LJUBLJANA: conference “Guardians of the contexts”

International conference on the legislation, strategies and principles for the inclusion of the amateur archaeologists & metal detectorists into the scientific research and heritage protection schemes, and consolidation of the legal framework and practical measures for the prevention of looting and illegal trade in antiquities

Place: Ljubljana Date: 5th/6th April 2018

Venue: National museum of Slovenia, Metelkova-Maistrova 1 (SI-1000 Ljubljana)

Dear Colleagues,

we have the pleasure to announce the international conference/round table, co-organized by the Slovenian Archaeological Society, Committee on the Illicit Trade in Cultural Material of the European Association of Archaeologists (EAA) and the Iron-Age-Danube Project, which will take place in Ljubljana (Slovenia) on the 5th and 6th of April 2018.

The conference has been devised as the two-day event, divided to the afternoon (5th) round table and the whole day symposium (6th) with one or two sessions, depending on the response of the invited speakers.

The main issues, included and discussed in the first days’ round table (5th April), attended mainly by the representatives of the Slovenian metal detecting community, professional archaeologists, public administration and authorities will be:

  • the results of the anonymous poll survey among the members of metal detecting community in Slovenia, their interpretation and interpolation/correlation with the analyses on the scale of metal detecting in different European countries, performed through the internet sources in recent period,
  • the debate on the current Slovenian legislation related to the regulation of the detectorists’ activities and the issues preventing its more successful implementation, as well as
  • recent cases of unsuccessful repatriation of archaeological material and possible solutions for more efficient prevention of looting and trade with archaeological finds from the territory of the Republic of Slovenia.

The conclusions & recommendations of the round table will be summed up for the international audience at the next day symposium.

The foreseen topics of the international symposium (6th April) include presentations on:

  •   the related legal provisions of different countries (non-limited to the functional ones),
  • professionally and methodologically solid examples of the metal-detector use in scientific research,
  • best practices of integration of amateur archaeologists into the scientific field work and heritage protection at large, but also
  • the strategies and measures of limiting and preventing illegal turnover of looted antiquities,
  • international cooperation for the enhancement of existing repatriation mechanisms, and
  • imminent dangers and pitfalls of “whitewashing” the illegally excavated antiquities through scientific publications.

The official languages of the conference are Slovenian, Croatian, Italian, German and English, but the speakers are advised to use English, at least for the content of their ppt presentations.

Archaeologists, lawyers, governmental/public officers and prosecutors are kindly invited to propose titles and short abstracts (300-600 words) of their interventions in English. The deadline for the submission is 28th of February 2018. We intend to publish the papers in the conference proceedings.

The organizers will provide lunch and dinner, but unfortunately cannot provide for the accommodation. The speakers arriving on the day before the conference, will be assisted finding suitable lodging on request. If any other questions regarding the conference occur, do not hesitate to contact us.

With best wishes for the Organizing committee,

Assist. Prof. Dr. Andrej Gaspari (andrej.gaspari@ff.uni-lj.si)


Assist. Prof. Dr. Matija Črešnar (matija.cresnar@gmail.com)

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