13 Mar 2012

Minelab Americas and James Madison’s Montpelier

Partnering to Use Improved Technology to Discover “Lost” History

New Program Encourages Collaboration Between Metal Detectorists and Archaeologists

Minelab Americas and James Madison’s Montpelier, the home of the Father of the Constitution, have announced the launch of the Minelab Archaeological Certification Program (MACP). The new program will help metal detectorists and archaeologists work together to make quicker more systematic discoveries, while preserving historic site integrity. The pilot class will convene on the grounds of Montpelier, James Madison's Orange, Va. home.

“The Minelab Archaeological Certification Program at James Madison’s Montpelier marks a partnership between Montpelier and Minelab Americas to expand the education of archaeological disciplines into artifact recovery," said Gary Schafer, vice president of Minelab Americas. "The partnership is a revolutionary effort to bring together the latest in metal detecting technologies and the best practices of archaeological artifact recovery. This effort will ensure that our two communities continue to work together to preserve history in a sustainable way for all constituents. The opportunity for Minelab’s best metal detector enthusiasts and distributors to participate in this annual learning effort on these historic grounds is a benefit we are proud to offer in partnership with the staff of James Madison’s Montpelier. The learning opportunity this program provides is significant for all studies of historic preservation.”

Minelab and Montpelier collaborated to develop the MACP curriculum. Both organizations will work to develop the pilot certification into a program that holds broader professional recognition in the future.

The pilot class consists of 14 authorized Minelab dealership owners and associated representatives. Participants will work with Montpelier's archaeology staff to explore the area where Montpelier's field slave quarters once stood, as well as survey for sites in the forests surrounding the plantation. Throughout the six-day program participants will learn how to preserve site and artifact integrity, while directing archaeologists to the most promising excavation sites.

“The partnership between Montpelier and Minelab represents an incredible opportunity for us to take advantage of some of the most advanced metal detecting technology available today, and to bring in experienced metal detector enthusiasts to help us identify artifact-rich sites on Montpelier’s historic 2,700 acre property," said Dr. Matthew Reeves, Montpelier, director of archaeology and historic landscapes. "Involving Minelab as a new partner in the process of archaeological discovery helps us uncover lost history which can help bring to life the home and lives of James and Dolley Madison. It is also an opportunity to show the metal detectorist and archaeology communities how both can work together to discover and preserve historic sites."

The public is invited to watch the metal detectorists conduct surveys in the field slave quarter area. The survey site is a short walk from the Montpelier Visitor Center.

March 12 (Monday): 10:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.; 1:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m.
March 15 (Thursday): 9:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m.; 12:30 p.m.–3:00 p.m.
March 16 (Friday) 9:00 a.m.–12:15 p.m.; 1:30 p.m.–4:00 p.m.

To apply to participate in the next MACP, please visit:

To find out more about the program contact Minelab via email or call 1-888-949-6522.

To learn more about James Madison’s Montpelier, please visit or call 540-672-2728 x115.

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