The protection of archaeological heritage brings with it many challenges. This myriad of challenges has its origins in the divergent viewpoints of those who have an interest in the future of archaeological heritage, an interest that reflects what archaeological heritage means to them. The involvement of numerous stakeholders with conflicting values and beliefs invariably leads to diverse priorities for the protection of archaeological heritage. It is the aim of this introductory chapter to briefly introduce a number of these conflicts within a European context by highlighting some of the experiences of those working currently to try to protect archaeological heritage. As will be seen, the array of examples and challenges encountered are unsurprisingly diverse. However, further examination of specific chapters will demonstrate that there are also many commonalities.
KeywordsHeritage protection Competing values Metal detecting Shipwrecks Human remains Portable antiquities Heritage laws
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