In recent months, the ECMD has been working vigorously to promote the hobby of responsible metal detecting. This update will summarise the recent activities of our members organisations and highlight some of the major issues and developments, as well as outline our plans for the near future. In the second part of this year, the ECMD will hold its General Conference, where we will elect new board members and make important decisions about our policies, including admission of new members. More details soon.
As we have reported earlier, the MEDEA platform for the recording of small finds is now fully operational. At the time of writing it has 171 metal artefacts recorded by detectorists from Flanders. NVD-ANP representing Belgium in ECMD is currently working on a Detectorist Code of Conduct and closer cooperation with archaeologists. Their main concern at the moment is increasing the number of recorded finds.
Bulgarian National Metal Detecting Federation BNMDF sent newsletter to all regional directorates of Ministry of Interior in Bulgaria, and to all District police departments, presenting the documents of the BNMDF: example of the membership card for 2016; court order for establishing of BNMDF; rulings of the Supreme Court about the registration of metal detectors which are used for hobby. BNMDF are sending a clear message that they have nothing to do with the so called ”illegal treasure hunting”. All members of the Federation are familiar with the laws of the Republic of Bulgaria and know that they must inform the nearest museum within 7 days of the finding of object of cultural value. At the moment there is a lack of political will in Bulgaria to introduce sensible solutions to a conflict with archaeologists but the Federation hopes that the situation will change in 2017.
BNMDF was engaged in organising many meeting and detecting rallies in 2016 and plans many more in 2017
During the recent meeting, the members of HARJA have analysed various ways to research old maps and track down older settlements. Many groups are run as part of a Harja club, including Archaeological Mapping, Detecting, Marine Research, Viking Roads etc. One of the new developments is the Idea Bank, where members can suggests new ideas for lectures, trips and research projects. On the 11th of March, Harja had a General Assembly meeting where members had a chance to vote for the new president (Eigil Nikolajsen elected President with Glenn Abramsson vice-President and John Kristensen new board member) and other board members. On the 18th of March, the Tellus group will also have a similar meeting.
FNUDEM, the ECMD’s representatives in France, have contributed to a number of events in the past few months. The major one was the 2nd Metal Detecting Meeting, where the ECMD was represented at two conferences.
Our French members have also organised two meetings with the Ministry of Culture, intended to encourage cooperation between the state and the responsible detectorists.
Furthermore, FNUDEM has launched a major campaign designed to promote responsible metal detecting in France. This was done on the internet through various means of communication such as social media, as well as through the magazine “Detection Passion”.
FNUDEM will be organizing its Annual General Assembly in mid-March in order to establish the program and guidelines for 2017.
Liam Nolan, the ECMD’s vice-President and the organisation’s representative in Ireland, has been very active since the start of 2016. He was involved in a debate regarding ‘Archaeology2025’, a 10-year strategy set up by the Royal Irish Academy to define how archaeology would operate in the future. He was very well received by everyone who attended the discussion. By the end of the day it became clear that there was an urgent need to have a conference regarding how responsible detecting can complement established archaeological practices.
Ireland is working towards allowing already detected historical finds to be recorded and become part of its history, for regional archaeologists to link up with Irish Metal Detecting Society IMDS members and share knowledge of sites and finds. 2017 has seen the next phase of lobbying of politicians and all those in Ireland concerned with recovering the past before it vanishes.
The same arguments that were stifled in November 2016 will appear alive and kicking through 2017 and beyond if necessary. Irish detectorists want a fair deal and they are willing to work for it.
MD Club Italia is the only officially registered association which deals with responsible metal detecting. They have concentrated their efforts on an education plan and provide a sequence of articles on their website through which they spread advice and instructions about responsible metal detecting. They also wrote a handbook which is freely offered to those who join the club. They also engaged in dialogue with some institutional entities and are preparing an internal study on a potential new national regulation. MD Club Italia is extremely active in terms of promoting the ECMD and they include our logo in all of their products.
They also started a cooperation project with national metal detector dealers in order to encourage responsible metal detecting and educate as many people as possible about the importance of this hobby.
The cooperation and trust achieved from working with the archaeologists has opened many doors for our members in Jersey, including new sites to search. Cooperation with the professionals is often seen as impossible, but that is clearly not the case.
The ECMD’s representatives from Jersey have been involved in several major events and discoveries. A Celtic Hoard found in 2012 has finally been dismantled and our members were given a chance to work with one of the museums. The Gold torques and other objects from the Hoard have delighted the general public, and the whole conservation process has been on show to the public daily, attracting many thousands of visitors and promoting the hobby of responsible metal detecting.
The debate about the possibility of metal detectorists in Poland joining forces and forming a single federation is still raging. Several meetings are planned at the end of March, where members of various metal detecting and exploration organisations will meet in Warsaw to discuss the idea of the federation.
Various projects involving detectorists working hand in hand with archaeologists are planned to take place this year, including the Grunwald 1410 battlefield project in which a special team of ECMD members will also take part. Regular updates are printed in “Odkrywca” magazine and http://www.poszukiwacze.org portal.
Our Spanish members have been very active recently and they will be even busier within the next few months. Regular updates on the activities of Federacion Espanola Deteccion Deportiva FEDD are published in D&M magazine (http://www.revista-dm.com) A variety of events and rallies will soon be held all over the country. These include:
-19th of March – ADC – Catalonia, Decontamination
-2nd of April – AEDA – Plasenzuela – Extremadura – Official Concentration
-17th of May – Minelab Day – (Beach) Benicassim
-June – SANDE – Estepa, Sevilla
-June – AEDA – Madrigalejo – Extremadura
-October – ADC – Official Concentration
-November – AEDA – Official Concentration
Despite the growing concern about the soon to be implemented legislation, which will introduce a new fee system in Sweden, Sveriges Metallsökarförening SMF members have been working hard to promote responsible metal detecting and minimise any detrimental effect that this new law will have on Swedish detectorists.
The SMF will be celebrating their 5th anniversary this summer. This will be done in conjunction with the association’s annual meeting in Ädelfors, where the association has originally started with just 7 people. Last year, this meeting was attended by over 200 members. Between the 28th and 29th of July, the SMF will also attend a large festival concerned with things such as metal detecting and the Gold Panning Championships.
The members of the association will also participate in several interesting detecting and archaeological projects. One of them will be held in Northern Poland, where detectorists from Sweden, Denmark, Norway, UK and Poland will search with full cooperation and supervision of an archaeologist. The other project is planned for April, when the participants will get a chance to explore ancient burial grounds. In addition, the SMF will investigate an ancient Vendel castle located in Upplands Väsby, outside of Stockholm.
The NCMD continues to monitor the situation in the UK, as well as organise and take part in conferences regarding metal detecting in the country. An example of this is the 2016 PAS conference, where Roy Stephenson from the Museum of London compared detectorists to archaeologists, as both groups are heavily involved in the study of human history and artefacts. Dr Michael Lewis, the head of the PAS, and Dr Pieterjan Deckers from the Free University of Brussels also spoke about the recent development of responsible, legitimate metal detecting in Denmark, Flanders and the Netherlands.
More information about our members organisations can be found here: https://nowa.ecmd.eu/ourfriends/