Denkmalwert und archäologische Funde

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How and by who the value of monuments has to be determined in germanophone Monuments Protection Laws has a direct and problematic bearing on how finds of archaeological objects have to be treated upon their discovery. Whether an archaeological find has to be treated as a monument according to these laws depends on whether it has sufficiently significant monuments value to be considered a monument according to the legal definition of that term. Determining this value requires the knowledge and skills of experts following a professional assessment of the specific nature of that object. Yet, most germanophone heritage laws require of average finders that they correctly identify those finds they make in situ and treat them as monuments if they would be determined to be monuments by an expert assessor - which the ordinary finder of archaeology neither is nor has available in situ when he discovers potential archaeology. This is a fundamental flaw in these laws, which effectively makes many of them inapplicable in all but the most exceptional of circumstances. But even then, there is an even more fundamental problem that general finds legislation in Austrian and German Common Law - serving the purpose to protect the property rights of potentially still existing owners -contradicts and supersedes heritage legislation, making it inapplicable in all cases of finds being made. A fundamental re-think of finds legislation is thus proposed.


  • ARCHAEOLOGY, Heritage, Heritage law, Heritage management, LAW
Original languageGerman
Media of outputScience blog
Publication statusPublished - 16 Feb 2018

Publication series

NameArchäologische Denkmalpflege
ISSN (Print)2516-4309

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