Metal detecting in Crete Greece
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  1. #1

    Mar 2014
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    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Metal detecting in Crete Greece

    Who do you contact To get permission to metal detect in foreign countries? We will be visiting Crete and I would like to metal detect. I realize that I can not remove antiquities but don't want to go to jail for doing something illegal.

  2. #2

    Mar 2007
    Salinas, CA
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmontymi View Post
    Who do you contact To get permission to metal detect in foreign countries? We will be visiting Crete and I would like to metal detect. I realize that I can not remove antiquities but don't want to go to jail for doing something illegal.
    There is no "permission" to metal detect in any foreign country. No more so than "needing permission to metal detect, here, or in the UK, etc..., except if it's on private land (much as you would expect to need permission to go waltzing on anyone's private land, in any country).

    But if you were referring to the public realm land, then it's not so much "having permission" as it is to know if there's any prohibitions saying you can't. Because if there's no law saying no metal detecting, then what's to need permission for?

    I suppose that Greece will be no different than any other country on the European continent (even m.d. friendly countries like the UK), where obvious historic monuments are , of course, protected. And I notice that this site does not currently have any link to Greece:

    Law

    If I were you, if you just wanted to play it safe, simply hunt private farmer's lands with permission . Because even if you COULD find dire-sound rules, laws, etc... governing public land, then by logical deduction, those laws apply to public land. In the same way someone might find ARPA to be "dire sounding", or scary stories of Mel fisher legal hassles, etc.... yet those don't apply down to city level lands, and certainly not to private land. So do like they do in Britain, and merely detect private farmers field with permission.

    But that's just me. I'm sure others will come on with a knee-jerk mental reaction (because of all the colorful ruins, and ancient history that comes to mind, etc...) and tell you it must be "no" border to border, on any level of land, etc... But notice that so too does England have fabulous photegenic ruins as well (Stonehenge, etc...). But so long as you're not being a nuisance snooping around obvious historic monuments, well, so be it. But that's just me. The skittish crowd will come on shortly and find something dire to cite you, no doubt.

  3. #3
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    El Padron

    Oct 2010
    Southern California
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    Greece is literally littered with artifacts, I mean everywhere, I mean if you pick up a shovel and start digging you will more than likely find an artifact. I know that in a place like Athens you basically would be shot on sight. On the islands they don't even like it when you take pictures without human subjects in front of you. The military basically patrols everywhere, not in an obtrusive way, but everyone is being watched and the natives of course know this.
    Out of sight out of mind??

  4. #4

    Mar 2007
    Salinas, CA
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    Quote Originally Posted by el padron View Post
    Out of sight out of mind??
    Well, el padron, I notice you don't cite any law that's actually saying "no metal detecting". But are just going by the intuition that is natural, that *any* country with such spell-binding ruins, simply *MUST* have some sort of border-to-border prohibition? Maybe yes, maybe no.

    But it's all relative, when you think about it. Because SO TOO is the U.K. and the USA riddled with "historic" sites, depending on who you ask. Like how is Stonehenge any less magnificant. How is Mel Fisher's fabulous discovery (for which he underwent all sorts of scorn and legal hassles) any less historic or valuable? Etc... So TOO does the USA and the UK have prohibitions about certain types govt. land (why do you think UK hunters do 99% private farmer's lands afterall? )

    In the USA, in some places (federal and some state level stuff) the age-cutoff is "50 yrs" to be considered a "historical artifact". Hmmm. And I can gaurantee you that you can find some archies here who might say you can't detect any public land, whatsover, on any level (and maybe even find dire-sounding verbage that appears to back up what they're saying). But the *reality* is, that it's probably only those couple of ivory tower archies who could dream up or care about such things, and you're right: You just avoid those "one or two" who might gripe, and no one else (certainly not the farmer you're about to go 50/50 with) cares less.

    I'm not saying to "throw caution to the wind" and tromp of sensitive places, etc... But just saying that sometimes you have to read between the lines. Like right now, I bet you, there's no doubt hobbyist in Greece. Presumably doing their hobby legally *somewhere* Or .... with the ... uh ... "presence of mind" to not be an eyesore knowing how not-to-ruffle someone's feathers.
    Last edited by Tom_in_CA; May 19, 2014 at 07:22 PM.

  5. #5
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    El Padron

    Oct 2010
    Southern California
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom_in_CA View Post
    Well, el padron, I notice you don't cite any law that's actually saying "no metal detecting". But are just going by the intuition that is natural, that *any* country with such spell-binding ruins, simply *MUST* have some sort of border-to-border prohibition? Maybe yes, maybe no.

    But it's all relative, when you think about it. Because SO TOO is the U.K. and the USA riddled with "historic" sites, depending on who you ask. Like how is Stonehenge any less magnificant. How is Mel Fisher's fabulous discovery (for which he underwent all sorts of scorn and legal hassles) any less historic or valuable? Etc... So TOO does the USA and the UK have prohibitions about certain types govt. land (why do you think UK hunters do 99% private farmer's lands afterall? )

    In the USA, in some places (federal and some state level stuff) the age-cutoff is "50 yrs" to be considered a "historical artifact". Hmmm. And I can gaurantee you that you can find some archies here who might say you can't detect any public land, whatsover, on any level (and maybe even find dire-sounding verbage that appears to back up what they're saying). But the *reality* is, that it's probably only those couple of ivory tower archies who could dream up or care about such things, and you're right: You just avoid those "one or two" who might gripe, and no one else (certainly not the farmer you're about to go 50/50 with) cares less.

    I'm not saying to "throw caution to the wind" and tromp of sensitive places, etc... But just saying that sometimes you have to read between the lines. Like right now, I bet you, there's no doubt hobbyist in Greece. Presumably doing their hobby legally *somewhere* Or .... with the ... uh ... "presence of mind" to not be an eyesore knowing how not-to-ruffle someone's feathers.
    The antiquities laws have gotten pretty insane. When they built the Subway in Athens in preparation for the Olympics about 12 years ago or so they found so many artifacts that every station has a museum in it.
    They would simply pour a concrete frame around whatever it is they found, (an ancient tomb, or somebody's front door from 2500 years ago ) and cover the entire wall floor to ceiling with a 1 inch thick piece of plexiglass.

    Right about that time, the national antiquities service went into full gear and started investigating every single new construction project in the city of Athens.
    So today, if you visit Athens, literally every block or so is a coned off archaeological no mans land with the familiar blue and white tarp over it.
    On the islands the antiquities laws are enforced in the name of national security
    Modern Greece is a very young country. They just received independence from the Turkish Empire in 1821, it took until a few more years after that for the rest of the world to recognize them as a sovereign nation.

    From the perspective of national security they are very paranoid, in all my visits there I have never once seen a metal detector

    On the islands, (I've only been to two) I have been sternly admonished to stop taking pictures many times.

    I can only imagine what they would do if you were spotted swinging a Garrett ATX looking thing around on the sand, which they often construed as a border zone of sorts in accordance with whatever it is they are trying to convey or support at the time.

    @Bmontym personally I think it would be a really great opportunity to do some metal detecting in Crete, and who knows, you might get away with it on a crowded beach, I don't know. It would be great if you could bring a folding metal detector there, (though that's a pretty tall order as far as mainstream metal detectors go,) and revisit this site upon your return and tell us what your experience was.
    Last edited by el padron; May 19, 2014 at 08:16 PM.

  6. #6

    Mar 2007
    Salinas, CA
    Explorer II, Compass 77b, Tesoro shadow X2
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    well, when you think of it, so too does any developers project in California require an "environmental impact report". And guess what one of the parts of the EIR's is? CULTURAL IMPACT. They have to research what was there before, and if deemed to be something of interest, they might have to have an archie "monitor" it, etc...

    I'm not trying to say that Greece's "cultural heritage laws" are to be scoffed at, or ignored, or go in after 5pm like we do in the USA to any old-town demolition site. I'm just saying that .... when you want to get down-right technical, the USA is no different. Oh sure, one place may be "more enforced" than the next, granted. But this is where common sense comes into play. Not just reading some book or link, etc.... or finding some laws you just assume apply everywhere, etc....

    I have no doubt in my mind, that if a tourist from Greece were getting ready to come to the USA, and asked enough border consulates here "can I metal detect in the USA?", that he might actually find one to tell him "no". And even with dire-sounding verbage that may appear to say exactly that! Why? Because the pencil-pusher might be interpretting something at state-level laws, or ARPA, or exporting gold bars out of the country, blah blah blah.

  7. #7
    us
    El Padron

    Oct 2010
    Southern California
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom_in_CA View Post
    well, when you think of it, so too does any developers project in California require an "environmental impact report". And guess what one of the parts of the EIR's is? CULTURAL IMPACT. They have to research what was there before, and if deemed to be something of interest, they might have to have an archie "monitor" it, etc...

    I'm not trying to say that Greece's "cultural heritage laws" are to be scoffed at, or ignored, or go in after 5pm like we do in the USA to any old-town demolition site. I'm just saying that .... when you want to get down-right technical, the USA is no different. Oh sure, one place may be "more enforced" than the next, granted. But this is where common sense comes into play. Not just reading some book or link, etc.... or finding some laws you just assume apply everywhere, etc....

    I have no doubt in my mind, that if a tourist from Greece were getting ready to come to the USA, and asked enough border consulates here "can I metal detect in the USA?", that he might actually find one to tell him "no". And even with dire-sounding verbage that may appear to say exactly that! Why? Because the pencil-pusher might be interpretting something at state-level laws, or ARPA, or exporting gold bars out of the country, blah blah blah.
    You know what Tom?

    I'm about as set up as I ever want to be right now.
    Especially in California, but also places like Texas and yeah.... even Mexico, things that were just hard to do a few years ago, now require an enormous amount of money and support to achieve.
    Interestingly enough, the future will be ruled by the community "Non Profit"

  8. #8

    Mar 2014
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    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Thank you all for your thoughts. Will let you know if you need to mail me tools to get out of jail.

  9. #9
    us
    Diggin up TEXAS!

    Sep 2009
    Fort Worth,Texas
    CTX 3030 / AT PRO / Etrac w/ NEL
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    I actually talked to my boss about this, who is from Greece.

    He told me that they wouldn't take to kindly on this at all...In fact they are very serious about keeping whats there, untouched.

    Its not like the old days where you can walk up to the Parthenon and pick up a couple rocks.....Very guarded place.

  10. #10

    Mar 2007
    Salinas, CA
    Explorer II, Compass 77b, Tesoro shadow X2
    13,667
    10101 times
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diggin-N-Dumps View Post
    I actually talked to my boss about this, who is from Greece.

    He told me that they wouldn't take to kindly on this at all...In fact they are very serious about keeping whats there, untouched.

    Its not like the old days where you can walk up to the Parthenon and pick up a couple rocks.....Very guarded place.
    To use another European country as an example:

    There was someone from Germany on another forum , who lamented that when they'd gone asking archaeologists there "can I detect in Germany?". They got the song & dance about how they needed an archaeological permit, had to register, etc.... (which of course would be impossible to get, unless you were an archaeologist). And, the archie even had "dire sounding laws" they could cite , which did indeed seem to back up their statements. Whether or not those things applied only to that German state, or didn't apply to private land, or didn't apply to modern objects (less than 1000 yrs. old or whatever their antiquity age-cut-off was), was not all spelled out for the md'r asking. He was simply, essentially, told "no".

    But oddly, there are md'rs in Germany. And naturally they would just look at such sillyness and say that that archie was "mistaken", right? And that as long as you're avoiding obvious historic monuments, you're ok. Hmmm, but that archie was a duly appointed government official, right? Certainly you can't argue with an answer "straight from the top" can you?

    So too, when I hear things about countries where it is supposedly forbidden (coming, no less, from "someone's boss"), I have to wonder if there's not a little reading between the lines you have to employ. I'm not saying to throw caution to the wind, but just sayin' ..... you can ALWAYS find someone, for any country (heck, even the USA I'd imagine), to start telling you all the evil horrible things that will befall you if you hunt a sandbox without the mayor's permission, etc....

 

 

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