Last 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
They also found some beautifully preserved Roman coins.
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.
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.
Note : The Battle of Cibalae was fought on October 8, 314 (or perhaps as late as 316, the chronology is uncertain), 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.).