Social Question

john65pennington's avatar

Is there a metal detector that will accomplish this?(see inside).

Asked by john65pennington (29235points) September 15th, 2011

My property sits on land that use to be a dairy farm, many years ago. According to the information I have received, there may be at least four slaves buried on my property. I can see where the ground has sunk down in four locations. I assume these were the plots for the buried slaves. I do not wish to use a backhoe to dig out these plots. Question: is there a metal detector that can be used for this purpose? The dector’s signal would have to be strong-enough to penetrate at least 6 feet into to the ground, in order to be useful. Any suggestions?

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15 Answers

SpatzieLover's avatar

Apparently a Deep Pulse Induction Detector will work at this depth. All of the rest are rated for 6–10”.

I’d contact this place and ask them more detailed questions.

EDIT: The blanket antennas look like they’d be along the lines of what you’d be interested in

john65pennington's avatar

Spatzielover, thanks!

SpatzieLover's avatar

@john65pennington I wish I could go out there with you :) Sounds like fun. I love to dig for stuff!

thorninmud's avatar

I’d think ground-penetrating radar would be what you’d want. Lots of PD’s use it for locating clandestine graves. Maybe if you slip a doughnut to someone in the department, they could take a look.

john65pennington's avatar

thorninmud, do you really believe a cop will do anything for a doughnut?

thorninmud's avatar

Nah, but could be a good starting point for negotiations ;)

YoBob's avatar

Sounds like a great project for an archeology class at your local university. I’m sure they would welcome the opportunity to excavate a historical site.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@YoBob I was just thinking the same thing. @thorninmud‘s idea would work, if you could borrow someone’s expensive machine. Otherwise, a university may do the search for you @john65pennington,...However I have a feeling you may be like me ;) and may want to attempt this on your own first?

@YoBob We’ve had quite a few successful digs here on old farms that have produced some major museum treasures. The Hebior Mammoth came to mind and is why I came back here to post.

thorninmud's avatar

Here’s the GPR in use on a project similar to yours.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Am I reading this correctly? You want to dig up bodies?

SpatzieLover's avatar

@thorninmud there are two on the site I linked above, too.

Buttonstc's avatar

Why would a metal detector be useful for human remains which would be comprised of bone at this point in time?

YoBob's avatar

I guess it really depends on what the goal is. If it is just about knowing where the bodies are buried but you really don’t want to disturb the graves then technology is in order. OTOH, if you don’t mind digging and are interested in the possibility of additional historical finds, nothing beats a grad student with a trowel.

@SpatzieLover – Do you know if ownership of such finds vary from state to state? I believe here in Texas the land owner pretty much reigns supreme, but I could be mistaken.

In any case, @john65pennington, regardless of what method you use before you allow somebody to make a significant archeological “find” on your property you might want to check the local laws. The last think you want to find out after the fact is you can no longer use “your” property because some bureaucrat decides that because of some event that happened there 200 years ago that the state suddenly has more rights to your property than you do.

CWOTUS's avatar

I don’t suppose that the slaves would have been buried wearing chains and manacles, so what do you expect to find with a metal detector? If they were buried in coffins – which I would also doubt – then you’d pick up no more than the nails used as fasteners.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@YoBob Yes, state laws vary greatly. In Wis, land owners have the ownership of certain finds. But the State can deem things theirs.

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