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Open Archaeology: Topical Issue on Aspects of non-professional metal detecting in Europe

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Pieterjan Deckers, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium
Michael Lewis, Portable Antiquities Scheme/British Museum, UK
Suzie Thomas, University of Helsinki, Finland


Open Archaeology invites manuscripts for the Special Issue on “Aspects of non-professional metal detecting in Europe”

Professional attitudes towards non-professional metal detecting in Europe vary widely across Europe. In line with the Valletta Convention (1992), in many countries amateur detecting remains both illegal and vehemently opposed by professional archaeologists, who condemn the practice as unwarranted destruction and appropriation of common heritage. On the other hand, several European countries have adopted more pragmatic stances and tolerate the practice as a legitimate hobby. Some even actively engage with detectorists, arguing that the benefits of such an approach for research and heritage management outweigh the potential risks. Evidently non-professional detecting remains a controversial topic amongst heritage professionals. However, the current debate is largely constricted by jurisdictional boundaries. Professional attitudes and opinions have tended to become entrenched, and hard data on the nature of detectorists are limited.

This volume, which builds upon the 2015 EAA Annual Meeting in Glasgow, aims to form a new step towards more unified debate across Europe; towards common ground regarding ethics and best practices in responding to this phenomenon. Contributors are invited to submit case studies highlighting aspects of non-professional detecting in their own country or region, including (but not limited to) the motivations and practices of metal detecting, its impact on preservation and research, legislative and policy responses and their effectiveness, as well as determining contextual factors.


The authors are kindly invited to submit their contribution via online submission system Editorial Manager.

It is important that authors include a cover letter with their manuscript with information that the manuscript is dedicated to Topical Issue on “Aspects of non-professional metal detecting in Europe”.

Cover letter should explicitly state that the manuscript (or one with substantially the same content, by any of the authors) has not been previously published in any language anywhere and that it is not under simultaneous consideration or in press by another journal.

Before submission the authors should carefully read over the Instruction for Authors.

All papers will go through the Open Archaeology high standards, quick and comprehensive peer-review procedure.

We are looking forward to your submission up to 29 February 2016. If you have any questions, please contact Pieterjan Deckers at pdeckers@vub.ac.be or Katarzyna Michalak at Katarzyna.Michalak@degruyteropen.com

As an author of Open Archaeology you will benefit from:

  • transparent, comprehensive and fast peer review managed by our esteemed Guest Editors;
  • efficient route to fast-track publication and full advantage of De Gruyter Open e-technology;
  • no publication fees;
  • free language assistance for authors from non-English speaking regions.