Metal Detecting in St. Petersburg Region, Russia - Zherebyata Site (Story 5)
Map Research Pays Off
General Map Of Russia
A few local treasure hunters told me that this site was empty of good targets but full of WW2 military junk such as rifle brass casings, brass splinters, and fragments of artillery projectiles. The site is located in the field and not far away from the modern highway.
Every time, as my buddy Forrest and I passed it by on the way to other sites, he would also tell me that he could not find a single coin there. He referred to the cluster of trees in the middle of the field.
It sounded strange to me that so many metaldetectorists could not find anything good at the site so I decided to check the location on both the 1868 Russian Military-Topographical map and the Swedish Map from 1600s. On the 1868 map, there was just an abbreviation instead of the number of homesteads under the name Zherebyata, but the settlement looked like a sizable village. On the Swedish map from 17th century, the village is shown under the name of Serebeta and consisted of at least 30 homesteads according to the map symbol.
A Fragments Of Old Swedish And Russian Maps
Then I compared the 1868 map to the modern topographic map and noticed that the true location of the site was not in the field but rather in adjacent forest on the hill. I could not believe what I had just discovered: all those who complained about this "unproductive" site, simply metal detected at the wrong spot!
An opportunity of searching the site came when my buddy Slava and I were driving by the location and I noticed that the grass had been cut in the field - perfect condition for metal detecting! But we could not do it right away as we had to drive to Koporje fortress where we were meeting with our new friends, Maxim and Misha. They had just bought a new Minelab Explorer and wanted me to explain them a few things about the Explorer's program settings.
After I suggested Maxim and Misha to do that under real conditions in the field, they asked us to take them to the site of Lasuny village where I had recently discovered a cache of silver coins. Ironically, it had also been a site to which the beginners were always brought for practice. When we arrived to Lasuny, a few metaldetectorists were already detecting the field. Obviously, the "Silver Rush" at the spot had not stopped yet since the cache was recovered.
That is always a common situation in the region: as soon as a hot spot is discovered, the news spread fast and a crowd of treasure hunters appears at the site next day, the "Silver Rush" usually lasts for two weeks. Once I saw six cars parked on the site!
On most locations, it is hard to hide the car behind the trees or bushes. When other metaldetectorists drive by and see your car in the field, they come over, park their cars next to yours, and start metal detecting next to you. It is not a problem as everybody knows each other.
A Spontaneous Parking Lot Is About To Grow