Several friends have suggested that as I'm living not far from a 1,400 year-old former Byzantine church, the ground below me should be full of artifacts and I should be digging deeper than just the topsoil. I haven't done it so far. But I did come across something nice the other day - a fairly old copper vessel that, judging from the looks of it and the time it took me to get the corrosion off, had been under the ground for quite a while. It took half an hour or so with copper cleaner, but it cleaned up purty nice! Maybe it's a hint that I need to do more work on the soil...I have found other things as well - sheep bones and old tea spoons mostly.