Please help me on my questions for bottles.

Dec 14, 2023
19
56
Hello, my name is Tommy, and I would like to know about more ways to find bottles. Since I dabbled in the hobby this year, I do not have much experience yet. I mostly metal detect, and that is how I found bottles, in two locations. At a 1980s house, which had a large shed likely dating back to the late 1800s due to the square nails and Indian head cents I had found. On historical aerials, I found that it was there up until the early 70s.
Up in the woods, I also had found I small dump my neighbor had dug many years ago, dating to the 30s and up to the 60s. Back near the shed area, there was another house on the property next door and I have found a base of a bottle dating from 1938-1969. There also was a more modern dump with many toys and coins from the late 80s. In the second location, located in a nearby town, is a one acre lot tucked into a private drive. The building was built in 1960, at the same time of the other homes. I have cleaned out the yard metal detecting, and have found 1000s of coins dating from 1887 to the 2020s. This year, I decided to detect the woods area nearby. I found many different metal items and bottles all over. The bottles I have found have dated from the 60s to 1990. I have also found old musket balls and cartridges from the 1910s. I also have found the neighbors dump, which had toys and a military button. How deep did 1960s trash dumps normally go, and how would I know if it is a bottle in rocky and concrete block filled soil when using a bottle digging probe? Also, how could I find dumps/privies from more rural areas that were never recorded by Sanborn maps?
Sorry for the long message, but I wanted to give context to my questions. Thanks, have a great day.
 

Last edited:

vpnavy

Super Moderator
Staff member
Jun 15, 2008
35,155
18,646
York County, PA (USA)
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Hello, my name is Tommy, and I would like to know about more ways to find bottles...
tn_md.gif
I noticed this was your very first post - so, Welcome Aboard
treasure_hunter_1! You didn't list your state (or country) in your profile. So, you might consider jumping over to Sub-Forum: Select Your Area.... for information (i.e., clubs, hunts, finds, legends, maps, etc.) directly related to your state (or country).
tn_metal_detector.gif
You might consider posting pictures of your finds on TODAY'S FINDS! for more exposure...
 

cajundetector

Hero Member
Mar 4, 2023
828
1,589
Hello, my name is Tommy, and I would like to know about more ways to find bottles. Since I dabbled in the hobby this year, I do not have much experience yet. I mostly metal detect, and that is how I found bottles, in two locations. At a 1980s house, which had a large shed likely dating back to the late 1800s due to the square nails and Indian head cents I had found. On historical aerials, I found that it was there up until the early 70s.
Up in the woods, I also had found I small dump my neighbor had dug many years ago, dating to the 30s and up to the 60s. Back near the shed area, there was another house on the property next door and I have found a base of a bottle dating from 1938-1969. There also was a more modern dump with many toys and coins from the late 80s. In the second location, located in a nearby town, is a one acre lot tucked into a private drive. The building was built in 1960, at the same time of the other homes. I have cleaned out the yard metal detecting, and have found 1000s of coins dating from 1887 to the 2020s. This year, I decided to detect the woods area nearby. I found many different metal items and bottles all over. The bottles I have found have dated from the 60s to 1990. I have also found old musket balls and cartridges from the 1910s. I also have found the neighbors dump, which had toys and a military button. How deep did 1960s trash dumps normally go, and how would I know if it is a bottle in rocky and concrete block filled soil when using a bottle digging probe? Also, how could I find dumps/privies from more rural areas that were never recorded by Sanborn maps?
Sorry for the long message, but I wanted to give context to my questions. Thanks, have a great day.
When I was doing alot of bottle digging this bottle probe came in very handy. Also sandborn maps. Good luck!
 

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NJKLAGT

Bronze Member
Oct 18, 2014
1,118
1,913
Southern Ontario
Detector(s) used
Garrett Euro Ace 350
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Hey there, here are a few tips that might be helpful:

People like to dump their trash out of sight and out of mind. That could be down a hillside, a ravine, a chute where the water runs off the side of a field, the edge of a river or creek - usually any natural low spot where they could dump the trash without having to dig, where they'd only have to cover it if they chose to.

Look for the signs to determine whether or not there's more underneath, like wire fence and rusty buckets sticking out of the ground, shards of glass, etc. If the stuff on the surface looks old, you're in a good spot, although there could be older stuff under the more modern stuff, and that will require some digging, more effort.

Dig through the debris and any other inconsistencies until you hit the natural undisturbed soil or clay or bedrock, depends where you are geographically. This test hole will give you an idea of how much moved earth and debris sits on top, this is the "thickness" of the deposit. Usually I do my test hole somewhere in the middle of where I think the dump is, and then I restart at the bottom and work my way uphill.

Wear gloves. Wear a dust mask and/or eye protection if necessary. Never ever smell or taste the contents of any bottle, you could actually die, it's not worth the risk. When I first started digging I almost decided to take a whiff of a half-full bottle of concentrated liquid pesticide because I thought the name "Black Leaf 40" sounded like some kind of whiskey (doesn't it?), would have been fatal, just don't do it.

As for privies and trash pits, there will have to have been a home or structure nearby that made having one necessary. Look for unusual depressions in the ground, circular or square in shape. There will sometimes be differences in the grass and vegetation in those depressions because the earth used to fill it was from a garden or somewhere else on the yard/property. You'll typically find these pits no more than fifty feet from a house, far enough for some privacy but close enough to be convenient (depending on the climate some people would even build winter privies butting right up against the house).

If you don't find any obvious depressions in the ground, you can employ a grid method and work your way up and down the yard, starting around the back and edge of the yard/property line (the fence or hedgerow or treeline is a good place to start). Sometimes it can be quite the chore and you'll have to probe hundreds of times. If you can find an old map of the property, maybe an old fire insurance map, then those can be extremely helpful, lots of diggers know where they are before they even get on site, research is your best friend.

If you think you've found a pit, probe it. You'll find that the probe penetrates more easily than it does into the surrounding undisturbed earth. Ideally you'll feel a crunchiness of debris and ash and glass and whatever else. You asked about rocks - you feel it in the hands, rocks resonate right up through the probe and into your hands, no give or movement whatsoever, the probe just stops abruptly and the tip doesn't slide or deflect whatsoever. Through experience you'll get the touch and you'll be able to tell what you're hitting.

Good luck and happy hunting!
 

OP
OP
treasure_hunter_1
Dec 14, 2023
19
56
Hello, my name is Tommy, and I would like to know about more ways to find bottles. Since I dabbled in the hobby this year, I do not have much experience yet. I mostly metal detect, and that is how I found bottles, in two locations. At a 1980s house, which had a large shed likely dating back to the late 1800s due to the square nails and Indian head cents I had found. On historical aerials, I found that it was there up until the early 70s.
Up in the woods, I also had found I small dump my neighbor had dug many years ago, dating to the 30s and up to the 60s. Back near the shed area, there was another house on the property next door and I have found a base of a bottle dating from 1938-1969. There also was a more modern dump with many toys and coins from the late 80s. In the second location, located in a nearby town, is a one acre lot tucked into a private drive. The building was built in 1960, at the same time of the other homes. I have cleaned out the yard metal detecting, and have found 1000s of coins dating from 1887 to the 2020s. This year, I decided to detect the woods area nearby. I found many different metal items and bottles all over. The bottles I have found have dated from the 60s to 1990. I have also found old musket balls and cartridges from the 1910s. I also have found the neighbors dump, which had toys and a military button. How deep did 1960s trash dumps normally go, and how would I know if it is a bottle in rocky and concrete block filled soil when using a bottle digging probe? Also, how could I find dumps/privies from more rural areas that were never recorded by Sanborn maps?
Sorry for the long message, but I wanted to give context to my questions. Thanks, have a great day.
Hey there, here are a few tips that might be helpful:

People like to dump their trash out of sight and out of mind. That could be down a hillside, a ravine, a chute where the water runs off the side of a field, the edge of a river or creek - usually any natural low spot where they could dump the trash without having to dig, where they'd only have to cover it if they chose to.

Look for the signs to determine whether or not there's more underneath, like wire fence and rusty buckets sticking out of the ground, shards of glass, etc. If the stuff on the surface looks old, you're in a good spot, although there could be older stuff under the more modern stuff, and that will require some digging, more effort.

Dig through the debris and any other inconsistencies until you hit the natural undisturbed soil or clay or bedrock, depends where you are geographically. This test hole will give you an idea of how much moved earth and debris sits on top, this is the "thickness" of the deposit. Usually I do my test hole somewhere in the middle of where I think the dump is, and then I restart at the bottom and work my way uphill.

Wear gloves. Wear a dust mask and/or eye protection if necessary. Never ever smell or taste the contents of any bottle, you could actually die, it's not worth the risk. When I first started digging I almost decided to take a whiff of a half-full bottle of concentrated liquid pesticide because I thought the name "Black Leaf 40" sounded like some kind of whiskey (doesn't it?), would have been fatal, just don't do it.

As for privies and trash pits, there will have to have been a home or structure nearby that made having one necessary. Look for unusual depressions in the ground, circular or square in shape. There will sometimes be differences in the grass and vegetation in those depressions because the earth used to fill it was from a garden or somewhere else on the yard/property. You'll typically find these pits no more than fifty feet from a house, far enough for some privacy but close enough to be convenient (depending on the climate some people would even build winter privies butting right up against the house).

If you don't find any obvious depressions in the ground, you can employ a grid method and work your way up and down the yard, starting around the back and edge of the yard/property line (the fence or hedgerow or treeline is a good place to start). Sometimes it can be quite the chore and you'll have to probe hundreds of times. If you can find an old map of the property, maybe an old fire insurance map, then those can be extremely helpful, lots of diggers know where they are before they even get on site, research is your best friend.

If you think you've found a pit, probe it. You'll find that the probe penetrates more easily than it does into the surrounding undisturbed earth. Ideally you'll feel a crunchiness of debris and ash and glass and whatever else. You asked about rocks - you feel it in the hands, rocks resonate right up through the probe and into your hands, no give or movement whatsoever, the probe just stops abruptly and the tip doesn't slide or deflect whatsoever. Through experience you'll get the touch and you'll be able to tell what you're hitting.

Good luck and happy hunting!
Thanks for the help!
 

Midden-marauder

Full Member
Dec 10, 2023
214
388
I'm late to the game here but....
Where I live there's a river running through the city, many, many dumping sites located along it so there's plenty to find. One thing that's helped me some is to simply walk areas behind farms or older communities along the river, watch for obvious surface signs but also to do spot checks in certain areas with nothing more than a pinpointer. If the pinpointer is getting a lot of hits in a given spot then I just start digging. Usually if there's a bunch of metal debris just below the surface then there's likely to be a lot of other stuff there. Some areas things have gotten covered over, I've located some deeply buried glass hidden underfoot using just this technique. Also, keep your eyes open for mounds especially in the vicinity of a known dump, just start digging, you might get a pleasant surprise
 

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