Archaeological objects discovered by members of the public, for instance during fieldwork or excavating building foundations, must be reported to EHS Built Heritage Directorate, or to the Ulster Museum, or to the Police, within 14 days of discovery and details provided of where and how the object was found. Object(s) may be held by the Department or the Ulster Museum for up to 3 months to permit proper examination and recording.Treasure
Different procedures exist for objects which are suspected to be treasureArchaeological Excavation Licences
All archaeological excavations must be carried out under the direction of a qualified archaeologist, licenced by EHS. Excavation may be undertaken for various reasons, for instance, for research purposes, as part of conservation or repairs to a monument or as a condition of planning approval.
A Licence application must be submitted for every excavation, by the archaeologist who will direct the work, at least 3 weeks before the date on which work is due to begin.
Download an Excavation Licence Application FormProtection of Shipwrecks and Underwater Monuments
EHS administers the Protection of Wrecks Act (1973) in Northern Ireland’s territorial waters, within 12 miles of shore, and has designated the wreck site of the Armada galleass Girona for protection under the act. The Historic Monuments & Archaeological Objects (NI) Order 1995 also applies within territorial waters.