Archaeologists and Metal-Detector Users in England and Wales

Suzie Thomas

in The Oxford Handbook of Public Archaeology

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199237821
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Archaeology

Archaeologists and Metal-Detector Users in England and Wales

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  • Archaeology
  • Contemporary and Public Archaeology



This article explores the history of the changing relationships between archaeologists and metal-detector users in England and Wales, including the competing political strategies of both groups to influence public opinion and new legislation. It discusses some of the key issues and events, both historical and contemporary, as an overview and introduction to these varied, and arguably still-changing, relationships. The article begins with an introduction to the terms metal-detector user, nighthawk, and Treasure. Following this, it highlights some early concerns about heritage protection. The article then describes some reactions to and from the metal detecting hobby, and presents some conclusions from the works of archaeologists and metal-detector users. It concludes by encouraging archaeologists to maintain more positive and cooperative links with the metal-detecting community.

Keywords: archaeologists; metal-detector user; England; Wales; nighthawk; treasure

Article.  9450 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Contemporary and Public Archaeology

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