View single post by Widow
 Posted: Sun Nov 12th, 2006 02:53 pm
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Joined: Tue Sep 19th, 2006
Location: Oakton, Fairfax County, VA
Posts: 321

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I'm not a relic hunter. I've never even seen a metal detector. Some members of my Bull Run Round Table have metal detectors, but I've never talked with them about their hobby.

I'm not opposed to relic hunting, as long as it's done in a responsible way that respects the rights of the property owner.

Maybe there are some lunkheads out there with a bulldozer for brains and a vacuum cleaner for arms. They trespass where they're not wanted. They open gates in the cow pastures, but don't close them. They drive over grasslands, leaving holes and ruts where they get stuck in the mud. They disturb the shallow soils in the woodlands, leaving holes and ditches that start erosion and silting of the streams. They leave their dirt piles and trash behind. They take everything they find, not for the thrill of discovering a historic artifact, but for the possibility of selling it for profit.

Those people antagonize the land owners, and spoil relic hunting for everybody.

Then there are those who get permission, and search carefully to protect what's left. They may even photograph the site, and use a GPS to identify its location, to aid in determining the origin and significance of the find. If they spot something like undisturbed earthworks, they report it to the land owner as well as a historical society, preservation group or somebody who would know how to identify and possibly protect it.

I'm not talking about people who accidentally find something while on a hike. On 1 Nov 2006, Regina posted in the General Civil War Talk section that she had found bones at Monocacy. There was a lively discussion about her actions. She wasn't relic hunting, just keeping her eyes open.

So let's talk. Tell me more about the art of relic hunting. About discovering the origin of your find. Good stories about sharing and respecting. Bad stories about vandalism and theft.


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