Man with metal detector turns up rare 2,000-year-old Roman artifact

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/06/26/man-with-metal-detector-turns.html

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Anyone else miss Time Team?

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At least the guy was awesome about where it should end up.

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My dad used to enjoy combing the beach (and his backyard) with a metal detector, but unfortunately he never dug up anything like this 2,000-year-old Roman ingot that metal detector hobbyist (metal detective?) Rob Jones found in a field in Rossett, Wales, UK.

I’m guessing you haven’t watched Detectorists which is a beautiful, affectionate and hilarious comedy about the hobby. Highly recommended.

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Absolutely wonderful show. I wish they would do another season.

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Is the University of Thirsk involved in this somehow?

Nothing like seeing they produced lead in 140-pound ingots to really drive home the scale of Roman era lead poisoning

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Roman ingot that metal detector hobbyist (metal detective?)

They call themselves detectorists. (@pesco)

And as @Jamie pointed out, that show was superb - one of the most brilliant pieces of television in the last decade, with a sublime story arc over its first 2 series. (There was a third and a special after that.)

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Hrm - the last time I tried metal detecting I found some pull tabs and a Coors light can from the late 70s/early 80s.

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From the items you found, I’d say you gave up too soon. You probably weren’t far from a buried, ceremonial Trans Am. You probably missed out on a treasure trove of 8-track tapes, maybe cassettes depending on the layer. Although, I wouldn’t kick myself too hard, as these types of digs have usually already been looted.

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The ring-pull was a sort of running gag in Detectorists. I suspect it is the single most commonly found item by anyone with a metal detector.

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I’ll add my voice to the chorus of praise for Detectorists, one of the best comedies ever.

I also note that the great thing about finding a 63kg lead ingot is that a magpie is unlikely to fly off with it.

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Yeah, my detector has a way to “hide” pull tab blips. But it will sometimes also look like a nickle. After the 2nd one, I was like, this is also probably a pull tab, but I need practice of finding the item first dig. I keep “missing”.

I did get this new digging tool, it looks sorta like a survival knife crossed with a spade and good for removing a “core”.

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This seems like a good time to recommend and insanely charming and sweet BBC sitcom called “The Detectorists” - which is about a small group of people who do exactly this kind of thing. Find it on your favorite streaming services… and now I notice that several other people have already mentioned it. lol.

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its unique inscription

which is?

bangs gong
BRING OUT YER LEAD!

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The third was also good, especially the final episodes. The hedgehog scene is one of my favourite bits of comedy ever.

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As an archaeologist Time Team has always been and will always be my balm for the not being on an excavation blues.

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I can’t bring myself to watch it. I have very complicated feelings about detectorists. Certainly don’t want to see them lionised on TV.

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