Archaeology and metal-detecting: A model for engaging the local community in a greenfield development

Neil Macnab

A community archaeology and metal-detecting project on a greenfield site destined for development as housing.

This report begins by considering the relationship between archaeologists and metal-detectorists, the local need for new housing, and a review of the issues surrounding greenfield development.

It outlines the archaeological investigations on the site and describes the community archaeology elements of the project, including community liaison, school visits and open days. This community involvement provided an opportunity for local people, including metal-detectorists, to take part in integrated research into the history and archaeology of their immediate surroundings. It also created a constructive environment for the discussion of a planning and development proposal. Following the success of this project the local authority has introduced a community archaeology requirement into its development process where appropriate.

The protocol devised for this project could be transferred to any UK greenfield site undergoing development. The report is illustrated with photos throughout (black and white in the print version; colour in the pdf version).