Portable Antiquities Scheme
The Portable Antiquities Scheme is a voluntary scheme to record archaeological objects found by members of the public in England and Wales.
Every year many thousands of objects are discovered by members of the public. Many of these are found by metal-detector users, but also by people whilst out walking, gardening or going about their daily work. Recording such discoveries offer an important source for understanding our past. If you would like to find out more then visit the Portable Antiquities Scheme website or contact your Finds Liaison Officer.
The Finds Liaison Officer for Essex is Katie Marsden, based at Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service. Due to the nature of work as a Finds Liaison Officer, Katie is not always available at the office at short notice. Please ensure you contact her via phone or email to make an appointment in advance. Alternatively, it may be possible to pass objects to Katie via one of the counties district museums or at a metal detecting club. Please contact Katie in advance to discuss options available. You can contact Katie on 01206 506961 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To find out information about other Finds Liaison Officers around the country, please visit http://www.finds.org.uk/contacts
The Treasure Act (Summary)
Recording most finds is voluntary, however there is a legal obligation to report objects covered by The Treasure Act (1996). You must report all finds of Treasure within 14 days after the day on which you made the discovery or within 14 days after the day on which you realised the find might be treasure. Your Finds Liaison Officer works with the Coroner’s Office to coordinate Treasure, so please contact your Finds Liaison Officer for advice.
The following finds are Treasure under the Act, if found after 24 September 1997 (or, in the case of category 2, if found after 1 January 2003):
- Any metallic object, other than a coin, provided that at least 10 per cent by weight of metal is precious metal (that is, gold or silver) and that it is at least 300 years old when found. If the object is of prehistoric date it will be Treasure provided any part of it is precious metal.
- Any group of two or more metallic objects of any composition of prehistoric date that come from the same find (see below)
- All coins from the same find provided they are at least 300 years old when found (but if the coins contain less than 10 per cent of gold or silver there must be at least ten of them).
Only the following groups of coins will normally be regarded as coming from the same find:
- hoards that have been deliberately hidden
- smaller groups of coins, such as the contents of purses, that may been dropped or lost
- votive or ritual deposits.
- Any object, whatever it is made of, that is found in the same place as, or had previously been together with, another object that is Treasure.
- Any object that would previously have been treasure trove, but does not fall within the specific categories given above. Only objects that are less than 300 years old, that are made substantially of gold or silver, that have been deliberately hidden with the intention of recovery and whose owners or heirs are unknown will come into this category.
Note: An object or coin is part of the ‘same find’ as another object or coin if it is found in the same place as, or had previously been together with, the other object. Finds may have become scattered since they were originally deposited in the ground.
Please see www.finds.org.uk/treasure for more information
Here are just a few of the many hundreds of objects found in Essex since the scheme began: