Tuesday, October 13, 2009

New Discoveries of Old Things

Since the invention of metal detectors, amazing discoveries have been made, giving us insight into the past. Recently, at a golf course in Franklin, Tennessee, Civil War relics were discovered on what is believed to be a tract the Confederates traveled en route to the Battle of Franklin in 1864. The property was purchased by Franklin's Charge Preservation Coalition for $5 million in 2005 to prevent the land's development when a country club was put up for sale.

Franklin's Alderman Mike Skinner wants the land to be surveyed in order to prevent further development on the site. So far, a U.S. belt buckle, several minie balls, grape shot, a small button, and a 6-pounder cannon ball have all been discovered.

To know that live ammunition still lies beneath the surface is startling. Last year, an amateur historian sadly met his demise while cleaning a cannon ball he had discovered. Relics hunters need to use precaution, and obey the law where applicable. In Gettysburg, two men are being investigated for metal detecting in the park. Because they were confronted by park rangers, they will no doubt be facing hefty fines, thanks to the Archaeological Resource Protection Act.

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