A Special Issue of Open Archaeology on Non-Professional Metal-Detecting
Author: Pablo Markin
Published Online: 2017-04-10
In 2016, the Open Access Journal Open Archaeology produced a collection of topical articles on the status of metal-detecting for other than scientific reasons in different European countries.
As this issue of Open Archaeology shows, metal-detecting by non-professionals can be acceptable to varying degrees across Europe, since it can also serve non-public interest, such as the antiquities trade. In this respect, the archaeological community is hard pressed to deal with this phenomenon, both due to the presence of divergent regulatory regimes in different countries and given the importance of amateur finds to the furthering of academic knowledge and the democratisation of archaeology.
As this journal issue, and especially Natasha Ferguson’s article, highlights, non-professional metal-detecting is endemic, as it occurs across European countries regardless of its legal status or regulatory frameworks. Nevertheless, the journal’s articles indicate that an emerging consensus on the need for the development of shared, cross-national policy approaches to the handling of non-professional metal-detecting practices and the resulting collections of finds exists, as Pieterjan Deckers, Michael Lewis and Suzie Thomas discuss in their editorial.
By Pablo Markin
Featured Image Credits: Socketed object, Roman? | © Courtesy of ISLAND 2000 TRUST.