Notes from S05E07 Spaced Out

13 year old Jansen Lyons with the metal detector his grandfather made, that discovered the 2 pound Meteorite in Rio Rancho, New Mexico USA!!! Photo ©Albuquerque Journal 2012

In 2012 near Albuquerque, the city people can’t ever spell a 13 year old kid was walking around with a metal detector his grandfather built, and found something no one has ever found there before.

a 2 pound Meteorite.

Video property of KRQU News Albuquerque, New Mexico. Used for information purposes only, GDA claims no ownership


He found it in September, but it took him 8 months to finally bring it to the University of New Mexico, specifically the institute of Meteoritics


Now DR. Carl Agee gets allot of people coming in to the university asking if the rocks they found in the back yard is a meteorite.


Because most people know they are worth money.


So he saw 13 year old Jansen Lyons and his mother walk into the lab. and DR AGEE just knew another bogus find was about to to take up his time.


When he picked it up he suddenly realized it was much more dense than he had thought.

He took it to a wet saw, and cut a piece off, and he knew instantly it was what the boy claimed.

It was a meteorite after all.

It is valued between $1,000-$6,000 (Depending on source)


GDA Find Of The Week February 18 2019

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This week we are happy to announce Ralph Michael from the GDA Facebook group as the Find of the week winner, for his 1566-1576 King Philip II Spanish AE17 Blanca. Found on a beach in California this coin must have been brought there by the Conquistadores. The coin he found, was only minuted for 10 years, and is Copper with traces of silver in it.

A truly historic find for California, a sign of the first explorers from the civilization across the Atlantic, who landed in central America, and explored as far north as California.

Congratulations to Ralph Michael, We wish you further success in the hobby!!!


Notes from GDA Radio Podcast S05E06 February 11 2019

Battlefield Archaeology the beginning: The Battle Of Little Bighorn

What is Battlefield Archaeology?

Dr. Douglas D. Scott at the Battle of Little Bighorn park 2013 © Friends of the Little Bighorn Battlefield: http://www.friendslittlebighorn.com/

Ok, well the truth is this. Back in 1983 Battlefield Archaeology didn’t exist.

So there is Military Archaeology, which is the actual learned discipline in archaeology of the study of objects from battles dating all the way back.

But Battlefield archaeology was first created in 1983 by Doctor Douglas D Scott.

It began like this.

Scott went out to try to create field methodology to better systematically investigate battlefields.

Before this no one could accurately interpreted a battle field.

This created a framework for future archaeologists to more accurately interpret the layout of a battlefield while standing on the site, and allowed a better understanding of how a battle developed and actually gives the archaeologists sometimes, the truths in what are glaring inaccuracies in history books.
So where did Dr Scott first use this, and how? Good question 42!

General George A. Custer: 1865 © Click Americana www. clickamaricana.com

General George A. Custer: 1865 © Click Americana www.clickamaricana.com

It was what the natives refer to as the battle at Greasy Grass river,

But the river is known to western civilization by a different name:

we called the battle that took place on the morning of the 25th of June 1876 

The battle of Little Bighorn. and also nicknamed “Custer’s Last Stand”

News papers at the time reported headlines such as:

Terrible battle with Indians

Gen. Custer, 15 officers, and every man of five companies slain

The charlotte Democrat, July 10 1876

It is said to be a heroic last stand of General G.A. Custer. an almost romantic tale of the american wild west.

Stories were spread all around the states stating that 300 men were valiantly standing up against 2000 and sometimes up to 4000 indian warriors.

It is also said that we will never know the real story as there were no survivors, which we now know is bull, as thousands survived the day. Many natives, and some soldiers who fled or survived.

The natives say there was panic and confusion in the soldiers ranks. They have passed the stories from generation to generation talking about how there was no last stand, rather the soldiers scared and panicking were easily killed.

Is there any truth in the Legends and myths of the last stand?

or the stories of the natives what really happened?

This is what Doctor Scott wanted to investigate. The truth of the battle of Little Bighorn. He wanted to point out all the historical inaccuracies.

He headed out to the battle field, where they know around where the battle took place, based on the layout of the head stones.

The head stones mark where each soldier was buried where his body lay after the battle. It is also the only battlefield whew the soldiers lay where they died.

Head stones head off in a line, left to right, in what looks like a large skirmish line. And then a large cluster of them on a hill, names “last stand Hill” others way off on their own.

1984 excavation, flags mark the areas metal detectors and archaeologists found artifacts on “Last Stand Hill”

Armed with metal detectors and more they wanted to find out what actually happened out there. and put a rest to the rumors, myths and stories and accurately give voice to the events of that day in 1876.

This we knew

In the mid 1800s the Lakota sioux were given land in the Black Hills of Montana. They had the exclusive rights to the land.

However when gold was discovered in the Black Hills in the 1870’s, the U.S. Government demanded that the sioux move out, to their reservation, so the white miners who were flocking to the area to mine the gold could do so without the native american presence. 

White America at the time had dime novels, and news paper stories depicting the blood thirsty savages which were living on the great plains, 

It is true at just before this event happened two miners were found dead in a native american attack, but there was no other provocation.

they simply saw the people as uneducated and feral. A menace to the country. 

Stories abounded about how soldiers and outposts came under attack.

Then there were the stories of soldiers retaliating by wiping out complete villages of the natives, which gathered praise by the public.

unbeknownst to the people, for the most part only one of these stories were true.

the systematic genocide of native american villages through the plains.

Chief Sitting Bull, Photo 1883

so here we have a problem in the Black Mountains of Montana.

The Sioux, along with the Northern Cheyanne indians were sitting on the land the government hat given them. The government demanded that they return to their reservations, so the mining could commence.

chief Sitting Bull refused to give up the area, and was traveling with a massive mobile village of around 1200 huts, estimated up to 1500 warriors.

General custer had been following the tracks of this village for some time with the 7th cavalry regiment. However because fo the roughness of the terrain, Gattling guns and artillery could not be hauled.

clusters indian scouts spotted the encampment to the west.

when Custer saw it, he was awestruck by the size, but decided to attack rather than listen to the indian scouts who said they were well outnumbered.

Dr Scott had collected volunteers to help find an answer to the events of the day. Armed with his new techniques in battlefield archaeology, he headed out to the hills near the Little Bighorn and started scanning the area with metal detectors.

Over time 5000 artifacts were found, and pin flags placed at each location. 

Bullets, bullet casings, bones, spurs, you name it

The american calvary at the time carried only issued .45 caliber springfield breechloader rifles.

And the natives had multiple different types. so locating the position of calvary troops, and natives became clear when ground impacted bullets started showing up in high quantities in specific locations. native fighting positions had large numbers of .45 projectiles in the ground.

Calvary positions had high numbers of multiple types of projectiles in the ground.

Map of the Battle Of Little Bighorn. Made from the testimony of Major Reno to help clarify the Battle.

But the high number of native weapons surprised the archaeologists.

they decided to begin a forensic type investigation into the number of weapons used at the scene.

comparing ejected casings with others, they could estimate how many of a specific type of gun was used. by the number of different firing pin marks found on the same type of casing found.

it was found that 45 types of different types of weapon was being used by the warriors. and that based on that, 800 of them were armed with rifles and pistols. Much more than was previously thought

This was the first true clue found

Gen. Custer was out gunned by 4 to 1

Dr, Scott then investigated thousands of cartridges of the calvary to view the movement of the soldiers in the battle, or at leas the weapons in the battle.

and Because of Doctor Scott’s creation of Battlefield Archaeology, and armed with the invaluable aide of metal detectors the story of the 7th calvary on the morning of June 25th was actually discovered.

it was discovered that a skirmish line had been created by the calvary, yet when the overwhelming numbers of warriors attacked, the right wing of the calvary disintegrated, and they moved in the direction of General Custer’s hill and began clustering together in confusion. 

Thats when they were easily slaughtered.

When this began to happen, the time of the soldiers was officially numbered.

Calvary .45 cal, 500 Grain shell casing and live ammunition found on the Little Bighorn Battlefield.

The use of metal detecting, and archaeologists hand in hand in battlefield archaeology on modern battlefields, showed the truth of what happened.

Custer ignored the news from his indian scouts who said his soldiers had been already spotted, and told Major Reno to attack from the North of the village.

Renos attack was held off by the warriors in the village. and the women and children began to flee. seeing this Custer decided to chase them down. 

The natives cut Custer off and a battle between the two was imminent.

The Calvary then set up a skirmish line, normal practice for them, each man 5 meters apart, and shortly after, when the right wing began to fail the men made a panic move to the center where Last Stand hill sits. The left wing then joined.

But because the breach loading springfield was much slower than the lever action rifles many of the natives had, they were easily overcome in close quarters, and with pistol, axe, knife and mallet, they calvary men were easily slaughtered.

It was a matter of chaos almost from the onset of contact. 

Soldiers firing in all directions, and not covering single directions of fire, allowing the natives easy avenues to the soldiers.

Eventually they were surrounded, after Custer was killed, the remaining men, dropped weapon and attempted to run for the river, they were then easily killed.

What is known as Last Stand Hill, where the largest number of tombstones are gathered in a small area, was actually found to have very few calvary shell casings, but mostly high numbers of native american bullets.

Meaning the legends and stories of a heroic last stand were false. 

There was no last stand. 

Photo of bones and remains of soldiers and horses on the Little Bighorn Battlefield. Photo taken on the Captain George K. Sanderson Expedition to the battlefield. The same expedition that buried the remains of the soldiers where they fell. and erected a monument to the fallen. Photo taken August 1876, the first expedition since the battle.

From the beginning, Custer’s men were out numbered, out gunned and faced an opponent that was comfortable and proficient in hunting individually, be the prey animal or man.

The story books will now accurately reflect the confusing minutes that the battle of Little Bighorn took place in, and with the help of metal detectors on the battlefield, alongside archaeologists, the truth of the final day of the men of the 7th Calvary has been found.

On that day in 1983, Battlefield Archaeology was created. and it is still used to this day to better understand the truth in battlefields around the world.

Doctor Scott was given an award by the National Park Service for his contribution to the discovery of the story at little Bighorn

All photos are copyright © of the appropriate owners. GDA does not claim ownership of any images. They are here only for informational and educational purposes only.


The GDA Find Of The Week

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Find of the week goes to

Wilbur Miner of Georgia

For this amazing find of a 1948 Tootsie Toy #3571 Grayhound Bus. An amazing find and recovery. And coming from a toy guy like me, this is really an extraordinary find.


Notes from GDA Radio Podcast S05E05: February 4 2019

The Crosby Garrett Helmet. Photo © Christi’s Images / Bridgeman Images

The Crosby Garrett Helmet. Photo © Christi’s Images / Bridgeman Images

The Crosby Garrett Helmet

Found May 2010

Country: U.K. Cumbria, England

Finder: Anonymous

Estimated worth: 200,000 - 300,000 British Pounds ($309,000 - $463,000 U.S.)

Declared Treasure: No

End Auction Price: 2,330,468.75 British Pounds (Minus fees and taxes) (Est. $2,995,187.78 U.S.)

Sold to: Anonymous Private Collector

Currently on display: No

It was because of this find, and the fact it was not declared a treasure, that it was seen that the law needed to be addressed. It was clear the 1996 Treasure act failed to include items not made of Precious metals or having precious jewels.

Today, the act is currently under revision to include ANY treasure with an estimated worth of 10,000 British Pounds will be declared treasure. This will allow British museums the first chance to purchase items to be put into museum displays, and only then if no museum offers to purchase the item at estimated or greater than estimated value, it will only then be placed up for sale on the private sector.

This is a huge and long overdue step in the right direction.

(All photographs © appropriate owners. GDA does not claim ownership. Used for information purpose only)


Find Of The Week

Congratulations to Stuart Flett, on the GDA Find Of The Week. His amazing gold Victorian era broach is a truly amazing find. It cleaned up beautifully and today looks as beautiful as it did when it was first made. The diamond really glows within the stunningly intricate pattern and would be a welcome addition to anyones jewelry collection today, as much as it was 100+ years ago.

Stuart gifted the brooch to his daughter Chloe on her 18th Birthday.

Chloe is 21 now and at university about to start a PhD in ovarian cancer. She’s done 3 years for her undergraduate degree and is currently doing her Masters. Once that’s complete she will start her PhD.