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A horse pendant dating back to the Crusades was found in Pori. The pendant, made from a metal mixture with a silvery hue, was found by a metal detectorist in February 2020. Image: Archaeological collections, Finnish Heritage Agency.

The Finnish Heritage Agency to open the Ilppari reporting service for all archaeological amateur findings

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Ilppari, a service intended for reporting archaeological amateur findings, will be expanded. In addition to artefacts, the service can be used to report relics on land and sites under water. Over the past two years, a total of 10,000 findings have been reported via Ilppari. The service is available in Finnish, Swedish and English.

The Ilppari reporting service was launched in 2019 in order to collect information about archaeologically interesting objects discovered by ordinary people. The service can now also be used to report archaeological relics on land and under water.

The aim is to gather as many details as possible about amateur artefact and relic findings. The notifiers’ own observations, notes and pictures of a discovery site and its condition are vital for the assessment. The entire service is available online, which makes the report processing considerably easier. Furthermore, findings recorded on forms will be easy to transfer to the Finnish Heritage Agency’s registers and collection database.

Through Ilppari, a notifier can view the processing status of their notification, the assessment of their finding and other measures being carried out, step by step. Notifiers will also be able to talk about their findings with experts from the Finnish Heritage Agency and museums in charge of specific regions. By answering the questions in the reporting service, the notifiers can take part in recording information about our shared archaeological cultural heritage.

More than 10,000 archaeological amateur findings already reported via Ilppari

The Ilppari reporting service was launched two years ago, and so far it has been used to report over 10,000 artefacts. The online service has made it easier to report amateur findings, which has significantly increased the number of archaeological findings and observations that are reported to the authorities. Furthermore, Ilppari utilises maps and location data, which allow more detailed information to be recorded about the discovery sites.

‘Ilppari’s popularity is exceeding all expectations, and there has clearly been a need for this type of system. Information submitted by ordinary people is invaluable to us. We recommend that people report any discoveries via Ilppari, since it provides them with a convenient way to take part in increasing our shared knowledge and to serve as experts,’ says archaeologist Ville Rohiola from the Finnish Heritage Agency.

Ilppari has also improved cooperation between hobby archaeologists and the authorities. Thanks to the communication channel, metal detectorists and other amateur scientists are increasingly aware of responsible ways of operating. The continuous communication has enhanced hobbyists’ status as active cultural heritage operators. Furthermore, Ilppari’s significance received recognition in 2019 when Suomen muinaistutkimuksen tuki, a Finnish association promoting archaeological activities, credited it with the title The Archaeological Achievement of the Year.

Pohjoinen Kotka Minna Koivikko 2020
Pohjoinen Kotka Minna Koivikko 2020
Investigating the wreck of Severnyij Oriel in 2020. The shipwreck was originally reported to the Finnish Heritage Agency by Stig Meinecke in 1962. Severnyij Oriel was a Russian warship that sank in 1798 during the Russo-Swedish War of 1788–1790. Image: Minna Koivikko, Finnish Heritage Agency.

Regional museums are in charge of the cultural environment duties in their respective areas. Each of these museums employs at least one archaeological cultural heritage expert. The museums’ architects take part in assessing the reported sites and relics in their local area, carry out field inspections, if necessary, and enter information about the sites in the Antiquities Record maintained by the Finnish Heritage Agency.

Notifiers should always contact the archaeologists of the museum in charge of their region, who will provide advice and instructions on assessing and identifying findings. According to the Antiquities Act (295/1963), all archaeological artefact discoveries must be submitted to the Finnish Heritage Agency, which will assess the nature of the discoveries and decide whether to include them in its collections.

For more information, please contact:

Ilppari reporting service: www.kyppi.fi/ilppari

Archaeological collections of the Finnish Heritage Agency

The cultural environment duties are managed by nominated museums in each region

Instructions and guidelines for cultural heritage hobbyists (in Finnish)