'No one may use equipment enabling the detection of metallic objects, for the purpose of researching monuments and objects which may be of interest to prehistory, history, art or archaeology, without first having, obtained an administrative authorisation based on the applicant’s qualification and the nature and modalities of the search. ' Art. L. 542-1 of the Heritage Code
The purpose of the metal detector regulations is to protect archaeological deposits because they provide complete historical information only if they have not been disturbed.
As soon as a metal detector is used to conduct research, the signal emitted in the presence of a metal object prompts the ground to be excavated, thus isolating it from its archaeological context.
Thus, it is impossible to date it thanks to stratigraphy and to draw conclusions from the arrangement of objects in the archaeological layers.
The act of digging is akin to an unauthorized search and therefore liable to prosecution under the Heritage Code and the Penal Code.
The use of metal detectors is therefore subject to a prefectoral authorization.
It also requires the written consent of the landowner, who must indicate his intentions regarding the objects likely to be discovered, as he is the rightful owner.
The request must be made to the Cultural Affairs Directorate.
If you want to use a metal detector
You must send a letter to the DAC outlining the objectives and terms of the research you are considering, specifying the geographical area you wish to prospect and your qualification to undertake this prospection, with permission of the landowner.
The CAD will instruct your application.
If the authorization is issued, it takes the form of a prefectoral order.
At the end of the operation, you must write a report outlining the work done and the results obtained, according to the requirements set out in the prefectoral authorization order.
Ownership of uncovered furniture
The objects discovered using metal detectors belong entirely to the owner of the land on which the discovery took place.
Mr. Regional Curator of Archaeology
Cultural Affairs Directorate of Martinique
Regional Archaeology Service
34 rue du Professeur Raymond-Garcin
97200 Fort de France
0596 73 12 46