Metal Detecting and Archaeology

Metal Detecting and Archaeology

Edited by Suzie Thomas, Peter Stone


Currently out of stock

Boydell Press



A groundbreaking examination of one of the most controversial topics within modern archaeology.
The invention of metal detecting technology during the Second World War allowed the development of a hobby that has traditionally been vilified by archaeologists as an uncontrollable threat to the proper study of the past. This book charts the relationship between archaeologists and metal detectors over the past fifty odd years within an international context. It questions whether the great majority of metal detectors need be seen as a threat or, as some argue, enthusiastic members of the public with a valid and legitimate interest in our shared heritage, charting the expansion of metal detecting as a phenomenon and examining its role within traditional archaeology. A particular strength of the book is its detailed case studies, from South Africa, the USA, Poland and Germany, where metal detectors have worked with, and contributed significantly towards, archaeological understanding and research.
With contributions from key individuals in both the metal detecting and archaeological communities, this publication highlights the need for increased understanding and cooperation and asks a number of questions crucial to the development of a long term relationship between archaeologists and metal detectors.

PETER G. STONE is Head of the School of Arts and Cultures and formerly Director of the International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies at the University of Newcastle. He has been interested in the public's role and interest in archaeology for over twenty-five years and has published widely on this topic, especially with respect to formal and informal education.
SUZIE THOMAS is a research postgraduate studying the relationships between archaeology and metal detecting.


April 2009
9 colour, 50 black and white illustrations
238 pages
24x17.2 cm
Heritage Matters
ISBN: 9781843834151
Format: Hardback
Boydell Press
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Table of Contents

Introduction - Suzie Thomas
Metal detector users and archaeology in Poland: the current state of affairs - Zbigniew Kobylinski and Piotr Szpanowski
The legislative position of metal detector use at South African Archaeological sites - Elize Becker
Archaeology, Metal Detecting, and the Development of Battlefield Archaeology in the United States - George Smith
Archaeology, Metal Detecting, and the Development of Battlefield Archaeology in the United States - John Cornelison
Before the Portable Antiquities Scheme - Peter V Addyman
The development and future of the Treasure Act and Portable Antiquities Scheme - Roger Bland
Treasure Trove and metal detecting in Scotland - Alan Saville
Metal detecting in Northern Ireland - Declan Hurl
Metal Detecting and Archaeology in Wales: The establishment of the Portable Antiquities Scheme in Wales - Mark Lodwick
Building Bridges between metal detectorists and archaeologists - Trevor Austin
The Construction of Histories: numismatics and metal detecting - Peter D. Spencer
Cumwhitton Norse Burial - Faye Simpson
The Portable Antiquities Scheme in the North - Philippa Walton and Dot Boughton
Wanborough Revisited: the Rights and Wrongs of Treasure Trove Law in England and Wales - Suzie Thomas
The real value of buried treasure. VASLE: The Viking and Anglo-Saxon Landscape and Economy Project - Julian Richards
The real value of buried treasure. VASLE: The Viking and Anglo-Saxon Landscape and Economy Project - John Naylor
'The Rust of Time': Metal Detecting and Battlefield Archaeology - Tony Pollard
The Portable Antiquities Scheme and Education - Ceinwen Paynton


This book succeeds, through a wealth of cases and voices, in demonstrating that the key to a fruitful future relationship between metal-detector users and archaeologists lies in the recognition of the importance of mutual communication and co-operation. ANTIQUARIES

Archaeologists and policy makers will certainly have to account for the public's interest in the past and look at ways in which regulation, and even cooperation, can be used to ensure archaeological preservation. As a consequence, many in the heritage field would be well served by seeking out this collection, which aims to bring together the views of archaeologists and metal detectorists. (It) does a fine job of offering context to the current disagreements between archaeologists and metal detectorists. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGY

Both metal detectorists and archaeologists can learn much from the papers in this book. MINERVA
A pioneering engagement of archaeologists with detecting. BRITISH ARCHAEOLOGY

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