Amazing Finds In Croatia With DEUS Detectors

Croatia-Celtic-silver-Flugelfibel-broochLast April, Adam Staples, his partner Lisa and son Thomas, all XP Deus users, were part of a group of 29 detectorists invited to attend the first Croatian Detecting Rally, organized by the archaeologist from the municipal Museum of Vinkovci and Steve Gaunt. In 316 AD the armies of Constantine I and Licinius fought the Battle of Cibalae on the outskirts of Vinkovci.

The aim of this visit was to try and locate the battle site’s exact location by metal detecting, and also, to identify new archaeological sites as we searched.

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At this occasion the Ministry of Culture had granted them a special license. The search area was vast, covering thousands of acres of farmland and steeped in history going back over 6000 years.

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Every day, archaeologists from the museum (Hrvoje Vulić, Boris Kratofil and Robi Balaš) provided them with large-scale maps and instructions on where to search. All finds were to be placed in bags and marked with both location and finder.

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During the six days of detecting they recovered hundreds of interesting coins and artefacts from the Iron age, Roman and medieval periods… bronze and silver coins, brooches and even a tiny (10mm x 4mm) piece of worked gold. 

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 The most exciting day was day 5. They spent the morning recovering a scattered hoard of medieval hammered silver coins and then, after a couple of hours digging these coins, they headed off in search of a new adventure.

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In a small, waterlogged area of a field we made some amazing discoveries. The finds included a rare Celtic silver brooch and a perfect Bronze age socketed axe head.

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They also found some beautifully preserved Roman coins.

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Bronze Age AxeheadDay 3 artefacts, 100 BC – 800 ADIron spearhead with Vinkovci Museum in the background. These finds were probably ritual offerings at a sacred shrine and the site is now likely to be protected by law.

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All the items recovered were handed over to Vinkovci Museum, who is planning a special exhibition of the group’s finds later this year. They all had a great time working with the archaeologists and the rally was such a success that more are planned for the future.

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Note : The Battle of Cibalae was fought on October 8, 314 (or perhaps as late as 316, the chronology is uncertain),[3] between the two Roman emperors Constantine I and Licinius. The opposing armies met on the plain between the rivers Save and Drave near the town of Cibalae (now Vinkovci, Croatia) The site of the battle was approximately 350 kilometers within the territory of Licinius. Constantine won a resounding victory, despite being outnumbered.).

Visiting the Jersey Hoard Through the Eyes of a Metal Detectorist!

The Jersey hoard bought to you by XP Metal Detectors

The Jersey hoard is now at the La Hougue Bie museum where it is being dis assembled and recorded. It’s name is Le Catillon II as Catillon 1 was discovered in 1957… On the same field! I have heard people talk about the museum, however had no idea of its attention to detail until I visited in person, naturally the Jersey hoard is the center of attention but it is surrounded by magnificent finds dating back to neolithic times.

As a metal detectorist I felt proud to be a member of the detecting fraternity, because most of the finds on display were all down to us guys….Well Reg and his club, if it wasn’t for their dedication and the willingness to work with the Jersey Heritage massive parts of history would be lost forever.

And laid out in front of me for the world to see was solid proof that us guys really do a great job and are not “Treasure Hunters” like the media would like to call us, but another branch of Archaeologists who choose to use metal detectors to save history.

La Hougue Bie

La Hougue Bie is a historic site, combined with a with a museum, it’s located in the parish of Grouville.

Hougue is a Norman word meaning mound, and comes from the Old Norse word haugr. The word Bie has an uncertain origin.

Hougue is a Norman word meaning mound, and comes from the Old Norse word haugr. The word Bie has an uncertain origin.

Underneath the earth mound is an 18.6 metre long passage to what’s though is a burial chamber which was in use around 3500 BC. During recent years Archaeologists have removed the soil from one face of the mound to see if the construction is all earth, they were amazed when they uncovered a perfect stone structure beneath the earth, with clear details of skilled stone masonry.

On the top the mound are two medieval chapels, one 12th Century and the other from the 16th Century, the public can still visit the chapels and the chamber.

On the top the mound are two medieval chapels, one 12th Century and the other from the 16th Century, the public can still visit the chapels and the chamber.

During World War II it was used as a key lookout point, and an underground command bunker was built in the mound and adjacent to the chamber. On a day with good light you can still see the medieval paintings on the ceiling.

Weddings are still held in the chapel. The museum hosts a vast array of finds dating back to the stone age. Several coin and artefact hoards are on display in a well-lit environment. The Jersey Hoard Le Catillon II is on full display behind a screen. Visitors can clearly see the hoard being dis assembled and the staff including Reg and Richard are more than happy to stop work and answer any questions.

Some hoard on display date back to the stone age.

Some hoard on display date back to the stone age.

There are several other hoards on display at the museum.

There are several other hoards on display at the museum.

The Jersey hoard so far June 2016

The museum purchased a laser scanner with metrology arm and can measure within 50 microns, that’s a 20th of a millimeter. The coin cleaning process consists of a mild acid soak and then gentle picking with a thorn as this will not damage the coins surface.

On a good day they can clean and record 200 coins.

On a good day they can clean and record 200 coins.

Reg and Richard have undertaken extensive training and now work at the museum cleaning and recording, they are now experts on Jersey coins and indeed historic Jersey. Here is a before and after.

So far the total amount of coins cleaned and recorded has reached 45000, mostly Silver but some Gold.

So far the total amount of coins cleaned and recorded has reached 45000, mostly Silver but some Gold.

In March 2015 coin number 12001 was recorded, making Catillon II the biggest Iron age coin hoard in western Europe beating the Marquanderie hoard which was also found in Jersey 1935 consisting of 12000 coins.

Items cleaned and recorded so far:

So far the total amount of coins cleaned and recorded has reached 45000, mostly Silver but some Gold.

Gold and precious pieces from the Jersey Hoard have been documented and preserved for future generations to enjoy.

Gold and precious pieces from the Jersey Hoard have been documented and preserved for future generations to enjoy.

  • Complete Gold Torcs 5
  • Pieces of Gold Torc 4
  • Gold Bracelets 3
  • Gold Rings 2
  • Gold sheet 2
  • Copper loops 2
  • Stones 1
  • Ingots 7
  • Silver wire 1
  • Decorative Gold pieces 3
  • Glass bead 1
  • Misc objects 6

During my visit a bronze age spear head had started to appear amongst the coins.

Coin types

Some Jersey coins were the XN series Silver based stators which were originally linked to the Abrincatui tribe from the Avranches region in Normandy, they are rare coins, many locals know them as “The Moon Stater” The hoard consisted of mainly coriosolitae staters and are common to Jersey.

The hoard consisted of mainly coriosolitae staters and are common to Jersey.

The hoard consisted of mainly coriosolitae staters and are common to Jersey.

Preservation

The hoard lives under a water vapor screen to mimic real underground conditions and preserve the coins and artifacts until they are ready to be removed.

The uncleaned items from the Jersey hoard live under a water vapor screen awaiting preservation.

The uncleaned items from the Jersey hoard live under a water vapor screen awaiting preservation.

The Replica

Neil Mahrer head conservator for the museum made a fantastic replica of Catillon II, all the coins are hand painted and look exactly like the real thing. It can be seen in the museum proudly on display in front of the real hoard.

Neil Mahrer, head conservator for the museum, made a fantastic replica of Catillon II for display.

Neil Mahrer, head conservator for the museum, made a fantastic replica of Catillon II for display.

View of the Jersey hoard replica on display.

View of the Jersey hoard replica on display.

 

Fact

Avranches is now twinned with St. Helier in Jersey. There is now a book available called Le Catillon II.

Signed copy of Catillon II by Reg Mead and Richard Miles.

Signed copy of Catillon II by Reg Mead and Richard Miles.

I have a signed copy of Catillon II by Reg Mead and Richard Miles, it’s free…All you need to do is register here at the The XP world-wide Forum and post yes please or a comment about this article under the Catillon II competition section.

Visiting La Hougue Bie
A visit to the La Hougue Bie in Jersey is a must for every detectorist the finds on display are truly amazing viewing the hoard in it’s natural form is a once in a lifetime opportunity, once it has been dis assembled and recorded it is possible we will never see it like this again.

*Important Note:
Please DO NOT take your detectors to the island unless you have special permission, customs and detecting laws are very strict.

We recommend staying at the Grand Jersey hotel.

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If you have any nice XP finds, tips or XP detecting events we would love to incorporate them into our XP Social Media sections so please keep us posted.