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Rob Taviner
12 October 2003

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The plan below shows the results of dowsing carried out on 6th September 2000 in the field next to the Thrupe Depression. This was in the very early stages of the dig and before the breakthrough into Advent. The rather confused "results" are shown below. The dowsing shows "something" trending NS and also "something else" which heads generally south west before bifurcating then fading out.

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Thrupe Swallet - Dowsing

The dowsing was carried out by Tony using bent wire rods (coathangers). He walked back and forth across the field in a roughly NW to SE raster pattern, more or less parallel to the boundary between the field and the depression. The rest of the family (Alice, Annie & Rosie) marked the ground at points where the rods crossed in such a way that their marks were not visible to Tony on his next pass.

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A typical group of dowsers at work

What does it all mean?
Your guess is as good as mine - it might well have been a complete waste of time but at least it was a less strenuous waste of time than digging.

Perhaps the last word on the subject should be left to Georgius Agricola, whose book on mining, De Re Metallica (literally "About things metal") was the first published work to mention the use of the divining rod for detecting water or metals.

"Therefore a miner, since we think he ought to be a good and serious man, should not make use of the enchanted twig, because if he is prudent and skilled in the natural signs, he understands that a forked stick is of no use to him ..."
Agricola, De Re Metallica, 1556

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Revised:   23-Jun-2007