'm not expecting to fund anything of iron age really. But as j have some free time this week I thought I'll grid it and see what happens. I have learnt the hard way about expecting too much from a a 'Roman' Site or any other site where there was once a medieval settlement etc.
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