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Relic Hunting: What do you think about it? - Civil War Preservation - Civil War Talk - Civil War Interactive Discussion Board
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 Posted: Mon May 14th, 2007 02:47 pm
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39th Miss. Walker
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I would have no problem with relic hunters if they had to be licensed, carry written permission from the property owner with them and fill out a detailed report with the State Archaeologist.

I have seen way too many times irresponsible relic hunters who have dug whole fields and left large holes, not even bothering to fill them back in. I have seen rifle pits and breastworks dug into and eroded. Whole bombproof's have been dug into obliterating the original entrance and ramp area.

Many fields have been totally cleared of artifacts and the field now loses it's historic value and also causes the field to be lost in some cases to developers, since the evidence of the battle or camp is no longer there.

Even today archaeologist are re-visiting battlefields and sites to determine aspects of the battle or march we never knew about. Relic hunters screw this all up.

I hear from many relic hunters that they are saving history! BS, saving what history? To take an item out of it's historic content and put in some cheap glass case, most likely to be sold at the next CW sale or on e-bay? At the same time they won't divulge the location of their finds because they are afraid they will be banned from the site or someone else will come in and find something. In the mean time some of these very sites they are "saving the history" from are not being protected because the preservationist/historian doesn't know where they are.

Some relic hunters even give the argument the items are in immediate danger from being lost forever due to the effects of time. If this was true then 99% of all the archaeological sites around the world shouldn't be in existence. Other than wood or steel many of the other metals will last many centuries in the ground.

If one wants to relic hunt then the item description and exact location should be recorded with the state. This would be a win win situation. The relic hunters could still keep their finds, the state/historians could then identify important sites and interpret the history, and the relic hunters can help clean up their very tarnished past.

In many areas sites are off limits to the public, and even professional historians and archaeologists because of the abuses of relic hunters.

I own a large field about a mile form a large CW camp. I can't tell you how many relic hunters have come down her on weekends and wanting to look for stuff. When I tell them no I don't want them or the liability on my property they usually get belligerent and remind me they are "saving history". I have caught some of them on my property later. I caught one guy digging on a battery I am the overseer on, right under the no trespassing sign. They pass the signs to break in the box tombs of 230 year old graves! Is it any wonder relic hunters have bad reputations?

You want to relic hunt? Have the property owners written permission, report your finds to the State Historic office. Finally turn in those irresponsible individuals you know about.



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 Posted: Wed May 16th, 2007 03:35 pm
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39th Miss. Walker
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We can never curb the market for CW items. What we can do is educate the public as much as we can. There are many legitimate items on the market, how do we differentiate?

License the relic hunters, if they violate the law not only will they be subject to fines, jail time etc. but they can be permanently banned from the "hobby". Just like driving a car or hunting.

I went to an antique show a number of years ago in Charleston, SC. There sitting on a table was the Confederate Cross, just like what you describe. This one even had red clay still attached to the base where the AH pulled it out of the ground!




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 Posted: Wed May 16th, 2007 05:24 pm
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39th Miss. Walker
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Ahhhh, well, AH is not artifact hunter, more like an orifice.




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 Posted: Wed May 16th, 2007 10:49 pm
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susansweet
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We have a problem here in orange county California of gangs stealing the GAR medals on the graves to wear as bling.  The Sons had marked every Union grave in Magnolia Cemetery in Garden Grove.  A small cemetery that Sawtell Old Soldiers home had purchased buriel sites in for vets who had no funds to be buried .  Others are locals that moved here after the war.  The Sons have had to replace the markers several times. 



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 Posted: Thu May 17th, 2007 05:21 pm
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susansweet
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bling = jewelry , They put them on chains and wear them around their necks. 

bama I am a dab.  Daughter of Both .  I have a great grandfather on one side and Great great grandfather on the other side. 



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 Posted: Mon May 21st, 2007 10:45 pm
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Johan Steele
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indy19th wrote: susansweet wrote: Great. One more thing to get mad over. I don't understand anyone who desecrates a graveyard. I'm sure most people who do that are tough to catch, but if someone's wearing a GAR medal, they've got all the evidence we need right around their neck.

I would assume that it's a felony to vandalize a grave. If it's not, it should be.

 

Actually it's a federal offense; want to go to jail quick steal a veterans grave stone or GAR star.  Problem is most prosocuting attorney's don't believe it a crime worth prosecuting.  Yet another reason to appreciate lawyers and their profession.



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 Posted: Tue May 22nd, 2007 03:16 pm
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Johan Steele
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It's my understanding that the Southern Cross can only legitimetly be found ijn a grave... while grave robbing is not a federal offence I know it is pretty much a local one everywhere.  When transported across state lines I believe it would become a federal offence but someone more learned than I will have to answer possitively.



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 Posted: Thu Sep 5th, 2013 11:06 am
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DarbyGloss
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I am a metal detecting fan. All I found these two months are several unknown coins, I've already lost my interests in metal detecting.

Last edited on Mon Sep 9th, 2013 05:59 am by DarbyGloss



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