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SINCE 1997
Archaeology cover
Estonian Journal of Archaeology
ISSN 1736-7484 (Electronic)
ISSN 1406-2933 (Print)
PDF | doi: 10.3176/arch.2010.2.04

Ingrid Ulst
In recent years, several illegal excavations have taken place on the archaeological sites
in Estonia. Yet, only a few cases have resulted in legal solutions and these have not unfortunately been positive from the perspective of the protection of archaeological heritage. This article addresses the issues related to the protection of archaeological finds and “black archaeology” in Estonia, aiming at evaluating, on the basis of three case studies of illegal excavations, the major problems of the protection of archaeological heritage with regard to legal regulation, ethical conflicts and economic interests. Although Estonian laws comply with international principles, applicable administrative capacity is the major concern. Next to regulating the use of metal detectors in Estonia, the measures influencing the market, the raising of public awareness and the enhancement of control mechanisms instead of more severe sanctioning could be considered as additional options.

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