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“Professional Amateurs”. Metal Detecting and Metal Detectorists in Denmark

Andres S. Dobat
  • School of Culture and Society (Archaeology), Aarhus University, Moesgård Allé 20, 8270 Højbjerg, Denmark
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Astrid T. Jensen
  • School of Culture and Society (Archaeology), Aarhus University, Moesgård Allé 20, 8270 Højbjerg, Denmark
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2016-08-12 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opar-2016-0005

An erratum for this article can be found here: https://doi.org/10.1515/opar-2016-0026


From the beginning of metal-detector based archaeology practiced by members of the public, the formal heritage sector in Denmark determined to pursue a liberal model based on cooperation and inclusion rather than confrontation and criminalization. Based on the findings of the ‘2015 Danish detectorists survey’ it is argued that Danish metal-detector archaeology has challenged the classic division of roles in archaeology and heritage management, and that at least a large proportion of Danish detectorists practice their hobby adhering to the highest professional standards, which stand in sharp contrast to the often-cited stereotype of the detectorists as mere ‘treasure hunter’.

Keywords: metal-detector; heritage; databases; citizen science; Denmark


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About the article

Received: 2016-03-16

Accepted: 2016-06-10

Published Online: 2016-08-12

Citation Information: Open Archaeology, Volume 2, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 2300-6560, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opar-2016-0005.

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© 2016 Andres S. Dobat, Astrid T. Jensen. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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