Archaeologist who found gold bracelet in Saaremaa not to receive state fee

The third century gold bracelet discovered in Saaremaa in September 2019. Source: Marika Mägi

Amateur archaeologist Jegor Klimov, who found a rare gold bracelet in Saaremaa in September, will not be receiving a fee from the state as the object was found in the course of a professional archaeologist's fieldwork, in which case the law does not provide for payment of a fee.

National Heritage Board supervisory board chairwoman Riin Alatalu said that the supervisory board agreed with the Heritage Board's position that as the object was found in the course of a professional archaeologist's fieldwork, the right to a fee pursuant to the Heritage Conservation Act does not extend to this find, and the law does not provide any room for discretion on the matter.

"Naturally an unusual find is cause for much excitement," Alatalu said. "The supervisory board of the National Heritage Board nonetheless came to the conclusion in its discussion that the passionate reactions surrounding this find were rooted first and foremost with the fact that the found object was made of a valuable precious metal."

The gold bracelet will certainly provide insight into prehistory, but in that regard, so do many other archaeological finds, she added.

"For example, it's difficult to overstate the importance of the medieval site with its nearly 40,000 finds discovered on Jahu tänav in Tallinn," Alatalu continued. "One may speculate over the market value of these items, but from the perspective of Estonian history, they are all considered priceless."

The official noted that the National Heritage Board had already recognized archaeologist Marika Mägi and her team with the title of find of the year, and encouraged other state institutions to follow suit in acknowledging the team involved.

She also said that the supervisory board very much appreciates the years of training that hobby archaeologists have undergone as well as the cooperation between the National Heritage Board and hobbyists, but that it is important that the respective rights and obligations of archaeologists and their teams are clear to all parties involved.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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