Nighthawks & Nighthawking

Damage to Archaeological Sites in the UK & Crown Dependencies caused by Illegal Searching & Removal of Antiquities

Between 2007 and 2008 Oxford Archaeology, commissioned by English Heritage, conducted a major investigation into the crime of Nighthawking, the illegal search for and removal of antiquities from the ground by criminals using metal detectors.

The scope of the survey covered all archaeological sites, not just Scheduled Monuments.

The survey collected data to clarify the scale of the problem of Nighthawking and to inform strategies to combat it. The survey also looked at the sale of illicitly recovered archaeological material, both online and elsewhere, and prosecutions and convictions of ‘heritage crime’ whether under relevant heritage legislation or any other law.

Additional Information

  • Publication Status: Completed


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