The PeaceHavens Project: A field handbook by Ged Dodd – Project Director.

by Dave Sadler

In the Spring of 2013 Ged Dodd, aka PeaceHavens, was searching on a friend’s land a mile away from Bentham flax mill when he stumbled on an unexpected lead seal which turned out to be an 1826 Russian lead flax bale seal. Another half an hour’s search turned up 27 more. The find was recorded on YouTube but no one was interested, especially as the seals were written in the Cyrillic alphabet .

Ged had a holiday farm in Bulgaria and he could read Cyrillic he started to make a database of seals from Bentham which now has 1207 entries and then other mills in the north of England and Scotland which to date have given us over 5433 entries, and this has enabled him to rewrite the rules on Russian lead flax bale seals of the 18th/19th century.  

I was lucky to learn more about the project by a friend – Andrew Jones of Metal detecting Britain and Beyond   Andy introduced be to Ged Dodd, who gave me a thorough overview of what the PeaceHavens project was all about, an area I did not realise was so wide and varied in the Archaeological and Metal Detecting community. Ged kindly offered to send me a complimentary copy of  The PeaceHavens Project: A field handbook for review. And again my eyes were opened to the range of Russian flax and hemp bag seals found in the UK.

A definitive guide to Cyrillic translation, identification of many intricate areas of the seal and much more. For finders of seals who are not aware of the information available, the guidebook is a fantastic handbook which should inhabit any library or researchers collection. The guide costs £10, with the proceeds going directly back into the project.

The more I have read about Geds work, the more i have realised how much time and effort, Ged has put into the database, and I am surprised to learn just how big the database is.

Kudos to Ged for his efforts, a lot of individuals receive credit in the Archaeological and Metal Detecting communities, and many go unnoticed and unrecognised. The work I have learnt Ged has undertaken deserves some recognition.

Ged created a page on Facebook offering to translate flax bale seals and for people to join. –  PeaceHavens Project 

The The PeaceHavens Project: A field handbook by Ged Dodd – Project Director is available to purchase via his Website

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