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#4209173 - 12/23/15 05:16 AM Some interesting relic digs  
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Nodak01 Offline
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#4209187 - 12/23/15 07:59 AM Re: Some interesting relic digs [Re: Nodak01]  
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juri_js Offline
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What these guys are doing is highly problematic and often illegal. In many European countries world war sites are protected by laws, especially when human remains or unexploded ordnance are present.

How would you like it if someone would dig up your grandfathers bones to sell his awards and personal equipment on the internet?

#4209193 - 12/23/15 09:11 AM Re: Some interesting relic digs [Re: Nodak01]  
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VF9_Longbow Offline
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I am pretty sure they are not selling that stuff, most likely they are donating it to museums in the area where they recovered the items. A lot of people do this kind of metal detecting and if it weren't for them there would probably be a lot more children out there with limbs blown off due to forgotten landmines.

#4209199 - 12/23/15 10:06 AM Re: Some interesting relic digs [Re: Nodak01]  
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juri_js Offline
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Longbow, there is huge black market for this kind of stuff here in Europe and also in the US. Legally it doesn't make any difference if these guys sell their finds or put it on the shelfs in their living-rooms or in private museums. The situation is especially bad in eastern Europe were illegal excavations of war graves are very common and a big business and since metal detectors have become widly available for low prices more and more also in western Europe.

Here just a few articles that highlight the problem:

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/technology/...ary-approaches/

https://thesebonesofmine.wordpress.com/2014/03/31/excavating-the-war-dead-of-ww2-the-eastern-front/

http://www.ibtimes.com/murder-profit-ger...orabilia-751070

#4209211 - 12/23/15 11:20 AM Re: Some interesting relic digs [Re: Nodak01]  
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scrim Offline
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Yeah, this is a very shady business that often amounts to nothing short of grave robbing. It's not gone even a hundred years since the war, it's not like relatively good shape equipment from it is in that low supply. Of all the WW2 museums you've been to, how many of the items on display actually looked like they'd been dug up?

Most of these things wind up up on the black market (sometimes even with bones, heads, etc.) or in the finder's garage like some perverse hobby. It's rather obvious what the motivation is when you see them stacking equipment up in large stacks. Archaeologists don't do that for a reason. What they find buried in the earth doesn't stand up to rough treatment as the day it came out of the factory, and if you're digging that much up you're obviously not going about it carefully with respect for potential UXOs or human remains. There's a reason you rarely hear of archaeological digs for WW2 "artifacts". It's rarely called for, and most of the time the people behind it don't exactly want a lot of attention drawn to their methods.

Last edited by scrim; 12/23/15 11:22 AM.
#4209498 - 12/24/15 03:04 AM Re: Some interesting relic digs [Re: Nodak01]  
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vocatx Offline
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It would seem to me that, as long as no human remains are found/disturbed, they really aren't hurting anything. Most of this stuff would simply turn to iron oxide in another fifty years or so anyway. With the amount of hardware lost, dropped, and discarded during battle I would think people in some areas could find some of this just planting a garden. I don't see what difference it really makes in who finds it. AS LONG AS NO HUMAN REMAINS ARE DISTURBED, much of this would simply rust to oblivion and be lost forever if it weren't dug out of the ground.

As for the 'black market' in war relics, if it weren't so taboo to look for them, the black market would dry up and largely disappear. I think the more of this type of stuff found, the better. Like I said, in a relatively short time it will mostly turn to rust. ALL of the above with the caveat, AS LONG AS NO REMAINS ARE DISTURBED.


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#4209657 - 12/24/15 04:16 PM Re: Some interesting relic digs [Re: Nodak01]  
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PV1 Offline
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If they are excavating in places other than gravesites,
it would seem to me that the discovery of remains would
require reporting to authorities, who would attempt to
identify and look after the remains. Such places aren't
supposed to have any remains left.

#4209681 - 12/24/15 05:37 PM Re: Some interesting relic digs [Re: Nodak01]  
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juri_js Offline
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The videos show awards and dog tags, they were certainly found together with human remains. I can guarantee you that these guys will not report their finds to the authorities.

#4209771 - 12/24/15 09:19 PM Re: Some interesting relic digs [Re: Nodak01]  
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Wklink Offline
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Remains are almost always found.

This isn't like finding a stash in Grandpa's basement. Soldiers just don't drop their dog tags or their awards into piles on the battlefront. Most of the big turn ins were destroyed.

If you are digging on the battlefield using a metal detector to find 'artifacts' then you are probably going to find dead soldiers. And most of these people digging don't give two snots about the human being that was wearing those 'artifacts' when he or she breathed their last on this planet.


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