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

Andres S. Dobat 1  and Astrid T. Jensen 1
  • 1 School of Culture and Society (Archaeology), Aarhus University, Moesgård Allé 20, 8270 Højbjerg, Denmark

Abstract

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’.

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