Danish museums have come together to create a new database, where amateur archaeologists, often metal detectorists, can register their finds. The database is called DIME – Digital Metal Finds.
According to the creators, the purpose of the database is to get a better overview of the thousands of discoveries made each year in Denmark. The database will help both amateur and professional archaeologists and is expected to go online in 2017. Amateur finds are an untapped knowledge bank and organising them has been a challenge for museums as the institutions find it difficult to keep up with the sheer amount of discoveries. The number of finds is said to increase rapidly each year – the number of reported finds has doubled from 5,556 in 2013 to 9,756 in 2016. The database tries to introduce a new approach to handling these antiquities as the amateur archaeologists will be able to log the discoveries into the system themselves. According to the researchers, amateur collectors are enormously competent and talented, and carry out their work to a high professional level. Moreover, they are a good resource that can be used in protection of cultural heritage.
(after Science Nordic & Mikkel Andreas Beck)