Discovery of "Virgin" Site in St.Petersburg Region, Russia (Story 1), page 1
Sometimes Your Treasure Hunting Dreams Come True
To find and search a site that has never been metal detected, a "virgin" site, is a dream of any treasure hunter. It takes a lot of effort and research time to locate it. But, sometimes, when it is less expected, a "dream site" can be discovered by accident. Then one's dream comes true!
Back in May, when my partner Tahhir and I were metal detecting on the Baltic Sea shore in Estonia, Tahhir told me a story about a mysterious site which is located near the village of Klenno in St. Petersburg Region (Leningradskaya Oblast'), Russia. He and his friend discovered the site while exploring the area around Klenno last year. They were just looking for any field on which the grass would have been mowed.
They came across one that had a single standing tree in it - a land mark that would be hard to miss! As if there was a sign - "All Treasure Hunters Are Welcome!" - hanging on a tree branch, it would not be more inviting. Within one hour of metal detecting at the spot, Tahhir found two silver coins from 18th century! Unfortunately, he and his friend had to leave shortly after that as it was time to go home. They never returned to the site.
Since then, Tahhir had tried to find any historical info on that location but to no avail. He had found a couple of old maps of that area but the maps did not show anything at the spot. One question kept bothering him: How those two coins, rare and hard-to-find, had ended up at such insignificant location? The tree in the field was not old enough (unlike the first-growth trees) to be an aged land mark - a sign of potential picnic grounds site or homestead. But there were brick fragments scattered on the ground - a good sign of former presence of a house or some structure. Considering the fact that the field road used to be a major pathway along the Luga River 300 years ago, the site could be a location of a tavern.
After Tahhir told me about the site, we agreed to meet again and search the spot in September. I was in the Ural Mountains when Tahhir phoned me from Estonia and informed me of his coming to Russia for a week. He invited me to come to the village and stay there while searching this site for a couple of days.
I was very excited about the project and immediately accepted his invitation. I decided to travel 1,500 miles back to St. Petersburg a few days earlier in order to meet with my other treasure hunting buddy Forrest first. Forrest and I also made plans to revisit a site of another 17th century village, now a barley field, that we hit back in June (Kostivskoe Village Site story). September was the best time to come back to the site as the barley would have been harvested.