Ask the Expert Q&A 24 February 2017: Treasure and Portable Antiquities – with Rebecca Griffiths
Rebecca Griffiths, Portable Antiquities Scheme Finds Liaison Officer (FLO) for North and East Yorkshire, will be answering your questions on Friday 24 February between 2pm to 3pm GMT.
Rebecca Griffiths is the Portable Antiquities Scheme Finds Liaison Officer (FLO) for North and East Yorkshire.
Every year thousands of archaeological objects are found by members of the public. When properly recorded, these objects can contribute significantly to our understanding of the country’s history. These discoveries are usually unearthed in rural areas, where traditional archaeological investigation occurs less frequently, and as such, they can tell us about ordinary people, as well as the big events that shaped the region.
The British Museum’s Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) was established to encourage the voluntary recording of these archaeological objects, in order to advance our knowledge of the past. The PAS records objects over 300 years old, made of a variety of materials including metal, stone and ceramic. All finds recorded with the PAS are publicly accessible through the PAS’s online database (https://finds.org.uk/database) which contains over one million objects.
Rebecca also works closely with local county coroners to administer the Treasure Act 1996. Under the Act, the term ‘Treasure’ encompasses objects that contain at least 10 per cent precious metal and that are at least 300 years old, as well as hoards and some prehistoric objects. The reporting of items of potential Treasure is mandatory and gives museums the opportunity to acquire artefacts for the benefit of the nation.
Many of the finds recorded with the PAS are discovered by metal-detector users. The PAS advocates best practice and encourages finders to adhere to the Code of Practice for Responsible Metal Detecting. The growth of metal detecting and formal reporting offered by the PAS has made much more material available for study, which helps with the interpretation of objects that were previously unique or where only a handful were known.
More information on the Pas can be found here: https://finds.org.uk/.
Rebecca Griffiths, Portable Antiquities Scheme Finds Liaison Officer (FLO) for North and East Yorkshire will be answering your questions on Friday 24 February between 2pm to 3pm GMT.
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