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How should I decide where to dig?

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  • How should I decide where to dig?

    I apologize in advance if this has been covered a million times. I'm new to this and am starting a new hobby with my son. My family has some land in Pennsylvania that we hunt and I wanted to try and dig for some artifacts. It's all wooded land but it is close to a pretty big waterway that I know people have found stuff in and around. Our land has farm land bordering it on 2 sides that used to be my grandfather's family's land and he said they found arrowheads as kids while working the fields. Unfortunately the folks who own it now don't want anyone on their property. I'm stuck with where to start because all of the land is pretty flat and runs right to the creek. I'm not sure of the exact distance where the property ends but it's probably about 200 or 250 yards from the creek bank to the end of our property. Is there anything in the land in particular that I should look for and dig some test holes to see if I find anything? Again, it's all wooded up to where our property ends then homes were built on what was likely high ground beyond our property. Thanks in advance for any replies/advice.

  • #2
    Welcome from Florida...I’m not a creekwalker, but I would look in the creek, if you find a concentration of flakes/ points, etc work the land in that area.
    Floridaboy.

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    • #3
      I've never dug, so cant help ya there. But if that creek has rocks and stones in it, that's where I would be.
      Western Kentucky

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      • #4
        albert,
        Welcome to the community. Your addiction will start soon.
        Being a Texas digger originally, you have to identify the most prominent location to have a camp. Being that they were the first real estate agents they had the prime spots covered
        What works everywhere is raised areas near permanent water, preferably on a bend or bow in a river. Springs nd creeks work well too.
        Now that's almost always where someone put a house in later times, That is why Aunt Nelly, found an arrowhead while digging her garden or Fred found one doing sidewalk repairs.
        I like hardwood bottomland myself, but things vary around the country.
        They had to watch for game and possible enemies, so use your best judgement. I grew up in east Pennsy and west Jersey so I know the issues with yearly detritus and leaves make it difficult to see the bare ground up there.
        Good luck,
        Lone Star
        FGH

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        • #5
          If you have permission or it's your land why not dig One reason I don't dig is that if I did I would want to do a professional job and It looks like slow going work. I'm sure you could just start shoveling and sifting and not worry about seeing what lays above/below/next to what. If there is charcoal or black organic soil, that could be dated. Some of the most important information we have is from professional excavations. Maybe I'm making too much of this because I see a lot of sloppy digging at sites that are supposed to be protected, or are at least no digging. There are archeologists who will be offended by anyone who digs but them, or even offended if you pick up an artifact Who do they think they are, they'll put what they find in a warehouse never to bee seen again! Then again, a stratified analysis can tell great things. As you can see I'm kind of on the fence with this. Many avocational diggers have provided tremendous information though.
          Like mentioned, check the creek! And I hope you find some artifacts.
          p.s. the bowl in my icon was actually found when a piece of earth about the size of a large drum came loose on a riverbank and exposed a portion of it. I was able to gather the pieces before more erosion washed it away down the river. I still find a little piece now and then when the weather does it's thing and the tide goes out. I have been very tempted to dig the area above the high tide line, but state land so, nope.
          Last edited by kayakaddict; 05-04-2021, 10:42 AM.
          New Jersey

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          • #6
            Some good advise , test holes where it feels right, grandpa poked a iron rod into the sand and listened for rocks
            2ET703 South Central Texas

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            • #7
              Sandy bluffs with a good view. That's where I always see the holes.
              New Jersey

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