Discovery of a Silver Hammered Coin Cache, ca. 16th Century (Story 1)
Being At the Right Place At the Right Time, page 1
This story covers the events that took place in the Leningrad region (Leningradskaya oblast), at the location that is situated 70 miles South-West of St. Petersburg (Leningrad), Russia, and within 15 miles North-East of the medieval fortress Koporje. The fortress was built in 13th century and used to be one of the major cultural, military, and trading centers in the "Ingermanland" (the present Leningrad Region).
Medieval Fortress Koporje
After researching a couple of old maps, I chose the site on which a village was founded in 1400s and stood for 500+ years, up to the early 1920s. The village was burned down during the Swedish occupation in early 1600s, and then rebuilt and inhabited by Swedish and Finnish peasants who were brought to this region from other parts of the vast Swedish Empire.
On the Swedish map from 17th century, the village is shown under the name of "Lasunoe". The road on which the settlement stood is just a field lane now.
In 1721, after Russian Czar Peter the Great kicked the Swedish Army out of Ingermanland, the area became a permanent part of Russian Empire. On the Russian Military-Topographical Map of 1868, the village is marked as a settlement of 39 homesteads.
I knew that this site has already been "hammered" by many treasure hunters for a few years since metal detectors became popular in Russia. In fact, now this field was used to introduce newbies to the hobby. A few years back, I myself detected here for the first time and found a dozen of coins. Nevertheless I chose to search this field again because I believe that there are always some "hot" spots missed and left by other metaldetectorists at any site, and I proved it many times throughout my treasure hunting experience. So I kept my hope of finding a "hot" spot here high! Besides, three hoards or caches of silver coins were recovered at this location before - that was a good indication of the site's high potential.
If it was not for the rain that went on and off all day, the weather would be optimal for treasure hunting. Upon arriving to the location with my old treasure hunting buddies, I offered them to search this field for coins, but they were rather in a "military" state of mind and could not wait to dig up a WW2 German dug-out they had recently discovered in the woods nearby. So we agreed that they would drop me off here now and pick me up at the end of the day.
As soon as I got my metal detecting gear out of car, I noticed two metaldetectorists swinging their coils in the field.
I recognized Vasily (an experienced treasure hunter) and Andrei (a novice).
My Treasure Hunting Colleagues
I noticed that each of us was armed with a Minelab metal detector. Three Minelabs, Musketeer, Sovereign Elite, and Explorer XS, would make a metal detecting day interesting.
As I turned my Explorer XS on, I looked around figuring out in which direction to move. Rationally thinking I could choose any direction of search considering that the field had been "pounded" extensively. Logically thinking, I should stay away from the field corner, where a village center used to be, literally searched over numerous times, back and forth, forth and back, and, I'm sure, in crisscrossing paterns. That was where a beginner metaldetectorist would be usually brought to for a "first try."
I turned off my rational thinking and turned on my intuitive one. My intuition told me to metal detect in the direction towards that field corner. It turned out to be a right decision as I received a first coin signal after walking 50 feet.