The Tejon: A Diary from Holland

by Mart Hoffman

Mr. Hoffman kindly submitted his story for fellow treasure hunters. Some variations from American standard spelling or sentence structure may occur.

In the start of February, I had a con­versation with the importer for Tesoro in the Netherlands, Gert Gesink. Halfway through the conversation, he told me about the Tejon. He made me curious and promised to send one as soon as the detectors were delivered, so I could test it. In following months, I did find a lot of finds. All of them were found in ground dumps near my home. The period of time of the finds in this article is from the Roman Empire until the early 19th century. Objects found during the last months at the archaeology excavations were not photographed. I could only show my own finds. How sad. I found beautiful Medieval and Roman artifacts with the Tejon during these excavations.

February

Friday, 13th: I was finally in posses­sion of the Tejon and I went immedi­ately to a ground dump for the first test. I used the elliptical coil. When there was an object in the ground, the Tejon gave a perfect signal and I had the object with one dig in the ground. So pinpointing was not necessary. At the end of this (1.5 hours) excavation, I had found 6 copper-alloy coins (in Dutch: duit or duiten) from the 17th and 18th century. Also found were a silver watch key and a ring for a child made of copper wire with a glass stone.

Sunday, 15th: I went with Mart and Levi (my two sons) to a location near a park where in the 17th - 19th cen­turies, the city garbage from Delft was dumped. There is a lot of mineralization in the ground, so it's very heavy for metal detectors. A few years ago, we found a lot of coins, buckles, bullets, lead seals, and many other objects, but these days, it's over. You need a good detector to find something. So, for me it's always a perfect place for learning a new detector—the Tejon. I started with the elliptical (double D) coil and in a few minutes, I found two copper coins. It had been a long time ago that we found this opportunity here. The signals were good, and I was able to hear the difference between small iron and good targets. I didn't even have to pinpoint. The coins came also from a good depth, 10 inches. Then I tried the concentric coil. This coil also gave a good response on this ground, and soon I found another coin. It was exactly the same story, and I found some nice objects (for this place) at a remarkable depth. At last, I used the spi­der coil. This coil did not give the response I had in mind. The spider coil had more problems with the ground, and it was difficult to find the right place to dig for an object. So here, I really need­ed to pinpoint to get good results.

Tuesday, 17th: I went to a farmer for permission to search on his fields. For me it was more than 5 years since I had searched a big field. It was important to check if the spider coil was better in these conditions. So, I started with the concentric coil and soon I found a coin. The next find was a horseshoe at a depth over 25 inches. After a while, I took the spider coil under the Tejon. This was incredible. The Tejon was at its best, and it looked like there was more metal in the ground. I found more coins and many more horseshoes. Then I considered that there was on alt disc level on board. It worked perfectly and it gave a clear difference between the things you wanted to find and not. I had my normal disc level at just rejecting iron and the alt disc level at the 5 cent. I can say one thing about this level; it works perfect.

Wednesday, 18th: I had promised myself to go to the ground dump where I first tried the Tejon. One of the town archaeologists asked if I could help directly on an excavation in the middle of the old city. I was confused. “What shall I do?” I took a day off from work to search on the ground dump, but this was also great to do. Then my wife Judith said, “Why not first go to the ground dump and then to the excavation?” This was a brilliant plan.

One of the finds on the ground dump was a pin from the 16th century. Later at the excavation, I found a silver coin dated 1322—1384 at a place where other metal detectors had no signal. At this event, I did also find an iron knife and some other iron items.

March

Sunday, 23rd: I went to a ground dump where people mainly found Roman artifacts in the last few months. I did make a big pit and when I cleared 1 foot, I searched it with the Tejon. I found a perfectly preserved Roman split pen and also a Roman sandal nail. Even this last object gave a good signal.

Friday, 28th: I went to the excavation in the center of Delft. The people dredged out the ground, and the pit was already over 5 feet deeper. At this level, all the Middle Ages' former trash pits and trenches were good to see. But good working was difficult. I tried to work along with the digging machines, so when they dredged out some ground, I went directly to it to search before more ground was dredged out.

Every time there was an object in the ground, there was no problem finding the right location and digging it out. This time I found several beautiful objects: a pilgrim's badge, 4 coins, a strap's end, a counter coin, a few buckles, knives, and many other objects (mostly from iron).

One item I wanted to discuss sepa­rately. In a corner of the excavation field, near an old wall, the Tejon gave a very loud sound that after more than 5 sec­onds faded away. When I did go back to the same spot, it happened again. I start­ed to dig and over 12 inches deep lay a big round object. First, we did not know what it was, but after cleaning it with water, we saw a late Middle Ages' kitchen spoon. The diam­eter was 1 foot, and it was made from copper or bronze. What happened was typical for the Tejon.

April

Sunday, 4th: I went with a friend to the ground dump where the Roman artifacts were found. Near this dump (5 minutes walking) was another dump, but in this one there were also many Middle Ages' things to find. Very soon, I found a key in a perfect condition. After a while, I went to dig 3 meters next to the trench of my friend. After an hour digging, I took the Tejon in my trench and screened the sides and there was only one clear and fine signal. Carefully, I took out the ground and held a beautiful badge in my hand. Just before we stopped, I took the Tejon over the ground out of the trench, and I found another badge in the form of a boar. Sadly, the badge was not complete because it was missing his musical instrument and legs.

May

I went back to the same spot and dug another pit. I only found pieces of Roman pottery and a broken comb (this is rare), dated 7th & 8th century A.D.

In the following weeks, it was getting harder to find good spots, and I went back to the place where I found the Roman split pen. There was only one thing we could do—dig a deep hole and search the ground that came out of it. This became a tough job of digging in clay ground and all kind of stones that remained from medieval buildings.

June

It worked. When on a Sunday I dug a hole over 2 meters deep, I found an iron ballista-arrowhead dated in the Roman period (50-70 A.D.). In that same pit, I found sever­al Roman artifacts such as har­ness mounts and small tools and a Roman finger ring.

It became summer holiday, and I was in a park with my son when I saw a big mountain of “old” ground. I went to the ground to check it, and I saw all kinds of pottery dated from the late 15th to the 18th century. This could be a very good place for searching, but first I went with my family on holiday, and I forgot the site a bit.

At the end of the holiday, we had nothing to do, and I remembered the last site. I did go there with my two sons and soon I found a coin dated in the 18th centu­ry. A few minutes later, I found a pilgrim badge with a male's head dated in the 15th centu­ry. I found also a few buttons and some coins.

July

On a Sunday, I went back to the Roman site for digging a new hole. In less than 5 minutes, my friend found a Roman brooch. This promised to be a beautiful day I thought. And I was right. I did find a large amount of Roman har­nesses. In one of the following visits to this site, I found a piece of pottery with a stamp on it dated between 50 - 70 AD. But for metal objects, I was not lucky for a few sessions on that spot.

For metal, I had a better place to go. I went back to the place where I found the pilgrim badge. In a few minutes, I found over 4 buttons and a coin. This started good and I felt luck was on my side. There was only one problem. It was raining very hard sometimes with thunder and lightning. My son and I kept on digging and searching. Then there was a loud signal, but I could not find it. Then I realized it was maybe on the brick at the spot where signal came from, and I was right. I cleaned the brick in water, and I saw that it was a coin that gave the signal. The coin was on the brick under the clay and ground. When I looked better, I saw that the coin was stuck in the brick's cement. It was a French coin from the beginning of the 18th century. My luck kept on going. I found another pilgrim badge and some more coins ands buttons that day. At the end of it, I had found 15 beautiful objects.

Conclusion:

The Tejon is a metal detector that is very fine to search with. It is also a detector that can handle all types of ground without losing depth. For example, a copper coin gives a perfect signal at a depth of 15 to 18 inches. Also, very small objects are no problem for the Tejon. The disturbing sound that metal detectors usually can give near trucks and digging machines is minimal. What is very important is to never ground balance close by big metal objects. It's better to do it more than 36 feet away, otherwise it's impossible to search. The Tejon is a perfect detector for all kinds of metal detection - for particular use or for an archeological excavation.

My vision is that the Tejon has a beautiful future ahead.

* - Reprinted with permission from Tesoro, "Metal Detector Information" - 21st Edition

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