New finds highlight success of the Treasure Act and Portable Antiquities Scheme

. December 6, 2012

The launch today of the Portable Antiquities and Treasure annual reports show that 97,509 finds were recorded by the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) in 2011 (an 8% rise on the previous year) and 970 Treasure cases were reported in the same period (up by 12%).

Late Iron Age helmet from near Canterbury, Kent.

The PAS website (finds.org.uk) now features 820,000 finds with nearly 400,000 images from across England and Wales contributing enormously to the archaeological record. Last year 463,160 people used the website and database, and it also won best research/online collection at the Best of the Web awards 2011 at the Museums and the Web conference. Increasingly more and more people are becoming aware of the PAS. In July this year Britain’s Secret Treasures, which highlighted 50 finds recorded through the PAS, was screened primetime on ITV1 from 16-22 July. The series was watched by an average of 3.5 million viewers, the highest being 4.2 million.

Thousands of archaeological objects are discovered every year, many by members of the public, particularly by people while metal-detecting. If recorded, these finds have great potential to transform archaeological knowledge, helping us understand when, where and how people lived in the past.

The Portable Antiquities Scheme is managed by the British Museum, and funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport through a ring-fenced grant, the British Museum and local partners. Its work is guided by the Portable Antiquities Advisory Group, whose membership includes leading archaeological, landowner and metal-detecting organisations.

The Portable Antiquities Scheme (www.finds.org.uk) offers the only proactive mechanism for systematically recording such finds, which are made publicly available on its online database. This data is an important educational and research resource that can be used by anyone interested in learning more.

Category: Antiques News

Comments are closed.