There must be more lead buried in our fields than all the other metals combined, the bane of the detectorist – or is it? I’ve found my fair share of nondescript pieces that often give a cracking signal, followed by disappointment and the exclamation of “Aargh, lead!” (or possibly alternative words that turn the air blue). Man has consistently been polluting the soil for centuries with this poisonous material, but for all its nastiness, lead definitely has its uses.
Some of the lead finds I have unearthed turned out, after a little research, to be fascinating objects! Even the scraps and bits of lead dross are themselves good indicators of activity and can lead to the discovery of sites that yield more desired finds. All the scrap pieces I find go into pots at home (Fig.1). I once read in a past issue of Treasure Hunting magazine about a detectorist who collected all the lead from his club members. When he had accumulated enough, he would take it to a scrap dealer and the money received was donated to a local charity – what a great thing to do! We should all be doing things like this: being green is another side of detecting, clearing the land of lead as well as all the other bits and pieces we dig up. Last year, in a field just around the corner from me, a detectorist unearthed a grenade – he could have been blown up (just like the Club Chairman Terry from the great TV series Detectorists)!
A Stony Digression