Advice for first permission dig? 1760 home site

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catievoss

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I met the owners of a historic home in town and they told me about the bottle dump they found on the property. They're curious about bottles they've found there and gave me permission to come back and dig at the bottle dump site. I checked it out and found a '33 amber food bottle and then they sent me this picture of a bottle the husband found lying in the woods on a different day. Any idea what this bottle is? Also, any tips for doing my first permission dig? The owners are curious and sound like they want to participate. Thanks in advance!
 

hemihampton

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The Bottle doesn't look that old. if you got permission, I'd look for the Privy where the Bottles might be older then in the Dump. LEON.
 

CanadianBottles

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Looks like a Lancers wine bottle from the mid-late 20th century. The trick with these newer surface dumps is to figure out where the oldest section is, although often they don't really have one. In general the best finds from mid-century dumps are non-bottle items, particularly advertising items like enamel signs, although they can have good milk and soda bottles too.
 

moodorf

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I've never dug at an old historic homestead before, but if I was I'd watch out for old wells and cisterns.

Also, don't go out alone if you can and let people know where you are, such as friends or family and when you should be home. Give them an address. You wouldn't want to go to some place only to find you're digging at the Manson family's homestead haha
 

Newtothiss

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I've never dug such an old site, but uncapped wells are no joke.
I've almost fallen into a few of them. Thankfully, the one I did fall into, was nearly full of limbs and debris, so getting out wasn't easy.

I seldom tell anyone where I'm going, and have no one to detect and hunt with.

BE CAREFUL!
 

Len

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Okay, maybe its obvious but here's a reminder- There a new thing out called a phone. Don't leave it in your vehicle. Check the boxes and cover home base for safety.
 

willong

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How large is the property? Was it pastoral, rural or urban in previous centuries? The answers to those questions will bear upon your expectations and prospects for success.

To understand what I am saying, imagine that the property was the residential portion of a large 18th century farm that now survives only as a house sitting on a postage stamp-sized urban lot surrounded by newer homes that have been built upon similar lots carved out of the original farm. If such is the situation, then the only historical era relics you are likely to recover will be those originally disposed of, or lost upon, the old home place. In that case, heed what hemihampton says and try to probe out the old privy pits, which would not have been a long walk away from the house in any event.

If the home has always existed as just a residence on a small lot such as we would consider urban or suburban today, then privy pits will likewise be the most likely repositories of bottles and other discards, though privy pits were sometimes dipped periodically in urban settings and the contents hauled away for disposal elsewhere.

If the property was pastoral and retains much of its original character and dimensions, then some portion(s) of the place that would have been considered worthless or waste land by 18thand 19th century ethics and aesthetics might hold dumps of sufficient age to interest you and the present property owners. Marshes, swamps, gullies, stream banks, rocky swales and similar ground that was not amenable to tilling would all be likely candidates. The easier it would have been for the inhabitants of the time to discard their trash--by backing a wagon to the top edge of a gully for example--the more likely they would have used such a site for the purpose, especially if it was out of sight and downwind of the homesite. If the property lines are the original ones, especially if they are evidenced by old stone walls, be sure to search along those boundaries and particularly at the corners. Keep in mind that the type of waste grounds that I mention might no longer be obvious after 250 years of use and alteration. People have long used their trash to help fill low ground and subsequently brought it to the level and productivity of adjacent arable land with the addition of soil. Natural deposition of leaves and other forest litter will eventually fill low ground as they decay and become soil themselves. Wind, floods and erosion can all contribute to erasing the evidence of early dumping; thus, the utility of a ground probe and the knowledge of how to use it. There are a number of YouTube videos that present instructions on probe use. I'm linking one here by Auquachigger that was pretty informative as I recall (it's been awhile since I watched).

Bottle hunting can be as simple as taking a stroll and stumbling upon a chance find. It can also consume one's time with research and deliberate ground searching, probing and digging. How much effort you want to expend is, of course, up to you. If you are inclined toward the latter approach, I would recommend watching several, or even very many, of the bottle digging videos available on YouTube. A fairly recent channel that I highly recommend is Below the Plains. https://www.youtube.com/c/BelowthePlains/videos

The producers of Below the Plains take a little more systematic approach, and produce more comprehensive depiction of the process, than most of the dig and grab bottle diggers on YouTube. Some of their earlier videos did a better job of showing how they grid and probe the ground, so I recommend beginning by viewing those older videos first. (I've been posting comments to their videos, hoping to encourage them to add more of that type of content to their videos as I feel it is particularly helpful to neophyte bottle hunters.)
 

catievoss

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How large is the property? Was it pastoral, rural or urban in previous centuries? The answers to those questions will bear upon your expectations and prospects for success.

To understand what I am saying, imagine that the property was the residential portion of a large 18th century farm that now survives only as a house sitting on a postage stamp-sized urban lot surrounded by newer homes that have been built upon similar lots carved out of the original farm. If such is the situation, then the only historical era relics you are likely to recover will be those originally disposed of, or lost upon, the old home place. In that case, heed what hemihampton says and try to probe out the old privy pits, which would not have been a long walk away from the house in any event.

If the home has always existed as just a residence on a small lot such as we would consider urban or suburban today, then privy pits will likewise be the most likely repositories of bottles and other discards, though privy pits were sometimes dipped periodically in urban settings and the contents hauled away for disposal elsewhere.

If the property was pastoral and retains much of its original character and dimensions, then some portion(s) of the place that would have been considered worthless or waste land by 18thand 19th century ethics and aesthetics might hold dumps of sufficient age to interest you and the present property owners. Marshes, swamps, gullies, stream banks, rocky swales and similar ground that was not amenable to tilling would all be likely candidates. The easier it would have been for the inhabitants of the time to discard their trash--by backing a wagon to the top edge of a gully for example--the more likely they would have used such a site for the purpose, especially if it was out of sight and downwind of the homesite. If the property lines are the original ones, especially if they are evidenced by old stone walls, be sure to search along those boundaries and particularly at the corners. Keep in mind that the type of waste grounds that I mention might no longer be obvious after 250 years of use and alteration. People have long used their trash to help fill low ground and subsequently brought it to the level and productivity of adjacent arable land with the addition of soil. Natural deposition of leaves and other forest litter will eventually fill low ground as they decay and become soil themselves. Wind, floods and erosion can all contribute to erasing the evidence of early dumping; thus, the utility of a ground probe and the knowledge of how to use it. There are a number of YouTube videos that present instructions on probe use. I'm linking one here by Auquachigger that was pretty informative as I recall (it's been awhile since I watched).

Bottle hunting can be as simple as taking a stroll and stumbling upon a chance find. It can also consume one's time with research and deliberate ground searching, probing and digging. How much effort you want to expend is, of course, up to you. If you are inclined toward the latter approach, I would recommend watching several, or even very many, of the bottle digging videos available on YouTube. A fairly recent channel that I highly recommend is Below the Plains. https://www.youtube.com/c/BelowthePlains/videos

The producers of Below the Plains take a little more systematic approach, and produce more comprehensive depiction of the process, than most of the dig and grab bottle diggers on YouTube. Some of their earlier videos did a better job of showing how they grid and probe the ground, so I recommend beginning by viewing those older videos first. (I've been posting comments to their videos, hoping to encourage them to add more of that type of content to their videos as I feel it is particularly helpful to neophyte bottle hunters.)
Thanks for the very detailed comment with all of that helpful advice. It's a pastoral setting where there is still a lot of undeveloped land surrounding their property. The spot she showed me is at one corner of the backyard and the ground is covered in old thick vines that she said her husband would clear. My plan is to start at this spot, get some of the easier, newer, bottles up and see how the arrangement is working out for both parties (me and the home owners). If we're all still getting on well then we could start hunting around for older spots. What is the etiquette for keeping bottles in this situation? Have you ever been on a permission dig where the property owner said they wanted to dig and participate? They said I could keep what I wanted, but I just hope it doesn't get awkward. Also, what is the etiquette for disposing of broken glass? Leave it in the ground, or offer to dispose of it for them?

Finally, thank you for the YouTube channel tips! I've been learning a lot from bottle digging videos but most of them don't get into the process of getting there, so I can't wait to check out that new channel.
 

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