Relic Hunting at the Site of Chernyakhov Culture Settlement Near Yamy

It did seem to be a right place but... the hill I saw on the picture in the book was across the marsh. Now there was some yellow crop planted in that field.

Site of Ancient Settlement

We decided to encamp under the small trees on the edge of the plot, start metal detecting here first and search the hill later. It was hard to leave this spot littered with pottery fragments - a good sign of people's activity, unsearched.

We spent a lot of time "pounding" this spot. To get to the deepest targets, we ran our Explorers in All Metal mode, but the only signals we were getting were of the iron dross and modern lead slugs.

Bullets Like This Would Drive Anyone Crazy

Modern Lead Slug

Perhaps, there was a smelting furnace of the local blacksmith here. Surprisingly we did not even get the signals of iron nails or tools, anyone would expect to hear them all over the place! I could not explain that until later when I came across some information on the medieval metallurgy, blacksmith's works and their production outcome.

The information that I attained from the book changed my way of thinking about the characteristics of so called "hot" spot, a spot with many good finds, that could be found in this historic area. I realized that I could not apply the usual method of locating a "hot" spot at the medieval sites in Ukraine. For example, searching for the area with high concentration of the iron targets in the field would be a common method of pinpointing a "hot" spot at the sites of the 16th - 19th centuries, like in the US or Northern Russia.

It would not work here simply because the annual production of iron was extremely low in the early medieval times: only one hundred grams of iron per person! That is why after searching this spot for a couple of hours, we recovered only two broken iron blades out of dozens of iron signals.

One of Iron Finds - Medieval Knife Blade Fragment, circa 2nd-5th Centuries

Medieval Relic - Knife Blade Found

Medieval Relic - Knife Blade Fragment

A Typical Iron Knife Blade of Chernyakhov Culture

Medieval Knife Blade Drawing

The Knives I Saw in the Museum

Chernyahov Culture Knives

Then what would be the correct method of pinpointing a "hot" spot at the site? I could not answer that question at the moment. I needed more pieces of the puzzle to solve it. I probably should study more archaeological books.

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