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Old 10-19-2018, 09:35 AM
Astronomersmith Astronomersmith is offline
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Default Relics and remains

This is probably a dumb question, but I was wondering if anyone has ever been metal detecting, and found human remains?

In specific, I wonder with all the civil war and even revolutionary war deaths, and with many people out there detecting for relics, it seems like there would have to be some poor souls that never got a proper burial in a cemetery. Maybe they died alone, or on a march, maybe had an accident in the wilderness or were murdered or killed by an animal? Then a hundred + years later somebody detects some buttons or bullets or buckles or maybe even a firearm, of the unfortunate person, and finds remains among the relics.

I don't even know if bones would still even be recognizable in 150 or more years later? They may have decomposed in that amount of time.

I guess this is kind of morbid, but it kind of crossed my mind because I have dug some and thought about, what if I find more than what I 'want' to find?

Scott
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Old 10-19-2018, 10:35 AM
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I know that the U.S. military has an MIA/POW program meant to dig up the remains of missing soldiers from WW1 & WW2 battlefields. They usually use metal detectors to get the job done.

I've also heard of many metal detectorists in Europe discovering the remains of fallen soldiers.

I would imagine soldiers/settlers killed in a native American ambush would not be buried. Soldiers mortally wounded and dragging themselves away from battle would eventually die and not be discovered. Also, some times when wounded soldiers died in a retreating army they would be hastily buried along a trail.

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Old 10-19-2018, 11:39 AM
Astronomersmith Astronomersmith is offline
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Originally Posted by It's A Trap! View post
I know that the U.S. military has an MIA/POW program meant to dig up the remains of missing soldiers from WW1 & WW2 battlefields. They usually use metal detectors to get the job done.

I've also heard of many metal detectorists in Europe discovering the remains of fallen soldiers.

I would imagine soldiers/settlers killed in a native American ambush would not be buried. Soldiers mortally wounded and dragging themselves away from battle would eventually die and not be discovered. Also, some times when wounded soldiers died in a retreating army they would be hastily buried along a trail.
Yes, that is exactly what I was thinking. I was just curious if any of the pros around here on the forum had ever found bones, or heard of it happening. I sure don't want to! But the thought has crossed my mind?
It just seems logical, that if a soldier or farmer even, were to die lost and alone, or be killed and left behind or hastily buried, and decades later a metal detector found some metallic objects they had on/with them...that there was a body there too?
I wondered if the decay process would have even left any sort of bone remnant that could still be recognizable in over 100 years? I'm thinking probably not, but I'm just throwing the question out there.

Scott
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Old 10-19-2018, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Astronomersmith View post
This is probably a dumb question, but I was wondering if anyone has ever been metal detecting, and found human remains?

In specific, I wonder with all the civil war and even revolutionary war deaths, and with many people out there detecting for relics, it seems like there would have to be some poor souls that never got a proper burial in a cemetery. Maybe they died alone, or on a march, maybe had an accident in the wilderness or were murdered or killed by an animal? Then a hundred + years later somebody detects some buttons or bullets or buckles or maybe even a firearm, of the unfortunate person, and finds remains among the relics.

I don't even know if bones would still even be recognizable in 150 or more years later? They may have decomposed in that amount of time.


I guess this is kind of morbid, but it kind of crossed my mind because I have dug some and thought about, what if I find more than what I 'want' to find?

Scott
I have once found a soldier's grave. I left the artifacts, more out of respect than any superstition. As to the actual bones, the environmental conditions have everything to do with that. The location of the grave I found was well-drained, sandy soil. The bones were fairly intact. I've also seen remains that were very, very far gone, due to acidic soil. Sometimes, only teeth are left intact.
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Old 10-19-2018, 02:14 PM
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I once dug a box plate and one foot away I dug the breast plate and one button. Then my old hunting buddy Charlie Harris showed me an article that appeared in North South Trader about what happens to plates when they have been buried on the body. My two plates met that definition exactly. But I never saw bones or teeth or cloth. And since I didn't I kept the plates.
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Old 10-19-2018, 04:39 PM
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People die outside for all sorts of reasons...this is a Dangerous World and Humans are very fragile....Along this subject line, here in West Michigan we get a few stiffs washed up on the beach every year....And yes I am out very early and always give them a quick sweep for a ring or a pocket full of money before moving on...I respect the dead, and just leave them there for somebody else to deal with properly...

Nothing of any value to report so far, since most of them blow over from Wisconsin, however, one guy had a nice flannel shirt on...and it fit!
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Old 10-19-2018, 04:55 PM
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I haven't...but I know of some relic hunters here in Va., back in the 90's, that found the remains of 3 N.C. soldiers at Ware Bottom in Chester, Va. It was all over the news and there was a funeral and procession that ended up at a burial site in Petersburg...Blandford Cemetery. I've also heard of remains found in Hanover Co.

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Old 10-19-2018, 06:36 PM
Astronomersmith Astronomersmith is offline
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Thank you all so much for your responses. I didn't mean to be gruesome or creepy or anything like that. I just had that thought, while out digging one time. I finally got around to asking the question.
I figured that with all the diggers out there, and all the death associated with history...well, somebody was bound to have found, 'some body'? Thank you again, that was very interesting.

Scott
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Old 10-19-2018, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Astronomersmith View post
Thank you all so much for your responses. I didn't mean to be gruesome or creepy or anything like that. I just had that thought, while out digging one time. I finally got around to asking the question.
I figured that with all the diggers out there, and all the death associated with history...well, somebody was bound to have found, 'some body'? Thank you again, that was very interesting.

Scott
Agreed! This sport is very interesting!....We are tracking Humans through the fog of time!...The finds give us a little glimpse into what was going on at the moment of the targets drop or loss! A curbstrip coin, a shotgun shell, or a condom wrapper in a totlot!...they all tell an interesting story about the Humans we track...

This is a Big Planet, these coils are so small, and our time here is short! Its very satisfying to track down an ancient Human and feel a connection with them simply from a find...

My Wife is instructed, someday, upon my impending demise, to take all my meager silver metal detecting finds and various brick-a-brack, and scatter them back out into the haunts I've hunted!....

Its not like my finds are worth a whole diddly damn to anybody anyway! Buckles and buttons and bullcraperry common silvers!! Then again, she may not re-seed my finds at all! She's Polish! She wont miss me one little bit, but tossing out something that she could sell? That might be worth a nickle? That would be hard on her! Like I said, She's Polish! Hell, she saves twisty ties off of Hillbilly bread for Petes sake! So dont hold your breath!

Sure! No doubt She will be salting out my collection of Chucky Cheese tokens with merriment and reckless abandon!! Not the silver coins though! Even though I told her to! She never listened to me when I was alive, so I got no hopes for when I am dead, and neither should you!...

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Old 10-19-2018, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Mud-puppy View post
.... we get a few stiffs washed up on the beach every year....And yes I am out very early and always give them a quick sweep for a ring or a pocket full of money before moving on.........one guy had a nice flannel shirt on...and it fit! ....
Leave it to puppy mud to make this question into a Monte Python script !
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Old 10-20-2018, 12:06 PM
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My brother and I were asked by a cemetery to help locate lost bronze plaques, crosses etc in a very old cemetery, Boy did I get !!!! for that. We did find several markers for them. We also came across a human femur. The cemetery "Mt. Moriah" was along side a not too savory neighborhood in West Philadelphia. Turns out, for a while the local population would go in at night and dig up graves and remove anything of value. Hence the surface find femur.
I also dug a full pair of dentures, tops and bottoms, not in the cemetery. Near as I can tell from the 1800's. Frames are sterling silver and the teeth are porcelain.

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Old 10-20-2018, 11:18 PM
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Now Mud, I don't care who you are...that's funny!!!

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Old 10-21-2018, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by normx2 View post
Now Mud, I don't care who you are...that's funny!!!
As a guy ages, its probably a good idea for a guy to consider..Death that is... ..Yes, dying all alone and out of doors would be preferable considering the multitude of alternatives Death makes readily available...

It would be a huge damn shame to die at work on a Thursday! Freaking worked the whole week and didnt get paid for it! I'd be so angry at myself! I am attempting to avoid this option by not going to work, so I got that covered...Then, another real tragedy in my imagination would be to die in a Hospital! Think of the upcharges for that one! Especially if you are not quite dead and just in a coma as they get to work on harvesting your organs to sell!! Or falling off the roof cleaning the gutters?! I'd kick myself in the @ss on the way to the ground for that!

It would be nice to know exactly when a how a guy is gonna die, so a guy can make a plan and do the exit right and efficiently!..Throw a big party the night before at the fanciest place in town! With the Credit card of course...Then, drawing his last and final breath, right on schedule, sign the bill and leave a big tip, stumble out behind the BarBQue joint, light a final smoke, take a final parking lot wiz, not even bothering to zip up his pants, look up at the stars, and then climb into the waiting dumpster! Perfect! Check out of this Life in a dumpster, surrounded and slathered in the wonderful aroma and goo of barbeque sauce and chicken wings! Thats King Tut kind of death right there!

But No, Death can sneak up on a young guy alla sudden, unannounced..Like an intinerant begging in town inlaw, just right up on your porch and ringing your bell before you can say, "Shidders Full"! ...

Death doesnt seem to hold a reliable schedule or scientifically discernable pattern?

For instance: One young guy, dosnt smoke or drink, takes care of himself, goes to the doctor annually, very safety minded and risk avoidance, a real Boyscout Cumminty volunteer Eddie Punchclock, got his finances all set up and a Life plan for a wonderful long Life, then, BOOM! He gets hit by a car or a falling tree!?

Another old guy, lives just down the street from Eddie, just doesnt give a damn about nobody or nothing, has no redeeming characteristics, no marketable skills or Social value, smokes, drinksNdrives, doesnt wash his hands before eating, etc. And He's the one who lives forever?

I've thought about this quite a bit....Not that I am trying to avoid Death, far from it, I just find it a curious study...Seems a guy is better served to understand the parameters, focus up on what little Life you got, how you spend the Time here...and not so much thinking about avoiding Death...

A week after a guy is dead, somebody else will be mowing his yard!....Considering this and other time wasting engagements that robs a guy of his Life like Work and Family, The hell with that! Lets go Detecting!

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Last edited by Mud-puppy; 10-21-2018 at 03:02 PM.
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  #14  
Old 10-21-2018, 06:17 PM
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Amen brother!! Iron be damned!! There's relics ahead!!!

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