Archaeological Heritage, Treasure Hunters, Metal Detectors and Forgeries in the Centre of Europe (Archaeology and Law in Slovakia)
Slovakia belongs to the states which underwent drastic legal, economic, social and political changes after the Velvet Revolution in 1989. After 2000, modern legal regulations have been adopted in order to define good assumptions for management as well as protection of archaeological heritage. Despite a number of new laws, public interest in this field has been still violated. In 2011 amendment of the penal code, including new strict legal regulation of unauthorised usage of metal detectors in archaeology, came into force. Since this time, estimated number of “treasure hunters” has decreased significantly. Currently, police and courts already know the values of archaeological heritage, and they respect its specific requirements. Although penal legislation should be applied very prudently, in legal and social conditions of states like Slovakia, it plays an important role in prevention of archaeological criminality and solution of its consequences.