**Coronavirus: important advice on reporting public finds, including potential Treasure, during the coming period**
Under the Treasure Act 1996, it is a legal obligation for the finder to report potential Treasure. For all new finds of potential Treasure, finders must notify their local Finds Liaison Officer and/or the British Museum treasure team (in England) by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), with photographs of the object and full details of the findspot, finders’ and landowners’ details, and await further instruction. The necessary precautions mean there may be delays in the Treasure process. We thank finders, landowners, occupiers and everyone involved in the process for their understanding, patience and cooperation during this time.
Portable Antiquities Scheme staff will no longer meet finders in person or undertake outreach work until further notice. 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). We ask that you temporarily retain your non-Treasure finds for full recording at a later date. Please ensure that you keep detailed records of the findspot in accordance with the Code of Practice for Responsible Metal-Detecting in England and Wales.
Finders in Wales and Northern Ireland should contact the relevant authorities for advice.
Following the latest government social distancing guidance, advising everyone to stay at home to save lives and protect the NHS, do not metal detect during the current situation. All metal-detecting rallies should be cancelled.
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)?
Maria Kneafsey works as the Finds Liaison Officer for Derbyshire & Nottinghamshire and is based at Derby Museum & Art gallery. Up to date details of all the staff working for the PAS can be found here.
Finds Liaison Officer for Derbyshire & Nottinghamshire – Maria Kneafsey
What does Maria 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. It is normally the case that such finds are 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 Maria – 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 Maria on Maria@derbymuseums.org or at 01332 641903.
You can also visit the Derbyshire/Nottinghamshire PAS Facebook page www.facebook.com/derbysnottsPAS which is where Maria’s events will be posted, and follow Maria on Twitter @mariakneafsey
Cover image: A recent photograph from the Creswell Crags Archaeology Roadshow. Credit: Andrzej Jablonski.