Opinions on landscape feature in colonial virginia.

stringplucker

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May 22, 2010
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virginia beach
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Hi all, I've been detecting this 270 acre property for a couple years now in Eastern VA. Along the edge of the swamp are what appears to be 6 or so open pits. I've found a few late 1700's relics but mostly 1800's relics in the woods above these pits. I get no signals with a metal detector around the pits themselves. Could they have been hog wallowing holes, odd natural landscape? Just looking for other ideas. Hoping I get lucky that someone has seen this before.
 
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stringplucker

stringplucker

Jr. Member
May 22, 2010
95
98
virginia beach
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Equinox 800
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All Treasure Hunting
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RTR

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Nov 21, 2017
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Smith Mt. Lake Va.
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Could of been hog .But that surrounding area (V.B.) has a lot of lowland swamp areas.
 

CreakyDigger

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Jul 23, 2019
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Upstate NY
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They look too square to be natural or hogs, in my opinion.
 

pepperj

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Feb 3, 2009
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Pits dug for various reasons.
Clay pits were common back in the day to supply the brick yards.
I have 2 on the property and there's another one across the creek system on the side of us.
Here's a photo of it filled with water in the spring time.
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stringplucker

stringplucker

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May 22, 2010
95
98
virginia beach
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Equinox 800
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All Treasure Hunting
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Thanks for the replies. I like the clay pit suggestion, as I have run across a few clay areas on the farm, but it is mostly sand. There is a sand pit on the other side of the swamp on another farm but it is on the highest elevation. I will have to investigate more. Here is the only pic of interest on the side of one pit. Some scallop shells mixed with a bunch of tiny shells.
 

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CreakyDigger

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Jul 23, 2019
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Upstate NY
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Thanks for the replies. I like the clay pit suggestion, as I have run across a few clay areas on the farm, but it is mostly sand. I will have to investigate more. Here is the only pic of interest on the side of one pit. Some scallop shells mixed with a bunch of tiny shells.
They may have been making lime in the pits then. If you find any burned shells that would be proof, I think.
 

GoDeep

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Nov 12, 2016
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The one picture shows it is mounded up around the hole, indicating it was dug out, so yes, at least some of them appear man made.
 

Almy

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Mar 18, 2011
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Maritime Provinces
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In the distant past, many areas had huge trees. Sometimes they were blown over and their root mass pulled out a lot of soil with it. That left a hole. When the roots rotted, the soil in them was left on the ground on one side of the hole. Another possible explanation for these holes.
 

Kray Gelder

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Feb 24, 2017
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Georgetown, SC
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Another possibility would be a collection pit for the output of a pine tar kiln, for extracting naval stores from pine trees. This was an important early colonial industry, and carried on until the 1900's, in southeastern pinelands. Dig a hole nearby, and see if there is a thick layer of charcoal and ash from the burning of pine logs.
 

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