I quickly checked the edges of the dumping pit for any signals before I dived into it. I took away the vegetation on the top and cut away some roots to be able to remove the first piece of metal, a thick plate. I lifted the heavy part out of the pit and saw that it wasn`t just a plate, but a trench sniper shield! I have seen these type of shields come out of WW1 positions in Latvia, and knew the Germans had brought them to the Northern front during WW2, but I was very surprised to find one here this morning. And it was not only one, but two of them! I knew it was going to be so much "fun" getting these beasts with me out of the forest. But, under the second shield was something else. A German helmet!! It had become a bit squashed from having the shields thrown on top of it. Half of it looked like it had winter camo still showing, but the other side had been cooked a bit by the fire and was bubbly and flakey. What a start to the day! The rest of the corner had nothing but animal bones and food tins, but from the middle towards the other corner of the pits short end more interesting bits turned up again. I dug out an early metal version of a canteen drinking cup, small bottles for ether and perfumes, pad locks, keys, the top of a messkit, and a blank german belt buckle. I thought it could be one of the rare Norwegian NS Hirdbattalion buckles, but when having a closer look I saw it was a unfinished field made example! How awesome was that!?! Not something one see very often. More of the regular stuff poured out from the soil. Flashlights, ski goggles, a ribbon bar, a blank EKM, bakelite boxes, ashtrays and toothbrushes, and lots more.
Circa in the middle of the pit was a large water pitcher made from zink. It was laying sideways and when I pulled it out I noticed it was full of stuff. Someone had stuck a shoe brush in it, a really nice ashtray made from frosted glass, a ladle, a Soviet enamel mug, a food tin , the footrest from a motorcycle and a göffel from WW1. Everything in super condition, like it had been buried last month.
After a break and stroll to stretch the legs and my back, I continued finding the good stuff. The next pile of rescued relics consited of two messkits, several tent pegs, and then I hit an ore of trench-art. First one half of a cigarette case. Engraved with a horse, then 4 or 5 shaving cups, where three of them had been decorated and then I found the other half of the cigarette case, having a romantic motive engraved.
In the last corner of the pit was a second helmet waiting for me! (third if we count the one from the other day). This one was more rusted than the other two, but could still clean up nicely with a little luck. The last relics to be saved was two large "winkers" for a vehicle and a nice and complete square oil can.
I had been digging for 5-6 hours and was dirty, wet, hungry, half eaten by blackflies and tired, but I still had to get myself and the treasures back to the car half a kilometer away. I loaded all the relics into the backpack and could barely get it on my back, and then a massive trench shield in each hand. I was slow and heavy while trying to not collapse in the undergrowth and had to make breaks every few meters, but in the end I could see the car and knew a shower and dry clothes was within reach.
In the afternoon I cleaned up the trench-art items and looks like they all had been made after the liberation in 1945. It was cozy motives with animals, nature and romantic scenes with girls. On one of the shaving cups me and the Girlfriend could even recognize which mountains the artist had engraved on it, and could practically see where he had stood when he captured the image. Quite amazing.
Happy Days :)