Found Ravine Dump, Should We Dig Deeper?

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My son and I found a huge pile of old bottles and trash in a ravine recently. In the ravine, the stuff on top seems to not be terribly old; possible stuff form the 70s~80s. At another spot nearby there was a pile of bottles and brick where we found a handful of 1920s~1930s bottles; however, the rest of the bottles around the surface were screw tops.

So my question is at both spots, would we likely find older stuff if we dig deeper down? Note that the woods we hunt in were surrounded by three farms that go back to the mid-1800s and we have found coins there that date back to as far as 1916. In yall's experience, would this be a prime spot to find good stuff?
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Venor_Thesaurus

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My son and I found a huge pile of old bottles and trash in a ravine recently. In the ravine, the stuff on top seems to not be terribly old; possible stuff form the 70s~80s. At another spot nearby there was a pile of bottles and brick where we found a handful of 1920s~1930s bottles; however, the rest of the bottles around the surface were screw tops.

So my question is at both spots, would we likely find older stuff if we dig deeper down? Note that the woods we hunt in were surrounded by three farms that go back to the mid-1800s and we have found coins there that date back to as far as 1916. In yall's experience, would this be a prime spot to find good stuff?
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Mkkc

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yacorie

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If it’s a ravine or hillside dump - the older stuff will tend to be at the bottom of the slope. If it was used for years or decades, they would just push stuff over the hill and keep doing this. By default, the older stuff would’ve at the bottom.
 

willong

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My son and I found a huge pile of old bottles and trash in a ravine recently. In the ravine, the stuff on top seems to not be terribly old; possible stuff form the 70s~80s. At another spot nearby there was a pile of bottles and brick where we found a handful of 1920s~1930s bottles; however, the rest of the bottles around the surface were screw tops.

So my question is at both spots, would we likely find older stuff if we dig deeper down? Note that the woods we hunt in were surrounded by three farms that go back to the mid-1800s and we have found coins there that date back to as far as 1916. In yall's experience, would this be a prime spot to find good stuff?
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Well, seeing how ravines have long been favored places to dump refuse, if I had access to the same property, especially with farms so old surrounding the site, I would certainly be doing some scratching and probing at the very least.

Are you expecting to find everything just lying upon the surface? Even if the farmers never dumped any organic debris or field rocks over the ravine edge, the natural forest litter accumulation, field run-off and bank sloughing over the century and a half would tend to cover the earliest deposited items.

In 1971, I dug the former site of a sawmill that shown on the 1910 county plat map. It had since become a dairy farm. Where the mill pond had been located the dam was long breached and a tiny creek flowed through the shallow ravine. I did pick up a few bottles that were simply lying on the surface in the area that would have been the pond bottom. However, I dug many more bottles out of the embankment that had been adjacent to the mill buildings and residence at the turn of the century. Viewing from the opposite bank, I thought I perceived a slightly raised fan that didn't match the surround contours. It was totally covered with grass. However, when I probed with a pitchfork, I both felt and heard the distinctive crunch of deteriorated old food cans under the sod.

I believe that I see the handle of a metal detector in the background of the Dr. Pepper photo. Mount your biggest coil and turn off the discrimination. You want to find a large deposit of ferrous metal; cans and broken items such as typically discarded by a family living on a farm. Remnants of tin cans that have a small dab of solder in the center of the lid are good indications that old stuff lies hidden there. Put yourself in the mindset of the original occupants. Where, in relation to the homes and barns, would you have gone to dump household garbage and refuse that was reasonably close and convenient but not in the way of your agriculture and not so nearby upwind that odors would bother you?
 
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That "debossed" Dr Pepper is a little harder to come by, would be worth checking for more of those at the very least.
Should I go back and grab it, even if the top is broken off? We did some quick scouting around and didn't see another, but need to do a deep look I think.

Are you expecting to find everything just lying upon the surface? Even if the farmers never dumped any organic debris or field rocks over the ravine edge, the natural forest litter accumulation, field run-off and bank sloughing over the century and a half would tend to cover the earliest deposited items.

Where, in relation to the homes and barns, would you have gone to dump household garbage and refuse that was reasonably close and convenient but not in the way of your agriculture and not so nearby upwind that odors would bother you?

This makes a lot of sense. Thanks a bunch for the tips.

Thank you all for the advice and help. We will probably have to go back there soon.
 

CanadianBottles

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Even if it doesn't end up being significantly older, any dump which is producing intact embossed milks is worth digging in my opinion. And keep in mind that by the 30s the vast majority of bottles were screw tops or crown tops, and screw tops had been in fairly wide use for another 40 years before that, so finding screw top bottles doesn't necessarily mean that a dump is too new to bother with.
Mid-century dumps can also produce fantastic enamel signs and other advertising items, so they can also be worth digging for that kind of thing even if they aren't producing any good bottles.
 

hemihampton

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1930's Milk Bottles & soda Bottles can be good finds. Beer Cans from the 1930's are good finds also. Let me know if you find any rusted dented old Beer Cans, I collect those. Good Luck & keep looking & Digging. LEON.
 

RCO

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My son and I found a huge pile of old bottles and trash in a ravine recently. In the ravine, the stuff on top seems to not be terribly old; possible stuff form the 70s~80s. At another spot nearby there was a pile of bottles and brick where we found a handful of 1920s~1930s bottles; however, the rest of the bottles around the surface were screw tops.

So my question is at both spots, would we likely find older stuff if we dig deeper down? Note that the woods we hunt in were surrounded by three farms that go back to the mid-1800s and we have found coins there that date back to as far as 1916. In yall's experience, would this be a prime spot to find good stuff?
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is little harm in digging some more if your finding stuff there , every dump has its limits as to whats there or could possibly be there but its worth exploring a bit more at this point .
 

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