The Portable Antiquities Scheme and Finds Recording
The Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) is a DCMS funded project run through the British Museum and local partnership museums to record archaeological objects found by members of the public in England and Wales. These objects are found by walkers, gardeners and detectorists, and over a million objects have been recorded onto the PAS database. 38 Finds Liaison Officers are based around the country and work closely with volunteers and the public. More information can be found on the PAS website: www.finds.org.uk. You can also catch up on the latest news for Buckinghamshire on Twitter @Bucks_FLO
The Finds Liaison Officer for Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes is Arwen James. If you find an object of archaeological interest you can book an appointment with her at a Finds Surgery by email, or by telephone, contact details below. If the object is of interest it will be taken in for a three month period, and photographed and recorded onto the PAS database. After this the objects are returned. Finds Surgeries are held at Bucks County Museum monthly, and every three months at Wycombe Museum and Old Gaol Museum in Buckingham. Appointments can be booked at Milton Keynes Museum. For finds to be recorded a find spot must be provided, ideally a 10 figure grid reference as this is the most beneficial to archaeological research. Advice can also be given about all sorts of issues affecting metal detectorists and the discovery of archaeological material, including why it is so important to gain permission from the landowner before detecting and how to record the grid references of your find(s).
The Treasure Act 1997
If an object constitutes as treasure then this must be reported to the local coroner via the Finds Liaison Officer within 14 days. Landowner and finder details must be provided, as well as the find spot information. Treasure constitutes as an item made of precious metal (gold or silver), and over 300 years old or any group of two or more metallic objects of prehistoric date. Coin hoards are treasure when two or more coins of precious metal are found together, or ten or more coins of base metal are found together. This is all covered by the Treasure Act 1997, and is a legal requirement for a finder to report. More information on the Treasure Act can be found here: https://finds.org.uk/treasure and the FLO can advise you.
Finds Liaison Officer – Buckinghamshire
Phone number: 01296 325227 / 07955 430589