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Metal Detecting In Georgia?
You Should Know The Law


If you are metal detecting in Georgia, be sure to follow the State Laws of Antiquities.

Archaeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA)


ARPA was enacted by Congress in 1906 to protect our nation's archaeological resources located on public lands. This law provides for punishment of individuals who knowingly loot or vandalize archaeological sites by imposing stiff fines, imprisonment, and confiscation of artifacts as well as tools and vehicles used in the violation.




Although ARPA does not apply to state lands, the passage of this law paved the way for states, including Georgia, to enact similar laws for the protection of cultural resources located on state lands.

These laws follow the Federal ARPA law, (Archaelogical Resource Preservation Act)

ARPA was the signature law that set the standards in every State when it came to the digging of and the removal of any artifacts. This law is a highly controversial law that questions the Executive Order established by then President Teddy Roosevelt.

You should also check the State's National Historic Preservation Act.

Remember, you can metal detect in Georgia, but not on State Lands, or beaches.

Do Not Let These Laws Stop You From  Enjoying The Hobby.

The only way to fight back against the laws that are making it difficult for us to enjoy the hobby is by banding together.

If you would like to join an organization that is fighting for your rights to metal detect please visit WWATS.

Seaching for and metal detecting in Georgia ghost towns can be a lot of fun and a great adventure. 

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Metal Detecting In Georgia

Metal detecting finds

If you plan to metal detect in Georgia parks, you should check with each town or village to see if they have any laws against detecting. You may have to ask lots of questions because many municipalities have no idea whether or not they have such laws.

If you are told there is a law that prohibits metal detecting or digging, ask to see the law in writing. There are times when city, town, or village officials just say "no" to detecting without really knowing the correct answer.

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