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3 Things To Do Before You Dig For Relics

by AaronAhmadi   April 04, 2012 at 12:00AM  |  Views: 46,111

Dust off that old shovel and find a nice patch of grass, because it's time to dig, baby, dig. Sure, we'd all love to ride a backhoe and yell "yeehaw!" as we blaze down the dirt road looking for treasure, but first there a few things that need to be covered.

1. Research, Research, Research

Patience, young grasshopper; the more you know, the better you'll do. Not only should you read about digging for relics and artifacts online first, you'll also need to research which areas could be filled with goodies. Ric Savage from American Digger knows his stuff, so when he says that outhouses and privy sites are straight up goldmines, you should definitely take note. It's always a good idea to also visit a town's library or ask the local residents about the area's history, as you can find valuable clues as to what could be hidden deep beneath the soil in the area, and if it's actually worth the dig.

Image: Maisie Paterson/Getty Images

2. Get Some Equipment

So now you know where you start your dig, but your bare hands will probably not be enough to rip through the ground (unless you're some cool superhero who has shovels for hands). A metal detector is absolutely vital for getting started, but which one you should buy will depend on what you're looking to dig up, your skill level, and the size of your wallet. Luckily, metaldetector.com and metaldetectingexpert.com both have some good guides that can lend you a hand in your journey through the shopping aisle. Don't forget to also invest in a nice shovel and pick.

Image: Maisie Paterson/Getty Images

3. Study Up On The Law

Before you run over to your neighbor's backyard, slam your shovel into the ground and yell "BOOM BABY!" you will probably want to get written permission first. You can't just dig anywhere, anytime (if only life were that simple). First off, you absolutely cannot dig in Federal parks, however different states will have different legislation pertaining to using metal detectors and digging for relics, artifacts, and other items. The Society for American Archeology has a neat little list of sites that will be useful. Be sure to check out local metal detecting clubs too, because they will often be able to point you in the right direction.

Image: Image Source/Getty Images