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14-03-2013, 09:18   #1
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The principal Laws on Archaeology and Metal Detecting in Ireland.

Definition of an archaeological object.
Quote:
“archaeological object” means any chattel* whether in a manufactured or partly manufactured or an unmanufactured state which by reason of the archaeological interest attaching thereto or of its association with any Irish historical event or person has a value substantially greater than its intrinsic (including artistic) value, and the said expression includes ancient human, animal or plant remains;
(*chattel is any personal property other than real estate.)

The Law on Metal Detecting in Ireland

The National Monuments Acts 1930 to 2004 provide for the protection of the archaeological heritage of Ireland (portable and built heritage) with the National Monuments (Amendment) Act, 1987 dealing specifically with the use of metal detecting devices.

• Other than under licence, it is illegal to use a metal detecting device to search for archaeological objects in Ireland, both on land and underwater.

• The term ‘archaeological object’ is a legal one that has a wide meaning and may include lost or concealed cultural objects, including common objects such as coins and objects of relatively modern date including 20th century material.
(This latter point with regard to dating of archaeological objects has been ruled upon in a High Court Judicial Review - Record No 2001 579JR, between S. Gregg Bemis (Applicant) and the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands, Ireland and the Attorney General (Respondents). Judgement of Mr Justice Herbert delivered the 17th day of June, 2005).

• If you find an archaeological object you must report it the National Museum of Ireland or to a Designated County Museum within 96 hours.

• Failure to report such a discovery is an offence.

• Where a person reports the finding of an archaeological object he shall be furnished with a prescribed form and in reporting the find he shall state his name and address, the nature and character of the object found, and a description of the location of the place where the object was found.

• It is illegal to be in possession of an unreported archaeological object or to sell or otherwise dispose of such an object.

• Archaeological objects found in Ireland are State property.

• Finders who have found archaeological objects in a legitimate manner are paid finder’s rewards.

• It is public policy not to issue metal detecting consents other than in the context of licensed archaeological excavations or investigations being undertaken under the direction of a professional archaeologist.

• Unlicensed detectorists who engage in general searches for archaeological objects run the risk of prosecution and the law provides for heavy fines and / or imprisonment of offenders. A number of successful prosecutions have been taken against individuals who have been found to have contravened this legislation.

• Unauthorised devices found on or in the vicinity of certain monuments may be seized and detained by a member of An Garda Síochána pending prosecution by the State.

• The 1994 act saw an increase in imprisonment to 5 years on indictment and the maximum fine allowed is €63,500.

• It has been suggested on some occasions that metal detector searches for archaeological objects on beaches may be undertaken without a consent under the terms of the National Monuments Acts. This is not the case and In fact, such areas are particularly sensitive archaeologically as they can often be locations of important material relating to kitchen middens, burials, settlements and ship wrecks. At least one successful prosecution has been obtained against a person engaged in searching a beach with the aid of a metal detector.

All of the relevant legislation can be accessed online www.irishstatutebook.ie and include the following:


The National Monuments Act, 1930

The National Monuments (Amendment) Act, 1954.
The National Monuments (Amendment) Act, 1987.
The National Monuments (Amendment) Act, 1994.
The National Monuments (Amendment) Act, 2004

Further reading:


Eamonn P. Kelly, ‘Treasure hunting in Ireland - its rise and fall', Antiquity, Vol. 67, No. 255, June, 1993, 378-381.

Eamonn P. Kelly, ‘Protecting Ireland's Archaeological Heritage', International Journal of Cultural Property, no. 2, vol. 3, 1994.
Eamonn P. Kelly, ‘Protecting Ireland's Archaeological Heritage', Antiquities Trade or Betrayed: Legal, Ethical and Conservation Issues, Ed. K.W. Tubb, London, 1995.

If you wish to report the discovery of an archaeological object or if you require further information please contact:


The Duty Officer,
Irish Antiquities Division,
National Museum of Ireland,
Kildare Street,
Dublin 2.
01-6777444
antiquitiesdo@museum.ie

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19-04-2013, 09:18   #2
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General requirements under the 1930 and amended Acts.



23.
—(1) Every person who finds any archaeological object shall within fourteen days after he has found such object, make a report of such finding to a member of the Gárda Síochána on duty in the district in which such object was so found or the Keeper of Irish Antiquities in the National Museum and shall when making such report state his own name and address, the nature or character of the said object and the time and place at which and the circumstances in which it was found by him, and shall also, and whether he has or has not made such report as aforesaid, and irrespective of the person to whom he has made such report (if any) give to any member of the Gárda Síochána or to the said Keeper on request any information within his knowledge in relation to such object or the finding thereof and shall permit any member of the Gárda Síochána or the said Keeper to inspect, examine or photograph such object.



26.—(1) It shall not be lawful for any person, without or otherwise than in accordance with a licence issued by the Commissioners under this section, to dig or excavate in or under any land (whether with or without removing the surface of the land) for the purpose of searching generally for archaeological objects or of searching for, exposing or examining any particular structure or thing of archaeological interest known or believed to be in or under such land or for any other archaeological purpose.

The National Monuments Act
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17-05-2013, 14:37   #3
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Archaeology Forum Charter. Please read.


Archaeology Forum Charter
(update 17/5/13)

Welcome to the Archaeology forum.

Any discussion group needs rules to run smoothly and enjoyably. The Archaeology Forum is no different. Please familiarise yourself with the rules and guidelines below.

Freedom of Speech:

This is a privately run and owned website, this means that you do not have the right to free speech here.
If the moderators decide that posted material is unfit for the forum, they have the right to remove it and administer whatever penalty that they see fit.

You do however, have the right to appeal a moderator's decision.

The appeals process is as follows:

1. Send a private message to the moderator concerned.

if the issue is not resolved then -

2. Contact one of the category moderators.

if this fails to resolve the matter then -

3. start a thread here: Dispute Resolution Forum.

What is Archaeology?
Please remember that Archaeology is a science.

The simplest definition:
Archaeology is the study of human history and prehistory through the recovery and analysis of artefacts and physical remains.

A broader definition:
'Archaeology is not simply the finite body of artefactual evidence uncovered in excavations. Rather, archaeology is what archaeologists say about that evidence. It is the ongoing process of discussing the past which is, in itself, an ongoing process. Only recently have we begun to realise the complexity of that discourse. ... [T]he discipline of archaeology is a site of disputation--a dynamic, fluid, multidimensional engagement of voices bearing upon both past and present.'

John C. McEnroe. 2002. Cretan Questions: Politics and archaeology 1898-1913. In Labyrinth Revisited: Rethinking 'Minoan' Archaeology, Yannis Hamilakis, editor. Oxbow Books, Oxford

What is not Archaeology?


Archaeology is not about the history or prehistory of animals.
It is not about the history or prehistory of rocks or fossils.
It is not about fairy tales.

If your subject is exclusively concerned with any of the above, please search in other forums - Palaeontology, Geography, Mythology etc.

Overlapping disciplines

More often than not, Archaeologists need to create a picture of the wider context. Geological notes are often important to the background. Distinguishing man made features in the landscape often calls for a good understanding of Geography.
Discussions from overlapping disciplines are often necessary but should only be opened when relevant to Archaeology.
Historical context is always important and it can at times, be difficult for posters to decide between the History & Heritage forum and this one.
Sometimes local mythologies and lore can contain kernels of true history.

Archaeology differs from other branches of science in the sense that a certain amount of conjecture and/or imagination is useful or even necessary.
There are many fields within the science containing mysteries which may never be explained. The exact purpose of petroglyphs or the precise methods for raising capstones for example, may never be fully understood.
On matters such as these, the forum does not condemn the use of imagination or reasonable conjecture.

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Rules specific to this forum:

Posts advocating the use of metal detectors will result in an instant infraction and/or ban.

All posters should be familiar with the laws outlined here: www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showpost.php?p=83658391&postcount=1


Violation will lead to an instant infraction/ban.

Other Guidelines:

If you are using an extract from a scientific paper or other source, please use appropriate citations.

Recent internet developments have made the search for previously unrecorded monuments in Ireland much more readily available.
However, before assuming that you have discovered something 'new', you should verify that the site has not been previously recorded here:
http://webgis.archaeology.ie/Nationa...ts/FlexViewer/

Background checks are always worth carrying out on the OSI online historical maps:
http://maps.osi.ie/publicviewer/#V1,588882,739883,0,10

Please use the thanks button. When someone takes the time to post something that is well thought out, well written and well constructed - we all benefit and we should show our gratitude.

Please take the time to read over what you have written before posting.

From time to time, legitimate finds are made by the public. These can indicate the presence of other important material.
If you have found something which might indicate a new site, please pm the moderators first to discuss whether the find should be brought to the attention of the relevant authority or published here.
It is widely known that illicit treasure hunters from both Ireland and abroad, use the same sources as we do for locating sites which may contain 'treasure'.

Update 4/5/2017:
The archaeology forum now actively encourages student posters to carry out research, ask study related questions, and generally use the forum as a means to access specialists or expert opinion on archaeological topics.
However, please do not 'hit & run'! If you open a discussion, we ask you to become a contributor to the forum.



Thanks for taking the time to read this and thanks for your cooperation.

Last edited by slowburner; 04-03-2017 at 09:20.
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31-07-2013, 20:17   #4
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New guidelines on metal detecting.

Fresh guidelines have just been published on the use of metal detectors.
These guidelines have been issued primarily in response to an escalation in the use of these devices in Ireland.
They have also been issued to quash a misleading rumour that the law concerning metal detecting was about to be relaxed.
The law is not going to be relaxed.

Quote:
Advice to the Public from the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the National Museum of Ireland on Use of Metal Detection Devices in Ireland

The unauthorised use of detection devices to look for archaeological objects contravenes the law in Ireland, as set out in the National Monuments Acts 1930 to 2004.
Such usage is subject to severe penalties, including imprisonment and/or fines. The categories of objects that are most commonly located by metal detectorists in Ireland, such as coins, tokens, buttons, clothes fasteners, thimbles, keys, seals, weights, strap ends and belt mounts, all fulfil the definition of ‘archaeological objects’ which may only be searched for under licence. It is advised therefore that persons should not engage in general searches for lost or buried objects as to do so may place them at risk of prosecution and endanger the archaeological heritage.

1. How Can Metal Detecting Cause Damage to Archaeological Sites and Objects?

Unregulated and inappropriate use of metal detectors causes serious damage to Ireland’s archaeological heritage. Unsupervised recovery of archaeological objects by untrained and unlicensed users of metal detectors can greatly diminish, or can entirely eliminate any knowledge or research value that might be gained from a particular discovery.
Archaeological objects must be excavated in a structured scientific manner, with careful recording of their association with other objects, structures, features and soil layers. Failure to expertly record the context from which an object has been removed results in an irreplaceable loss of knowledge of the past.
Random searches with metal detectors cannot determine whether a find is of archaeological importance or if it is a recent discard. The result in either case is that the soil is greatly disturbed and any non-metallic evidence and objects are likely to be destroyed.

2. What is the Law on Metal Detecting?

To prevent damage to our archaeological heritage by the unauthorised use of metal detectors, the National Monuments Acts 1930 to 2004 regulate the use of metal detectors for archaeological purposes throughout the State of Ireland and its territorial seas.
Unless you have formally applied for and received consent in writing from the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht under the National Monuments Acts, it is against the law:
 to be in possession of a detection device in, or at the site of, a monument subject to a Preservation Order, or a monument in the ownership or guardianship of the Minister or a local authority, or a monument entered in the Register of Historic Monuments, or a monument included in the Record of Monuments and Places or a restricted area;
 to use a detection device for the purpose of searching for archaeological objects anywhere within the State or its territorial seas.
The penalty for an offence in relation to the above is a fine of up to €63,486 and/or up to 3 months imprisonment.
Anyone using a metal detector in contravention of the above restrictions and who, following detection of an object, digs to retrieve an archaeological object without an excavation licence, may be guilty of an additional offence under the National Monuments Acts.

3. Can I Search for Archaeological Objects Without a Metal Detector?

Unless you have a licence from the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, it is also an offence to dig or excavate for the purpose of searching for archaeological objects, or anything of archaeological interest, even though you may not be using a metal detector. The penalty for this offence is a fine of up to €126,972 and/or up to 12 months imprisonment.

4. What is the Law in Relation to the Promotion of the Sale or Use of Metal Detectors to Search for Archaeological Objects?

Under the terms of the National Monuments Acts 1930 to 2004 it is illegal to promote, whether by advertising or otherwise, the sale or use of detection devices for the purpose of searching for archaeological objects. The penalty for those found guilty of this offence is a fine of up to €2,500.

5. What is an “Archaeological Object”?

The term ‘archaeological object’ is defined in the National Monuments Acts 1930 to 2004 and has a broad meaning in terms of type and age of objects. Commonplace objects of relatively recent date such as coins and militaria, including 20th century material, may fall within the category of ‘archaeological object’. Such objects may come within the terms of the definition regardless of their date and degree of antiquity. It may not be apparent until an object has been dug up that it is an archaeological object. In that event, the damage will already have been done and an offence is likely to have been committed.

6. Where Should I Report the Finding of an Archaeological Object?

Under the terms of the National Monuments Acts 1930 to 2004, ownership of any archaeological object with no known owner is vested in the State. Anyone who finds an archaeological object must report it within 96 hours to the National Museum of Ireland or to a Designated County or City Museum in the locality. Anyone found guilty of an offence under these provisions is subject to a fine of up to €111,100 and/or 5 years imprisonment.
7. What is the General Advice to the Public on the Use of Metal Detectors?
It is against the law to engage in general searches for archaeological objects in Ireland using a metal detecting device unless you have received written consent from the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. To do so without such consent places you at risk of prosecution. The onus is on the operator to ensure that a metal detector is used in accordance with the law.
While it is illegal to use a metal detector anywhere to search for archaeological objects without the formal consent of the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, it is an offence to even be in possession of a metal detecting device without the Minister’s consent on the site of any monument or archaeological area protected under the National Monuments Acts. This also applies to areas which are subject to underwater heritage orders made under the National Monuments Acts.
There are around 130,000 archaeological monuments located all across the State which are protected under the terms of the National Monuments Acts 1930 to 2004. In many cases, there may be no surviving above ground remains and it may not be immediately apparent that there is the site of a protected monument at a particular location.
The locations of recorded monuments are identified on the website of the National Monuments Service of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, www.archaeology.ie.

8. Who is Responsible for Granting Consents and Licences under the National Monuments Acts?

Only the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht is authorised to grant consent to use a metal detector for archaeological purposes within the State and to license archaeological excavations. There is no other form of legal authorisation or approval to detect for archaeological objects. Detection consents and licences are only given to named individuals for specific sites. Licences are never issued collectively or through an intermediary.
You do not have a Ministerial consent to detect or any other authorisation to use a metal detector for archaeological purposes as a result of any of the circumstances below:
  • your membership of any organisation or body;
  • your level of training in the use of metal detectors;
  • your use of a particular type/brand of metal detector;
  • obtaining your metal detector from a particular supplier or source.

9. What is the Policy of the Minister in Relation to Consents for Use of Metal Detectors?

As a general rule, the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht will not grant consents for the use and/or possession of metal detectors except to suitably qualified archaeologists or persons who will be working under professional on-site archaeological supervision.
Before a consent to use a metal detector is issued, the applicant will have to make clear that the use of the device is in accordance with best archaeological practice. This is achieved through the submission of a detailed method statement setting out the proposed work programme for assessing a site and achieving the greatest possible level of archaeological knowledge from the work undertaken.

10. What if I Discover an Archaeological Object by Chance?


The information and regulatory provisions outlined here do not in any way affect those who may find archaeological objects by chance - for example in the course of farming activity - provided the find is reported in accordance with the advice in Paragraph 6 above. It is normal practice to pay rewards to finders of archaeological objects discovered in legitimate circumstances and reported to the National Museum of Ireland.

11. Where Can I Get Further Information?


The legislation governing the usage of detection devices and provisions relating to the discovery and reporting of archaeological objects may be accessed online at: www.irishstatutebook.ie

For further information, you may also contact:
The Duty Officer, Irish Antiquities Division, National Museum of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2; Email - antiquitiesdo@museum.ie; Tel: 01-6777444;

National Monuments Service, Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Custom House, Dublin 1; Email - nationalmonuments@ahg.gov.ie; Tel: 01-8882169.
July 2013
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23-01-2014, 09:54   #5
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A leaflet on the laws concerning metal detecting is available here to download.
http://www.archaeology.ie/media/arch...20heritage.pdf


Particular attention should be paid to paragraph 4. which states that;

Quote:
Under the terms of the National Monuments Acts 1930 to 2004 it is illegal to promote, whether by advertising or otherwise, the sale or use of detection devices for the purpose of searching for archaeological objects. The penalty for those found guilty of this offence is a fine of up to €2,500.
Posts in this forum, or any other forum, promoting the use of metal detecting devices will be dealt with accordingly.
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