Coronavirus: important advice on reporting public finds, including potential Treasure, during the coming period
Following government instructions issued on 23 March restricting movement over the coming weeks because of the Coronavirus outbreak, Portable Antiquities Scheme staff are not able to meet in person with finders to take in finds or undertake other outreach work. Most Portable Antiquities Scheme staff, including Finds Liaison Officers, will remain contactable by email, so, therefore, can advise on the recording of finds (such as self-recording) or the reporting of Treasure (see below). For the time being, finders should hold on to their finds (keeping a good record of the findspot in accordance with the Code of Practice for Responsible Metal-Detecting in England and Wales) for full recording at a later date.
In the current circumstances, it is unlikely that new finds of potential Treasure will be made. If finds are made by chance, finders should notify their local Finds Liaison Officer and/or the British Museum treasure team (in England) by email, with photographs of the object and full details of the findspot, finders’ and landowners’ details, and await further instruction. Finders in Wales and Northern Ireland should contact the relevant authorities for advice.
What is the Portable Antiquities Scheme?
The Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) is run by the British Museum and Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales to encourage the recording of archaeological objects found by members of the public in England and Wales. Every year many thousands of archaeological objects are discovered, many of these by metal detector users, but also by people whilst out walking, gardening or going about their daily work. Finds recorded with the Scheme help advance knowledge of the history and archaeology of England and Wales (the PAS finds database can be found here. The Scheme consists of 40 locally-based Finds Liaison Officers (FLOs) whose job is to liaise with finders and record their finds.
Who is my local Finds Liaison Officer (FLO)?
Megan Gard works as the Finds Liaison Officer for Rutland & Leicestershire and is based at Rutland County Museum. Up to date details of all the staff working for the PAS can be found here.
What does Megan want to see? What does she need to know?
FLOs are interested in seeing all archaeological objects and coins that you have found, but need to be selective in what they record. Finds will be borrowed from you, but will be returned once they have been identified and recorded. It is important that you supply a precise National Grid Reference (at least to 6-figures) for all finds, as without a location, they have little archaeological value. Under the Treasure Act 1996, finders must by law report finds of potential Treasure: the definition of Treasure can be found here. These finds should be reported to the relevant FLO, who is able to provide further advice and guidance on the process.
Where can I find out more?
Information taken from www.finds.org.uk. Or contact Megan – see details below.
I’ve got an object, what do I do?
If you think you may have found an archaeological object of interest, please contact our Finds Liaison Officer Megan on MGard@rutland.gov.uk or at 07973 854977.
follow Megan on Twitter @Meggard1