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Thread: Black glass bottle, a gator and a cameo appearance by the Bearded Man

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  1. #1
    us
    Colonial relic hound

    Jun 2015
    South Carolina
    Garrett AT Pro
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    Black glass bottle, a gator and a cameo appearance by the Bearded Man

    Well, after Hurricane Hermine blew through South Carolina Dirtstalker and I made plans to dig the Swamp Pit on Labor Day. But the old man wore himself out digging some kind of old tag and wasn't able to go. So Monday morning I made the 90-minute journey and headed toward the pit. On the way I was greeted by a small (three foot) alligator that I have named Ollie; he must have come up from the swamp when it was flooded by the storm.

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    No big deal, I just walked around him and headed to the pit. When I arrived I found a small pond where I have been digging the past few trips, courtesy of Hermine.

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    I certainly didn't drive that far to turn around and go home, so I waded into the pit and dug through the slop. Basically I was feeling my way through the mire and lifting out anything solid to inspect it. As in all of the digs before I hit a layer of black glass shards and started working my way through them. After a while I found two or three shards of salt-glazed pottery that I thought were more pieces of a jar that I have been reconstructing, but the glaze looked more brown than the other pieces. When I dug a jug handle and spout of the same color I knew I was finding something different. Recognizing it to be from a Rhenish jug I thought to myself how cool it would be if it was a Bartmann jug, but I knew the odds of that were very slim.

    As I worked through more glass I felt the base of a bottle and followed it with my hands around to the neck. I carefully dug it out with my screwdriver and pulled out a small bottle with a flat oval front. The back is missing but rest of it is intact.

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    After that I continued to find a lot of good-sized pieces of the brown glazed jug. Then it happened-I pulled up a pottery shard that had part of the face of a bearded man-and then I found the rest of it. I was astounded, because I then knew that what I was finding was a Bartmann jug, also known as a Bellarmine jug. They were made in what is now Western Germany, during the 16th and 17th centuries, this one presumably being made in the 1600s. The signature of these jugs was the "Bartmaske," which is German for "Bearded Man." It was a representation of the "Wild Man," a mythological creature of Northern European folklore. The jugs are highly collectible and are fairly rare finds.

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    I knew I had found enough for a partial reconstruction. After I got home and cleaned the shards I laid them out and took this picture:

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    Then I began the slow tedious task of gluing the pieces back together.

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    This is the final product:

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    Most Bartmann jugs had from one to three ornate medallions/seals attached to the mid-section. This one originally had two, one to either side of (and below) the Bearded Man. They apparently broke off; you can see the clay blobs where they were attached. I would LOVE to find at least one of them.

    Here is a shot of the Bartmann jug beside the bottle for a size reference:

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    All of my finds for the day:

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    And these are the bottle and ceramic reconstructions from the Swamp Pit so far; the ceramics are a work in progress. Hopefully I will be adding to them with shards found on future digs.

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    Digging the Swamp Pit so far has been a wild ride, and there is plenty of pit left to dig. So until next time, I will leave you with an image of the Bearded Man; I think he looks a lot like Dirtstalker:

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    Last edited by DownNDirty; Jan 03, 2017 at 01:34 PM.
    dansalata, etex, Johncoho and 56 others like this.
    Notable 2017 Finds:

    - 18th century paste knee buckle
    - Partial Prussian/Union army musket butt plate
    - SC militia buttons (5)
    - One-piece Artillery Corps cuff buttons (5)
    - Annular buckle (pre-1720s)
    - (2) King George II halfpennies (1753 & no date)
    - 1836 capped bust half dime
    - 1857 flying eagle cent
    - 1877 seated dime

  2. #2
    Charter Member
    us
    Apr 2013
    East Coast - USA
    XP Deus, GPX 4500, Teknetics T2 SE
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    Absolutely INCREDIBLE Glenn That Bellarmine jug is one of the most amazing pieces I've seen posted. I sure hope you can get your hands on the rest of the shards to it. They can't be far away. I'm blown away by the nearly complete onion bottles you are consistently pulling out of that slop. It's truly an unbelievable pit and I can't wait for your next trip out there.

  3. #3
    PBR
    PBR is offline

    Nov 2015
    229
    380 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Very impressive reconstructions. And i enjoyed the step by step progression pics. Nice post...
    That bearded man looks cool and i love the other bottles as well. Good Luck finding the other pieces.....

    So would all of those black glass bottles be considered onion bottles?
    Last edited by PBR; Sep 07, 2016 at 09:50 PM.
    DownNDirty likes this.

  4. #4
    us
    Colonial relic hound

    Jun 2015
    South Carolina
    Garrett AT Pro
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    2232 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (1)
    Honorable Mentions (1)
    Quote Originally Posted by OutdoorAdv View Post
    Absolutely INCREDIBLE Glenn That Bellarmine jug is one of the most amazing pieces I've seen posted. I sure hope you can get your hands on the rest of the shards to it. They can't be far away. I'm blown away by the nearly complete onion bottles you are consistently pulling out of that slop. It's truly an unbelievable pit and I can't wait for your next trip out there.
    Thanks Brad-I appreciate the compliment, especially from you. I have learned a LOT about pit digging from your posts and Bill D's, and the advice you have sent me.
    OutdoorAdv likes this.
    Notable 2017 Finds:

    - 18th century paste knee buckle
    - Partial Prussian/Union army musket butt plate
    - SC militia buttons (5)
    - One-piece Artillery Corps cuff buttons (5)
    - Annular buckle (pre-1720s)
    - (2) King George II halfpennies (1753 & no date)
    - 1836 capped bust half dime
    - 1857 flying eagle cent
    - 1877 seated dime

  5. #5
    Well first I'd like to say you have been very persistent with your Pit Addiction(Thanks Brad he won't go anywhere else until Every last piece has been pulled out of that Pig Pit. Did I say say thanks Brad for fueling his addiction with zero chance at rehab
    But seriously that pit is deep and I know it has to hold some complete bottles and other relics if we ever reach the bottom. I sure this weekend the Pit will reveal a major surprise. One question Glenn why didn't you post that the bearded man looked like your ex-wife like you've been telling me since Monday....oops
    Gave it ALL away Now I'm starting over

  6. #6
    us
    Colonial relic hound

    Jun 2015
    South Carolina
    Garrett AT Pro
    1,621
    2232 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (1)
    Honorable Mentions (1)
    Quote Originally Posted by DirtStalker View Post
    Well first I'd like to say you have been very persistent with your Pit Addiction(Thanks Brad he won't go anywhere else until Every last piece has been pulled out of that Pig Pit. Did I say say thanks Brad for fueling his addiction with zero chance at rehab
    But seriously that pit is deep and I know it has to hold some complete bottles and other relics if we ever reach the bottom. I sure this weekend the Pit will reveal a major surprise. One question Glenn why didn't you post that the bearded man looked like your ex-wife like you've been telling me since Monday....oops
    After studying it some more I decided it is not quite as ugly as the ex, but it bears a striking resemblance to you. And the whole Wild Man creature is right up your alley. Maybe I should start calling it an Allenmann jug?
    DirtStalker likes this.
    Notable 2017 Finds:

    - 18th century paste knee buckle
    - Partial Prussian/Union army musket butt plate
    - SC militia buttons (5)
    - One-piece Artillery Corps cuff buttons (5)
    - Annular buckle (pre-1720s)
    - (2) King George II halfpennies (1753 & no date)
    - 1836 capped bust half dime
    - 1857 flying eagle cent
    - 1877 seated dime

  7. #7
    us
    Oct 2014
    florida
    2,382
    2460 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Dont underestimate how great of a find you got, they have dug a few of these at jamestown and show their reconstruction of them on their archaeology website. I bet the rest of the pieces of both awesome artifacts are still there. I would drain the swamp if i could, they would be that important to me. I might even wrestle the little gator over those shards really though i think these are banner finds even if not complete. They are just rare to find. great job of saving them
    DownNDirty, OutdoorAdv and AARC like this.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by DownNDirty View Post
    After studying it some more I decided it is not quite as ugly as the ex, but it bears a striking resemblance to you. And the whole Wild Man creature is right up your alley. Maybe I should start calling it an Allenmann jug?
    That will be fine as long as I don't hear 1 Whoa Nelly this weekend or ever refering to your New toy that you claim is a Deus Buster.
    DownNDirty likes this.
    Gave it ALL away Now I'm starting over

  9. #9
    us
    Colonial relic hound

    Jun 2015
    South Carolina
    Garrett AT Pro
    1,621
    2232 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (1)
    Honorable Mentions (1)
    Quote Originally Posted by villagenut View Post
    Dont underestimate how great of a find you got, they have dug a few of these at jamestown and show their reconstruction of them on their archaeology website. I bet the rest of the pieces of both awesome artifacts are still there. I would drain the swamp if i could, they would be that important to me. I might even wrestle the little gator over those shards really though i think these are banner finds even if not complete. They are just rare to find. great job of saving them
    Thanks VN. I plan to do a thorough search all around the spot where I found the shards and expect to find at least some of them. What I really would like to find is one or both of the medallions.
    villagenut likes this.
    Notable 2017 Finds:

    - 18th century paste knee buckle
    - Partial Prussian/Union army musket butt plate
    - SC militia buttons (5)
    - One-piece Artillery Corps cuff buttons (5)
    - Annular buckle (pre-1720s)
    - (2) King George II halfpennies (1753 & no date)
    - 1836 capped bust half dime
    - 1857 flying eagle cent
    - 1877 seated dime

  10. #10
    us
    Colonial relic hound

    Jun 2015
    South Carolina
    Garrett AT Pro
    1,621
    2232 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (1)
    Honorable Mentions (1)
    Quote Originally Posted by DirtStalker View Post
    That will be fine as long as I don't hear 1 Whoa Nelly this weekend or ever refering to your New toy that you claim is a Deus Buster.
    What-this little thing?

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    Chestdiesel likes this.
    Notable 2017 Finds:

    - 18th century paste knee buckle
    - Partial Prussian/Union army musket butt plate
    - SC militia buttons (5)
    - One-piece Artillery Corps cuff buttons (5)
    - Annular buckle (pre-1720s)
    - (2) King George II halfpennies (1753 & no date)
    - 1836 capped bust half dime
    - 1857 flying eagle cent
    - 1877 seated dime

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by DownNDirty View Post
    What-this little thing?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Looks Like......hmmm A BIG waste of Money
    But I hope it's something to Wack that baby gator over the head with. You know the baby one that kept you out of the creek. You see gator I see lunch
    You get that from that last Giant that you got the beans from Jack?
    Last edited by DirtStalker; Sep 07, 2016 at 10:26 PM.
    DownNDirty likes this.
    Gave it ALL away Now I'm starting over

  12. #12
    Charter Member
    us
    DEPLORABLE

    Jul 2015
    Port Allegheny, Pennsylvania
    E-trac, Excalibur, XP Deus, & CTX 3030.
    11,024
    10502 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Honorable Mentions (1)
    Great job on the reconstruction. Lots of good pictures. Can you turn that little guy into a Gator Burger?
    Congrats
    DirtStalker and DownNDirty like this.
    SOMETIMES I WISH I DIDN'T KNOW NOW ,,, WHAT I DIDN'T KNOW THEN,, Bob Seger

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by against the wind View Post
    Great job on the reconstruction. Lots of good pictures. Can you turn that little guy into a Gator Burger?
    Congrats
    See Glenn I told ya he was eatin size. Bring the grill
    DownNDirty likes this.
    Gave it ALL away Now I'm starting over

  14. #14
    Charter Member
    us
    Apr 2013
    East Coast - USA
    XP Deus, GPX 4500, Teknetics T2 SE
    2,390
    3242 times
    Metal Detecting
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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtStalker View Post
    Well first I'd like to say you have been very persistent with your Pit Addiction(Thanks Brad he won't go anywhere else until Every last piece has been pulled out of that Pig Pit. Did I say say thanks Brad for fueling his addiction with zero chance at rehab
    But seriously that pit is deep and I know it has to hold some complete bottles and other relics if we ever reach the bottom. I sure this weekend the Pit will reveal a major surprise. One question Glenn why didn't you post that the bearded man looked like your ex-wife like you've been telling me since Monday....oops
    There is a fine line between pit digging and mud wallowing, and this falls in the latter. Since you taught DnD everything he knows about wallowing, I'll leave the rehabilitation ideas up to you.... Tough love is probably best... perhaps you dump a bucket of snakes in the bottle wallow... But even that wouldn't keep me out!

    Quote Originally Posted by villagenut View Post
    Dont underestimate how great of a find you got, they have dug a few of these at jamestown and show their reconstruction of them on their archaeology website. I bet the rest of the pieces of both awesome artifacts are still there. I would drain the swamp if i could, they would be that important to me. I might even wrestle the little gator over those shards really though i think these are banner finds even if not complete. They are just rare to find. great job of saving them
    Totally agree

  15. #15
    us
    Mar 2003
    Illinois / Oklahoma
    Minelab Explorer SE Pro - Fisher CZ 5
    7,614
    4306 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Honorable Mentions (4)
    Looks like some nice finds. ( Ollie included )
    DownNDirty likes this.

 

 
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