Types of Metal Detecting Activities, page 5:
Types of Metal Detectors Required for Detecting Relics & Artifacts:
A simple and inexpensive (in the price range of $600 - $800) conventional metal detector can be successfully used for relic hunting. A relic detector has to have two things: a true All Metal mode and capability of using a large search coil. A relic metal detector, for example, does not have to have Discrimination and Tone ID features, or even a display.
On the market today, there are four types of metal detectors used for detecting relics: Conventional Land detectors, Conventional Pulse Induction (PI) detectors, 2-Box detectors, and Deep Seekers (they are also PI units).
The Pulse Induction detectors has advantage over other types as they do not get affected by the ground mineral content (mineralization), but you have to dig up every target when using PI detectors as they can not have a Discrimination function!
However, if you are not up to lots of digging, you can choose a machine from a line of metal detectors especially designed for relic hunting. They do have Discrimination and "love" iron! For example, Tesoro Tejon and Troy Shadow X5 are the leading relic machines on the market today.
In any case, be prepared to dig up lots of iron targets, big and small. Of course, the ideal relic hunting site would be any spot where human activities had stopped before the modern times (medieval settlement sites), so everything you recover is old and valuable.
Another ideal case is when you search at the site which saw only one specific activity such as military action (battlefields), preparation for war (military camps and cantonments), trading and shipping of goods (trade routes, medieval markets and fair grounds), etc.
Unfortunately modern industrial, commercial and agricultural human activities have left their mark on many would-be-ideal relic hunting sites by littering them with junk.
If you would like to learn one effective target ID technique used in relic hunting, visit my "Target Identification Techniques" page.
Necessary Detector's Features & Equipment:
• True All Metal mode
• A small amount of Discrimination is used only when searching for non-iron objects.
• Ground Balancing is essential
• Detector's capability of using a large search coil (15" and larger)
• Headphones are required
• Electronic Pinpointer or Probe is required for locating small artifacts.
• Hip Mount Configuration is used to avoid fatigue from long hours of swinging the large search coils
• Treasure Hunting Shovel made of special steel (Lesche, Fiskars), with T-handle, and designed for digging targets in soils of any type.
• 3-Piece Steel Probe with a T-handle especially designed for locating large objects buried down to 1.8m. The searcher drives the probe vertically down through the soft or sandy soil until the probe hits something hard. An experienced searcher can identify the object's material (iron, aluminum, stone, wood, etc.) by feeling the vibrations received by the handle. This probe is also very useful as an accessory to 2-Box and Deep Seeking metal detectors.
• Headlamp is good to have when your daylight relic hunting activity is likely to continue into the night hours.
• Sizeable Pouch for small- and medium-size junk and other items found along with relics, so no trash would be left behind.
• Sturdy Light Gloves will protect your hands from accidental cutting by broken glass, sharp fragments of rusty sheet iron, nails, etc.
• Kneepads are recommended.
• A reliable 4x4 vehicle is sometimes a "must" to get to the remote and less accessible areas.
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