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  #1  
Old 10-28-2020, 02:22 PM
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Default One Dig -- Three Centuries!

I've lately been using an old hand-drawn map (published 1776) and LIDAR imagery (USGS and NOAA) to locate old Colonial-/Revolutionary War-era homestead cellar holes. The old map was found in the Library of Congress online digital map collection and the USGS and NOAA data were found on-line at their websites. A bit of manipulation is required to make sense of the LIDAR data. There are numerous YouTube videos that show how.

Searching around one of the newly found cellar holes, I came up with three great artifacts -- spanning the 1700's, 1800's and 1900's.

The brass shoe buckle (1700's) gave a powerful signal on the Equinox 800 and came out from about 6" deep. It was in a bent and twisted 'pretzel-shaped' when discovered -- probably the victim of several 'plow hits'. Normally, I would leave such an artifact in its original found condition, but decided to risk straightening it out. With a pair of leather padded parallel jaw pliers I was successful in somewhat flattening it out -- without damaging or breaking it. Doing so, I was rewarded by being able to see the fancy surface features (shown in closeup image)

The next find was a large, thick brass coin with a 'reeded' edge (1800's). The image on the reverse displayed a wreath -- reminiscent of US Large Cents, but the "10 Cent." denomination and an 1827 date puzzled me. The left-facing bust on the obverse was also a mystery. The characters around the image were unreadable. Researching the coin, I discovered that it was a "French Colonial 10 Centime" coin -- most likely used as currency in French Guyana! It's a bit of a mystery how it got to this coastal Maine island!

The third find was a holed brass token (1900's). It is a souvenir "Good Luck" token from the Kendall Oil company handed out at the 1939 New York World's Fair -- probably a 'hunter's drop', given the proliferation of shotgun shells found in wider area.

The site is terribly littered with blow-down and thick brush. I'll be back with a smaller coil (6") rather than the 'stock coil', so I can thread my way among those obstructions -- and hopefully find some more great artifacts.

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  #2  
Old 10-28-2020, 03:35 PM
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great play-by-play. Good research !
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Old 10-28-2020, 04:12 PM
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I like the token the best.

Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk

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Old 10-28-2020, 04:20 PM
zeemang zeemang is offline
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Nice research and great finds!

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Old 10-29-2020, 12:51 AM
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Way to go! Excellent research approach and neat finds on an island to boot! Did you have to use a shareware to process the LIDAR data?

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Old 10-29-2020, 06:25 AM
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A very good looking hunt Bert, congrats!

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Old 10-29-2020, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Rock Jock View post
Way to go! Excellent research approach and neat finds on an island to boot! Did you have to use a shareware to process the LIDAR data?
Hi Rock Jock,

Yes, I used an 'open source' (Free!) software package called "QGIS" and add-on, free QGIS 'tool boxes'. There are numerous YouTube videos on how to do it. Also several webpages give some instructions. For example: https://www.geodose.com/2020/01/tuto...ools-qgis.html
There's a bit of a learning curve, but in my opinion, well worth the effort.

Happy Hunting!
--Bert
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Old 10-29-2020, 05:18 PM
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Somebody did some homework first- nice going. Your going to love the six inch coil in the brush. Don't be afraid to bump the sensitivity setting up with the six inch- should not cause you any issues. Good luck!

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Old 10-29-2020, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by DoctorWhy View post
Hi Rock Jock,

Yes, I used an 'open source' (Free!) software package called "QGIS" and add-on, free QGIS 'tool boxes'. There are numerous YouTube videos on how to do it. Also several webpages give some instructions. For example: https://www.geodose.com/2020/01/tuto...ools-qgis.html
There's a bit of a learning curve, but in my opinion, well worth the effort.

Happy Hunting!
--Bert
Thanks Bert! I am also going to see what ESRI and Google Earth Pro have out there for this sort of thing. I started investigating the USGS LIDAR webpages last night. This data seems to be coming available rapidly. I clearly have a learning curve to climb. I'm a former GIS user, but I'm retired and getting pretty rusty. I wish this stuff was readily available when I was in the trenches.

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Old 10-29-2020, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by DoctorWhy View post
Hi Rock Jock,

Yes, I used an 'open source' (Free!) software package called "QGIS" and add-on, free QGIS 'tool boxes'. There are numerous YouTube videos on how to do it. Also several webpages give some instructions. For example: https://www.geodose.com/2020/01/tuto...ools-qgis.html
There's a bit of a learning curve, but in my opinion, well worth the effort.

Happy Hunting!
--Bert
Did you find a particular lidar point density useful for defining architectural foundations/basements?

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  #11  
Old 10-30-2020, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Rock Jock View post
Did you find a particular lidar point density useful for defining architectural foundations/basements?
Hi Rock Jock,

In my area of coastal Maine, the only resolution available is 2 meters. (In the illustration of the LIDAR imagery shown in this post, the two cellar holes shown were approximately 5-6 meters square.) It has been sufficient for locating cellar holes -- some manipulation of the "hillshade" parameters, including playing with the azimuth, "z-factor", contrast, brightness, etc. settings can enhance rendering of the cellar hole imagery. The cellar holes really stand out, despite their small size vs. point density, I suspect given their abrupt elevation change relative to the surrounding terrain, and perhaps specular reflection due to sharp corners... With this manipulation, even long-forgotten dirt roads and stone walls become evident. Using QGIS, geo-referenced, partial transparency historic map overlays on the LIDAR imagery really provide confirming evidence of the cellar hole and other cultural feature location.

I have been using wonderfully detailed and spatially accurate 1881 USCGS map overlaid in QGIS of my area, in conjunction with the LIDAR imagery. It provides surprisingly accurate location and confirmation of surface features.

In fact, I geo-referenced and loaded that 1881 USCGS map image onto my hand-held GPS, using a website with a free app called "maptiler.com" . It is amazing how I can walk right up to the cellar holes guided by the hand-held GPS!

Best,
--Bert
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  #12  
Old 10-30-2020, 02:10 PM
philber philber is offline
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Nice finds! Thanks for explaining your steps with Lidar; I'm just starting to look at this.
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  #13  
Old 10-30-2020, 03:51 PM
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Wow you are really gaining an advantage by understanding that technology. I am lost by just a few of the words you used in your explanation!

Good job and really exciting to imagine your hunts.

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