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

Andres Dobat, Pieterjan Deckers, Stijn Heeren, Michael Lewis, Suzanne Elizabeth Thomas, Anna Pia Frederike Wessman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1461957120000017
JournalEuropean Journal of Archaeology
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)272-292
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 615 History and Archaeology
  • heritage protection
  • metal detecting
  • finds
  • digital archaeology
  • historic environment
  • crowdsourcing
  • citizen science
  • WEB

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