Lithuania joins ECMD!

A new member in the European Council for Metal Detecting is MINK – „Metalo Ieškiklių Naudotojų Klubas“, who within ECMD will represent Lithuania. We welcome them very warmly!

MINK is currently the biggest and most active organisation of responsible detectorists in Lithuania.
Club was formed in 2012 and its main activities are archaeological surveys, nationwide lost and found service (between 2012 and 2018 over one hundred rings, earrings, keys, phones and other items were recovered on land and water and returned to their owners) and educational activities such as detecting rallies, conferences on archaeology and metal detecting, and publishing.

First large scale archaeological survey took place in 2015 – 2016, when during three days, MINK members searched the area of over 60 hectares, seeking to locate the site of the battlefield of Saule. Battle of Saule was fought on 22 September 1236, between the Livonian Brothers of the Sword and Lithuanian Samogitian tribe. It was the earliest large scale defeat suffered by the military knights orders in the Baltic lands. Archaeologists, lead by Dr. Gintautas Zabiela, recorded over 300 finds, including bronze sword scabbard chape, bronze jewellery and iron battleaxe. Despite the fact that the exact place of battle wasn’t found, methodology of surveying battle fields using metal detectors and data about finds was published in a book form. In the early spring of 2017 one of MINK members accidentally stumbled on previously unknown burial site in southern part of Lithuania. Department of Cultural Heritage and archaeologists were immediately informed about this discovery. Few moths later team of MINK members, lead by archaeologist Olegas Fediajevas, recovered from ploughed land various bronze artefacts, dating to 3rd – 4th. century AD. Discovered burial site was added to the list of state protected cultural monuments. In October 2017, the biggest metal detecting survey in the Baltic countries took place at the site of historical Medvegalis hill fort complex. Over 90 detectorists, 11 archaeologists and supporting team searched an area of over 30 hectares. Medvegalis fort was first mentioned in written texts in 1316 and was one of the most important and strongest Lithuanian forts in the area. It was attacked by the Teutonic Knights over 20 times throughout history, including the notorious siege in 1329, when joined forces of Teutonic Order and John of Luxemburg, king of Bohemia (aka John the Blind), stormed and burned the fort. According to archaeologists fragments of bronze fibula, pin and bracelet might lead to locating previously unknown burial site that luckily was not disturbed by ploughing. Iron spearhead, arrowhead and part of sword blade, might have come from the time of fighting against Teutonic Order. In April 2018 MINK members detected once more Medvegalis hill fort and nearby Bilionys hill fort. Lead by archaeologist Gintautas Zabiela detectorists recovered Roman coins, bronze jewellery, arrowheads, spearheads and Scandinavian type silver bar. Detecting finds supported hypothesis about extended amber trading routes from Baltic to Roman Empire.

MINK actively collaborates with Lithuanian Department of Cultural Heritage and Society of
Lithuanian Archaeology, promoting the idea of responsible metal detecting. We are very happy to accept them as new members of ECMD and wish them lots of successes in the future! The organisation can be contacted directly via their website: http://www.ieskotojas.lt/ or their Facebook profile: https://www.facebook.com/KlubasMINK/

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