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The Archaeological Sites Index (ARCHI), a database of the positions of more than 151,000 UK archaeological sites, is coyly marketed as being for use by academics and fieldwalkers but is clearly aimed at metal detectorists. Today a significant addition has been announced. It now includes world archaeological sites. Take a look at the details available for instance for Egypt and Iraq

Could be interesting to see what happens. It’s perfectly legal to metal detect on the vast majority of British archaeological sites so helping people do so can’t be logically criticised by the authorities – and isn’t. But abroad metal detecting is highly illegal so it will be fascinating to see the reaction to the first case of looting overseas where the culprits are shown to have used the ARCHI database. Will foreign archaeologists speak up and will British ones say the foreign section of the product is harmful but the British section isn’t?

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More Heritage Action views on metal detecting and artefact collecting

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