I just wanted to take a moment and thank everyone that makes this club possible and contributes to our success. I personally have been extremely busy and I want to thank Miner for stepping in and posting to the site. I also want to thank Vince for helping out in the big town of Mulvane on a lost ring post. These things mean a lot to me but I haven’t had time to focus on metal detecting and I’m thankful for everyone’s help. At any rate I just made plans (albeit loose) for our January meeting. I think we should try to metal detect at Cypress Park which is at 300 S. Edgemoor in Wichita. I hope to see everyone there and hopefully mother earth cooperates with us so we can all enjoy what we love so much.. Swinging!
On a much more serious note I hope everyone has had a great Christmas and I hope that you guys have had a great time with the people that matter most in your lives.
The smile on her face says it all. Good work Vince
This last weekend we held our final class for the year. I haven’t kept a tally but it seems as though we taught 7 or 8 classes throughout the last 12 months. All in all it has been a great deal. Every class we teach brings something to the table. It seems like people from all walks of life enjoy the idea of getting into the hobby. We have had classes with kids, women, and grown men. Our most recent class was a small class of 4. It was nice because we had 4 club members present which gave us a 1:1 ratio when we went outside for the hands on training. What really surprised me is the fact that 3/4 of the class were ladies. It was kind of cool to see them interested in the hobby. I’m not certain what these classes mean long term, but I’m certain that it means there is interest in the hobby and interest in learning how to do it.
The City of Wichita has asked us to do a couple of classes next year and I’m certain that other cities will come forward to hold classes. Until then we have a few meetings to tackle without having to worry about classes. We have a couple of good places to detect that are not public parks and hopefully we can find some goodies in the ground.
Til next time,
Good Luck and Happy Hunting *\_
I first want to say Thank you to everyone that showed up at our August Meeting yesterday. We had a turn out of 17 people in attendance. I would also like to give out a HUGE THANK YOU to Dr. Hoard for making the trek from Topeka to Wichita just to talk to us “hunters”. Now we all know that there has been friction between the Archaeology community and not only metal detectorists but collectors of all types in the past. I have to applaud Dr. Hoard for his open mindedness to us MDers. I think Pulltab and I were both a little taken back on how much our States archaeology department already works with metal detectorists. Dr. Hoard had several examples of dig sites that included the use of our equipment. He mentioned several times that he sees our tools as a useful extension of their equipment. They use several types of ground penetrating radars and other very high tech equipment but he definitely acknowledged that sometimes our equipment is exactly what they need to help them piece together the puzzles of history.
I have to admit I was a little skeptical about how this meeting would go but I was pleasantly surprised at the outcome. I learned several things (some good, some bad) about what they would like from us. Let’s start with the good stuff we discussed.
Sites- Dr. Hoard informed us that any citizen can create, document, and file a site through his department. He acknowledged the fact that they will never have the time, money, and other resources to do a full dig on every site. He encouraged us to create sites based on our finds. For example if we dig period artifacts from a church that we have researched and prove that there was in fact a church there. This seems totally feasible to me. He made it very clear that they can NOT just pick out a publicly filed site and turn it into a full field site. They have to go through the same steps that we do. They have to get permission from the landowner if held privately. They also want a reason for researching the site. It sounds like they do a fair amount of work with the DOT and if a planned highway is going through a site they seek permission to research it before the site is changed and possibly ruined.
Artifacts- Plain and simply put their department is not interested in every artifact we find. However, they would like to be informed about them on the field site registry. This gives them information. He mentioned that many private collectors let them photograph and document their artifacts. The artifacts are then sent back to the private collector unless they have permission to keep the artifact. He also mentioned that many private collectors will turn over their artifacts and they are placed in a local library or museum. This allows the general public to see local artifacts.
Recognition- In our club I had heard this mentioned a few times and someone brought up the fact that we as MD’ers haven’t historically gotten recognition for the work we have done with the archaeology community. Dr. Hoard agreed that most humans like recognition for the work they have done. He also said that there are times when these details fall through the cracks. I have to be honest I can understand this. If a group of 5-15 detectorists show up to help with a full on field school or field site and there are 100 volunteers there it would be tough to make sure everyone got a piece of the recognition. I think this is a small detail that could easily be worked through.
The only bad news (if we can call it that) that came out of the meeting was the following. Our state has an Artifacts Act that was passed in I believe in 1967. This act prohibits the removal of artifacts from public lands whether they be State, City, Township, or County. As soon as he informed us of this the room got kind of quiet and we all paused to contemplate what these words meant. Does this mean we can’t metal detect in local parks? No it doesn’t mean that. It does mean however that under current law we would have to get a permit to collect artifacts out of public land. Well a permit wouldn’t be a big deal right? I had to ask the question. How would we go about getting a permit? The short answer was that you have to have a masters degree and apply through their department.. Ok so I don’t have a masters degree which means I can’t get a permit. Now I’m thinking this kind of sucks.. But then the discussion became quite interesting. Dr. Hoard encouraged us to come up with some new wording and revisions that could be made to this law to keep everyone happy. He had a pretty good analogy that kind of put things into perspective. If a state, city, or county park has a huge Limestone deposit or a gold vein under the surface and people came in with backhoes and excavators to remove these natural resources it would do major damage to the public property and damage their resources. This is how they protect their land from a far out there scenario like that. My take on this discussion was this. He would like to hear from us what kind of verbiage we would like to see changed in the Artifacts act. Maybe it has to do with the tools used to recover artifacts? Maybe it has to do with how deep you can remove an artifact? Maybe it means that if you are recovering artifacts that both parties would find interesting you report it to them? I’m not sure how this law could be changed but I’m hopeful that there is common ground to be found.
In the end we all decided to keep in touch with each other and work together on finding some common ground. As Dr. Hoard mentioned we have similar interests but we have different ways of achieving that goal. We all agreed that open mindedness is crucial on both sides for everyone to get along happily.
Hello everyone, I wanted to take a moment and let everyone know what has been happening in our club.
I am talking to Robert Hoard (State Archaeologist) about speaking at our August meeting. I believe this will be a great time to share, discuss, and get questions answered.
At our last meeting we discussed several things and we have decided to reduce the number of classes we do for the City of Wichita. Instead of 4-5 a year we will do 2 a year in the future. Our last class got cancelled and we are hoping that having fewer classes will keep the attendance up in classes. I can tell you that we are still working closely with the city and everything is fine.
During our last meeting we also discussed a change in format for our meetings which I think everyone will enjoy. We are planning on having a rotating schedule of meeting one month and then having a detecting party the next month. In August we will have a meeting and September will be a hunt. We feel this will bring a little more mix into things. We also discussed having our meetings/hunts in surrounding cities. If you have suggestions about where we could meet please send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In closing I hope everyone is having a great summer and getting quite a bit of detecting in. I haven’t been out hardly at all but as they say “this to will pass”.
Thanks for reading and I hope to see everyone in August at our meeting.
Well we held our 3rd metal detecting class for the City of Wichita. We quickly got underway and James discussed the history of metal detecting. This is one section of the class that seems to mesmerize our students. They have probably never thought about the history of detecting let alone research it as much as James has. We then sent Vince to discuss research and where to hunt. If you have never heard him discuss this stuff you are missing out. Vince has a very thought provoking way of looking at human interaction and human behavior and how it effects our hobby.
James talking about the history of metal detecting.
David then went on to discuss how detectors work and what features to look for in a entry level machine. I finished the classroom portion up with Laws, ethics, and techniques. I can say that with every class we teach students bring forward new questions about detecting and machines. It is a lot of fun fielding questions and learning what the folks who are just getting started in the hobby have to ask us.
Once we were done indoors, we headed outside. We had a short demonstration on proper digging technique and target recovery. We then handed out detectors, diggers, and pin-pointers and set off into the massive Linwood Park. We spent about an hour detecting outdoors. A few people had their own machines that we could answer questions about and many had never heard the language our detectors speak. All in All it was a great class and it seemed to go very well.
For those of you that attended I would like to welcome you and I hope you find the hobby as enjoyable as I have.
Vince discussing machines and sounds with a couple that attended our class.
The club is lucky to count among its members, a few old timers who have dug more holes than the rest of us combined. At the meeting, James and Vince regaled us once again with entertaining stories and they shared their views on a number of subjects (hint: don’t mention archaeologists around James LOL!). Good times!
At one point, Vince gave us a mini-seminar on cache hunting. I had seriously never considered the things he talked about. Needless to say, I will be approaching old homesteads with a new eye!
If you want to know the details, you’ll have to attend the next meeting and ask Vince 🙂