Can archaeology be non-professional?
The damages caused by treasure hunters using metal detectors are well-known and daily cause irreparable loss of cultural heritage. How shall we deal with them? The question has been heavily debated and opinions are varied, from repression to integration. Some specialists even argue that detectorists are instrumental in the progress of archaeological research and that inclusivity encourages engagement towards protection of cultural heritage. But detectorists do not only detect, they dig holes. At a time when archaeology turns towards non-destructive methods, doesn’t detectorism appear as a debased, harmful version of geophysics applied to archaeology?
- I.Rodríguez Temiño, “Rational Grounds for Dialogue between Archaeologists and Metal Detectorists in Spain”, Open Archaeology 2, 2016, 150-159
- P. Deckers, A. Dobat, N. Ferguson, St. Heeren, M. Lewis, S. Thomas, “The Complexities of Metal Detecting Policy”, Open Archaeology 4, 2018, 322-333
- Delestre, “Le détectorisme en France : quelle situation et quelle politique publique ?”, Canadian Journal of Bioethics 2, 2019, 158-165
- X. Delestre, Metal detection in France, current situation and policy
[Image: Modern looters’ pit in an archaeological site, Cyprus © Mission archéologique de Kition]