Helsinki Archaeology Seminar on Friday 27.4., Anna Wessman presents about SuALT

On Friday 27th April, the regular Helsinki Archaeology Seminar is presented by SuALT Project’s Dr Anna Wessman. In her talk, entitled “Engaging with the Public: Introducing the SuALT-project”, she outlines the goals of our project, as well as presenting some of the results of the recent questionnaire survey. These findings shed light on how potential users of the database – within Finland and also abroad – feel about issues such as levels of anonymity and privacy of users, the level of precision for finds coordinates that should be displayed, and the ways in which people might use the SuALT infrastructure for their own research projects in the future.

The event is free to attend, and open to everybody. It takes place in Topelia (Unioninkatu 38), room F115 from 16:00. The presentation will be in English.

Anna’s abstract for the talk is as follows:

SuALT (Suomen arkeologisten löytöjen linkitetty tietokanta), or the Finnish Archaeological Finds Recording Linked Database, is a u unique project within Finnish archaeology. The multidisciplinary project, funded by the Academy of Finland, consists of the University of Helsinki, Helsinki Centre for Digital Humanities (HELDIG), Aalto University and the Finnish Heritage Agency.

We are developing a user-friendly and open database that encourages metal detectorists, but also other finders of chance material, to record their finds in the SuALT database. These finds have a high scientific potential but are not used in academic research at present. By engaging meaningfully with metal detectorists and other stakeholders, the project hopes to ensure that more finds are reported than at present, including retrospective recording. Through our citizens science approach we also hope to contribute in democratizing archaeology.

New publication – commentary article in Public Archaeology

A commentary/response piece by SuALT PI Suzie Thomas was recently published in the journal Public Archaeology. It appears in Volume 15 Issue 4, which is dated 2016 although the article is published in 2018.

The article, entitled “Metal Detecting in Focus Again — A Response to Immonen and Kinnunen, Winkley, Hardy, and Rogerson” discusses a collection of article concerning metal detecting in Finland, the UK and parts of Eastern Europe and Eurasia. Thomas that although the topic is not necessarily a new one – with themed publications and debates having emerged previously – the current collection brings new research approaches and new case studies to the table.

Suzie also notes the continued emergence of digital and open data interactions between archaeologists and metal detectorists, of which the SuALT project is a part.

Publication Cover


Thomas, S., 2016. Metal Detecting in Focus Again—A Response to Immonen and Kinnunen, Winkley, Hardy, and Rogerson. Public Archaeology, 15(4): 245-248.