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Towards a Cooperative Approach to Hobby Metal Detecting: The European Public Finds Recording Network (EPFRN) Vision Statement

  • Andres S. Dobat (a1), Pieterjan Deckers (a1), Stijn Heeren (a2), Michael Lewis (a3), Suzie Thomas (a4) and Anna Wessman (a4)...


Hobby metal detecting is a controversial subject. Legal and policy approaches differ widely across national and regional contexts, and the attitudes of archaeologists and heritage professionals towards detectorists are often polarized and based on ethical or emotive arguments. We, the European Public Finds Recording Network (EPFRN), have implemented collaborative approaches towards detectorist communities in our respective contexts (Denmark, England and Wales, Finland, Flanders, and the Netherlands). Although our motivations are affected by our national circumstances, we base our work on an agreed set of goals, practices, and visions. This article presents the EPFRN's vision statement and provides insight into its underlying thoughts. We hope to create a debate on how to develop best practice approaches that acknowledge the inherent challenges of hobby metal detecting while realizing its potential.

La détection de métaux est un loisir sujet à controverses. La réglementation et les lois diffèrent selon les régions et les pays et les attitudes des archéologues et professionnels du patrimoine envers les utilisateurs de détecteurs de métaux sont souvent polarisées et fondées sur des arguments d'ordre éthique voire émotionnel. Le Réseau européen d'enregistrement d'objets découverts par le public (EPFRN) a élaboré des démarches collaboratives envers les utilisateurs de détecteurs de métaux dans les pays où il opère. (Danemark, Angleterre, Pays de Galles, Finlandes Flandres, Pays-Bas). Bien que les motivations des auteurs soient influencées par les conditions prévalant dans chaque pays, leur travail repose sur un ensemble d'objectifs, de pratiques et de visions communs. Ils présentent ici la vision de l'EPFRN et donnent un aperçu des idées sur lesquelles elle se base, dans l'espoir d'encourager un débat sur la meilleure façon de formuler de bonnes pratiques qui tiennent compte des défis inhérents à la détection de métaux de loisir tout en lui permettant de réaliser son potentiel. Translation by Madeleine Hummler

Das Hobby der Sondengängerei ist ein umstrittenes Thema. Die rechtlichen Vorschriften und praktischen Ansätze sind je nach regionalen oder nationalen Voraussetzungen sehr unterschiedlich. Die Einstellungen von Archäologen und Denkmalpflegern gegenüber Sondengängern sind oft polarisiert und stützen sich auf ethische oder sogar emotionale Argumente. Als Europäisches Netzwerk für die Aufnahme von Privatfunden (EPFRN) verfolgen wir den Ansatz einer Zusammenarbeit mit Sondengängern in Dänemark, England, Wales, Finnland, Flandern und den Niederlanden. Obgleich vor dem Hintergrund verschiedener nationaler Voraussetzungen unterschiedlich motiviert, beruht unsere Arbeit auf einer Reihe von gemeinsamen Zielen, Vorgehensweisen und Zukunftsvisionen. Dieser Artikel stellt die Vision des europäischen Netzwerks für die Aufnahme von Privatfunden vor und bietet einen Einblick in die zugrunde liegenden Überlegungen. Damit verbunden ist die Hoffnung, eine Diskussion über die Entwicklung von vorbildlichen Verfahrensweisen anzuregen, mit denen sich sowohl die Herausforderungen der Sondengängerei als auch ihr Potenzial verwirklichen lassen. Translation by Madeleine Hummler and Andres Dobat

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Towards a Cooperative Approach to Hobby Metal Detecting: The European Public Finds Recording Network (EPFRN) Vision Statement

  • Andres S. Dobat (a1), Pieterjan Deckers (a1), Stijn Heeren (a2), Michael Lewis (a3), Suzie Thomas (a4) and Anna Wessman (a4)...


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