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The Portable Antiquities Scheme

The information on this page is taken from the Portable Antiquities Scheme's leafletĀ Advice for Finders of Archaeological Objects, including Treasure.

The Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) is a voluntary scheme to record archaeological objects found by the public in England and Wales. If recorded, these artefacts have the potential to tell us a great deal about the past, such as how and where people lived and about the types of objects they made and used. The aims of the scheme are as follows:

  • To advance knowledge of the history and archaeology of England and Wales by systematically recording archaeological objects found by the public.
  • To raise awareness among the public of the educational value of archaeological finds in their context, and to facilitate research on them.
  • To increase opportunities for active public involvement in archaeology, and to strengthen links between metal detector users and archaeologists.
  • To encourage all those who find archaeological objects to make them available for recording and to promote best practice by finders.

The scheme is entirely voluntary, so you are not legally obliged to report all your finds. However, you must report material which constitutes Treasure, or which you believe may be Treasure (see section below on The Treasure Act). The scheme records every type of artefact, not just metal objects. All objects made before about 1700 are recorded, and more modern finds are recorded selectively. It is often best to let your local Finds Liaison Officer (FLO) see all your finds, especially if you are unsure what they are; a nondescript lump of metal may turn out to be of archaeological interest.

For further information, visitĀ