mp-3Chris Espenshade, regional director of Commonwealth Cultural Resources Group and I have been talking on and off about avocational detectorist partnerships with archaeologists since last year, and today he emailed me to let me know of a new program being held in Chicago on September 13-14 of this year at McFedridge Park (California/Irving Park) 3843 N California Ave, Chicago, IL.  There is a limit of 40 participants.

The Archaeological Partnership Program, with sponsorship from Minelab, is offering of the class, which is intended for avocational metal detectorists who are serious about working with professional archaeologists to help preserve threatened archaeological sites. The long-term goal is to create APP-trained avocational detectorists around the country who would be willing to work with professional archaeologists in pursuit of the shared goal of documenting history before it is lost.  This is exactly what we’ve been striving for in the avocational detecting community!

The class will be taught by Dr. Doug Scott (of Little Big Horn fame), Chris Espenshade, and Patrick Severts. All three instructors are professional archaeologists with long histories of using metal detecting in professional research. All three are also instructors for Advanced Metal Detecting for the Archaeologist.

The class will include the following:

  • A review the sometimes contentious relationship between archaeologists and detectorists;
  • An explanation of how and why archaeologists approach sites as they do;
  • A consideration of a major differences between professional archaeological research plans and typical avocational detecting;
  • A discussion of the key concepts of context, replicability, redundancy, and negative and positive data;
  • A discussion of how to record sensitive sites and other field data;
  • A discussion of why partnership is advantageous to both parties, and ultimately benefits our historic resources and heritage;
  • The delineation the ethical expectations for both professional archaeologists and avocational detectorists.
  • The class will include 8 hours of classroom discussion and 8 hours of field exercises demonstrating several typical archaeological approaches. Students are encouraged to bring their detectors. The tuition for this first class will be $165. Box lunches, sodas, and snacks will be provided for free on both days.

Students will be required to sign an ethics pledge when registering for class.

The interest form is attached here  (APPannouncementregisFORM)

Hurry!  Minelab are also hosting a scholarship to pay for 3 people to go to the event, learn more here about how to apply for the scholarship (which involves an essay.)   The scholarship essays must be received (not postmarked) by August 22, 2014!


Major Kudos to Minelab for getting behind this!